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Bollywood's obsession with image makeovers

Published: Monday, October 15, 2007, 14:26 [IST]

By: Screen Weekly, IndiaFM
Monday, October 15, 2007

They can sing and dance with effortless ease, look like a dream even when crying copiously but the unkindest cut is that they can drop several kilos like consummate magicians. Now you see it (the flab) and then suddenly, almost magically, in one fell swoop, it's all gone. Is it any surprise that movie stars cause extreme reactions among ordinary mortals?

In recent times it is Kareena Kapoor and Shahrukh Khan's changing silhouette that's been making news what with the twiggy look for the former and six pack abs for Mr. Khan. It's been power yoga and some crazy amount of crunches for the look we are told but more of that later.

This newfound obsession with losing and gaining inches, muscle and adipose, unlike what you may imagine gentle reader is Bollywood's recent trend in method acting. First it was the costume and the make-up-recall the deglamourized look phase? Dil Chahta Hai set the tone for a hirsute approach and now the fitting-into your-role-approach. Sonam Kapoor who reportedly shed 30 kgs to slip her role is an example as is Darshan Jariwala who managed the scales to the lower extremes.

The most difficult question is how do they do it? With their crazy traveling schedules, film shoots in different locations across the world, shows and performances and a zillion other commitments, it could either be that actors just don't find time to eat or that they are just amazingly disciplined. A few of course would beg to differ and inform you righteously that it's all thanks to their magical genes, bless them, or better still a very high metabolic rate. Of course, when not claiming such magical powers as their very own they deign to confess that they spend grueling hours working on their body. Lesser beings out of sheer envy, however, may attribute other factors for their body beautiful - the surgeon's knife for one.

Hollywood of course has been rather blase about their fitness measures be it an eat-round-the-clock diet or the eat-it-raw concept currently being popularized by David Wolfe. Demi Moore and Sting are supposed to swear by it. South Beach and Zone have had their share of fans too but surprisingly not too many Bollywood inspired diets yet. It could be because most will tell you that the regular rice and dal with lots of vegetables and salads does the trick for them. Alternatively it could be just be a protein packed meal (you get a lot of that from the guys).

The male of the species hitherto has been partial to the power of the gym where they spend hours together with protein supplement and diet pills for the cutting edge. Women, however, with a few exceptions are happier visiting the surgeon followed by Kundalini yoga, pilates, Kruv maga, Tai chi and an assortment of suchlike exotic exertions for stellar roles.

Whatever the modus operandi, fitness and diet fads could be serious money spinners for our stars. Shilpa Shetty about to launch a yoga video is clearly on to a good thing. John Abraham would also make a good candidate for fitness-he does not smoke, drink or give in to sinful excesses. Ditto for Hrithik or Akshay Kumar for that matter. Malaika Arora Khan is yet another who's diet secrets would go down well with aam junta. A few get-in-shape clinics have flourished under starry patronage as have countless fitness instructors-Rama Bans and Snehlata Pandey were among the pioneers followed by Mickey Mehta, Anjali Mukherjee, Shikha Sharma and a dozen others have helped beautiful people with weighty matters.

Strangely enough, few movies even those based on real life incidents demand that actors put on weight for a role. I can't, for instance, think of a leading actress who has done what Renee Zellweger did for Bridget Jones Diary. My vote for the perfect fit in recent times would go to Abhishek Bachchan for his weighty act in Guru!

Topics: sonam kapoor, dil chahta hai, darshan jariwala, shahrukh khan, kareena kapoor
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