Model dilemma

FINE LINE Many models take to acting, and actors to the ramp

FINE LINE Many models take to acting, and actors to the ramp   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: REUTERS

Threatened by Bollywood and pigeonholed by the media, models are a worried lot these days

People don’t expect me to even enter the kitchen, leave alone cook well,” laments Diandra Soares. Call it stereotype or the nature of work, we get to see a monochromatic image of our models. “Courtesy my bold image on the ramp, people think I’m unapproachable, which is not true,”says supermodel Nina Manuel.

These ravishing models are not alone. Sameer Soni, a leading model and actor, says it hurts when the media terms the industry as full of people with loose morals and alternative sexual preferences. “Such people are present in every field. Just because the fashion and entertainment industry are under flashbulbs all the time, we have to face such generalisations,” says Soni, who is playing a gay designer in Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Fashion”.

Generally we think it’s the actors who face the threat from the models, but it’s the other way round as well. “Models are no longer used as showstoppers.Now designers bring in their Bollywood friends. We feel neglected,” says Diandra. “In fact, be it ramp or television commercials, cricketers and actors have taken up lots of assignments, which were meant for models,” she adds. Nina agrees that it is a trend, but doesn’t find it unhealthy. “There is no longer a line between fashion and films.”

Once theatre used to be a breeding ground for actors. Today the ramp is giving it competition. Muzzamil Ibrahim, quit modelling to do Pooja Bhatt’s “Dhoka”. The film failed but he doesn’t want to return to the fold. “Modelling is no longer the career it used to be some years ago, particularly for men. Today, almost anybody with a good face and a fake accent can become a model, as many designers don’t value class.”

Diandra, who is a mentor on Channel V’s Get Gorgeous, agrees that most youngsters don’t know that modelling and acting are two different worlds with special requirements. “After Bipasha’s success, many young girls use modelling as a stopover to move to films.Modelling is not just about looking good. It requires discipline and lots of stamina.” Similarly, she says, Bollywood demands certain traits. This confusion, says Nina, is responsible for India not being able to produce supermodels anymore. “A supermodel has a distinct personality, an aura, which the current crop doesn’t have. They all look the same.”


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