Legendary Charlie Chaplin sans his trademark- a mustache.
Peter Parker is dead. A new younger Spiderman is going to sling his web and fight crime. It is just not a new teenager climbing Manhattan buildings but Miles Morales is half-black, half-Hispanic American who saves the world after the death of Parker at the hands of the Green Goblin. Making Spiderman black is keeping with the new trend and times, it is said.
I smell either political tokenism or an attempt to reach out to wider audiences rather than starting a new trend. The only colors I can associate with Spider man are blue and red.
But hello? Isn’t the new trend about the fair and lovely man? Yes, the fairness obsession has transcended barriers and is haunting men. Back home Shahid and Shahrukh, are endorsing fairness creams for men. And whatever happened to the Mills and Boon ka tall dark and handsome hero? The machismo of M& B hero was directly proportional to the rugged features, a scar on the face and day old stubble.
The tall and dark has given way to fair and short brigade led by Ranbir and Imran who are ruling the roost. The thick bushy mustache too has given way to day old stubble. Not that I adore hirsute characters but why the notion that a face with mustache does not reflect the urban face of globalised India?
I guess, to each his own but I grew up watching Kamal Hassan with mustaches in” Ek Duje ke liye” and sans mustache I fail to connect with him. The joke goes that the earth did not revolve on its axis but on Rajnikant’s single strand of mustache. And wasn’t Rajni saar looking weird minus mustache in Robot? No wonder the earth shook after the release of Robot.
I remember when I was a teenager, several friends had huge crushes on Ravi Shastri and Anil Kumble. Okay do not screw your noses in disgust, Shastri used to be a dude once upon a time before ravages of time blew his hair and mustache away. Both sacrificed their mustaches perhaps to become a part of the international scene where cricketers and international sportsmen are mostly clean shaven.
Ha, ha…. I just imagined Obama and Beckham in a bushy mustache.
Have you noticed that none of the legendary super heroes have sported a mustache? Now that I rack my brains, not many Indian mythological heroes sported a mustache either. Beards yes but mustaches, no. However, the urban super heroes like Spiderman and Phantom are happy to use the razor daily. But the angry young ones who dare to defy the system and thrash the baddies do not shy away from a mustache a la Robin Hood.
Coming back to the fascination for white, it is sad that advertising professionals are forcing the fairness obsession on men, when the world is downgrading the ratings of most ‘fair economies’. We know that the malaise runs deep when a Namrata Randhawa aka Nikki Haley, the Indian American Governor of North Carolina lists herself as ‘white’ in her voter registration. Political convenience or colonial mindsets, you decide.
The scales however are slowly tilting towards yellows and browns. The whites have had their time under the sun. Time to unshackle the white obsession !