Beastly Men with Hot Wives

Just treat this as a minor quibble (maybe it shouldn’t be) from my web surfing observations yesterday. I was scrolling down the front page of Indianpad and noticed a story that had already amassed ten votes. The story was headlined ‘In pics: Beauty and the Beast’ so I assumed either it was someone’s tongue-in-cheek commentary on AbhiAsh wedding with a picture of an unshaven Abhishek as noted earlier by Sakshi. But when I opened the story on Indianpad, I saw the following story featuring Vinod Kambli and his wife:

Story on Vinod Kamblo at Indianpad

Now although, Kambli isn’t the handsomest hunk around and his wife is admittedly a hottie but the story clearly wasn’t aimed to show how Kambli had ‘lucked out’. And Kambli is definitely not a beast compared to other men. Notice the comment along with a picture that was posted below the story followed by the tag of ‘beast’ once again:

Comment at Indianpad

Notice anything common about the definition of a ‘beast’? Also, if you google the chick (I had to coz I have never heard of her) in the comment i.e. Kim Kardarshian, you’ll know her claim to fame. Would Sachin Tendulkar be called a beast even if his wife was twice as hot?

Note that this isn’t a commentary on Indianpad which according to me is one of the few successful Web 2.0 sites in India today (love the fact that they share ad revenue with their users). On ocassions, they have eclectic non-blog content and hilarious images. This might be merely a reflection of blatant discriminatory attitude based on skin color by a section of their online users. But I am surprised that the story received 10 votes even from some of the sites frequent users. I am not judging ogling at Kambli’s obviously hot wife but I do take offense on the story headline. The way in which any story is presented certainly makes a difference in the way readers perceive it, right? I’m sure this minor quibble and half-hearted rant will not register in their rapidly growing community but I can simply voice displeasure on my blog, right?

Comment via Twitter

  • Sampada

    Racism runs deeper in people’s conscience. Most of them don’t even know they are racist.

  • Santosh

    Kambli’s wife is “yowza”!!!

  • Patrix

    Sampada, the ‘not knowing’ part troubles me most. Perhaps no one has ever told them that such thinking is actually regressive.

    Santosh, sure! no denying that! :)

  • Prasenjeet

    What discrimination? Someone captioning an image of Kambli in a way that makes him a ‘beast’ by implication? People who crib about things like this are over-sensitive people leading over-comfortable lives, IMHO.

    So the guy who captioned the image has questionable taste, but tastes in the looks dept vary a lot, and if he doesn’t find dark-skinned guys attractive … *shrug*.

    Real racism (or “color-prejudice” given that Kambli’s not really of a different race) would be if one didn’t cheer for Kambli at a cricket match because he’s dark-skinned. Or if he didn’t get selected into the cricket team because of his skin color.

    Let’s not trivialize India’s very real social inequities by getting worked up over imagined color-prejudice. It’s far worse (deadly, sometimes) in India to be of the “wrong” religion or caste or ethnic group or state — e.g., spare a thought for those in NE India who wonder why India’s economic boom is leaving them behind!

    Then there are relatively smaller, but very real problems faced by people with the “wrong” accent/education (which Patrix has written about before IIRC).

    On the other hand, people with the “wrong” skin color can (and do!) get by just fine, unless they happen to be in a profession where one is judged on one’s looks.

    Frankly, if you want to bitch and moan about India’s inequities, wouldn’t it make more sense to highlight the bigger, more intractable problems rather than feel all holier-than-thou by branding people with relatively archaic and superficial ideas about beauty with the serious, connotation-heavy tag of “racist”?

    Sorry about the overlong reply, but I’m sick and tired about the horribly oversimplified “Indians are racist” line that comes up every time a discussion of Indian beauty standards comes up.

  • Patrix

    Prasanjeet, whoa! your rant was longer than my post :) But I understand what you are saying and that’s why I didn’t mention ‘racism’ because it is in fact ‘color prejudice’ as you point out. I agree there are far bigger and more serious discriminatory issues in India but wouldn’t it make my posts longer if I include all of them in my disclaimers. Like I said, it might be a minor quibble to point out Kambli being called a ‘beast’ but nevertheless it is a significant aspect of our outlook since he is being labeled thus only because he is dark.

  • Prasenjeet

    > Perhaps no one has ever told them that such thinking is actually regressive.

    Perhaps because telling people what to think doesn’t really work? (Except in progressive fantasies). Especially in something as subjective as what constitutes attractiveness.

    The problem of bone-headed beauty standards is self-correcting. As Indians travel more and become more cosmopolitan their ideas about what constitutes beauty will change too.

  • Patrix

    Prasenjeet, no re baba! You got me all wrong. I wasn’t commenting on anyone’s perception of beauty but only pointing out how being dark-skinned is enough to be labeled a ‘beast’. The picture in the comments of the story cemented my belief. I wouldn’t have seen anything offensive if he was merely thought of as unworthy of her hotness…there are plenty of ways to convey that sentiment. But I doubt traveling anywhere is going to change Indians equating beauty with fairness.

  • curiouscat

    uh oh…deja vu…vulturo…madrasi chicks…

  • m

    actually i think he looks neat……..she on the other hand is kind of beastly messy……….are you sure the beast was the man…….

  • Patrix

    M, glad to hear the opinion from a woman’s perspective regarding Kambli’s looks. And that perhaps is what I was trying to allude to i.e. Kambli being declared a ‘beast’ because his wife is relatively attractive. LOL @ the comparison being the other way around. But being a guy I cannot agree with your opinion on her being ‘beastly messy’ :)