Tongue firmly in cheek, WENDELL RODRICKS lists the must-haves for every star wannabe – never mind that everyone ends up looking like clones of one another!
What creates a star? Apart from acting talent (most actors learn along the way) focus on the ‘star look’. A clever stylist can make an emerging star look great enough to nab a role and a newbie stylist can ruin a star career chance with just one miserable red carpet appearance.
A star has to look a certain way. What that ‘look’ is has changed dramatically over time. Recall the years when male stars rarely had abs to show? A hairy chest was enough. Whether on Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan or Feroz Khan, a hairy chest was masculine maximus for machismo. Focus was on the face and the emotion that face conveyed. Today, that isn’t enough. One needs to project the star ‘look’ head to toe…
So let’s start at the top and wind our way downwards
Hair: Lots of it but only on the head!
Today, hair has become an obsession of bizarre proportions. Have you seen a bald taklu male star like Yul Brynner in Hindi cinema? You never will. Maybe in Southern cinema… as they are more realistic. Look at Rajinikanth. He keeps the hairy bits for the movies but in reality has the strength to go full shining bald. Bravo. Kudos. Blah blah blah.
But in Bollywood, Rajinikanth’s real look will be a duh, dud, failure. Fans in India want hair, love hair, worship hair…everywhere…except on their torsos. What a dramatic shift from the chikna days of Rajesh Khanna where every whisker was shaved off to get a chocolate box pretty hero look. Only villains had moustaches, beards and muscled hairy torsos. The minute that hairy ape appeared on screen, we knew …‘Woh villain hai’.
Now it is upside down. Totally ‘ulta’. Star men have hair on their heads and not on their bodies. Every follicle, neck down, is epilated with minute microscopic frenzy. And the rest, neck up, is all left to be glorified. Whether Hrithik’s curly Hercules locks or Salman’s well controlled short haircut, the hair style rules. A buzz cut on Ranveer Singh is allowed …as long as he has a Bajirao mustache and healthy ‘shendi’. Let’s not even talk about designer stubble and beards. They have been trending seriously for a while now. All stars show them off as badges of sexual virtuoso. They seem to say ‘I’ve got hair; I’ve got virility’.
Extensions to the rescue!
As for the leading ladies, hair that cascades in the wind, clings en masse in waterfalls and billows across a pillow in bed is mandatory. The first star indulgence after they have decided on a film career is to go to the salon for the famed ‘extensions’. If not extensions plaited into their own hair, a ‘matching-matching’ hairpiece is fixed on to create an illusion of thick, long, lustrous hair. It must look natural. The fully fake wig days of Hema Malini were buried a long time back. As for short hair on our leading ladies, forget it. They simply don’t have the daring of Zeenat Aman who did a short bob in the ’70s.
The concept of beauty and the beast are frozen in stone. Cinema has its own version of the fairy tale when it comes to Tinseltown. Ladies must have an oval shaped face, large innocent eyes with assorted coloured lenses, full Cupid bow lips, ski slope cheeks, white perfect teeth, a slender swan neck and flawless skin. Men must have square jaws, a prominent nose, high forehead, brooding sexy eyes, a thick neck and lips that can smile for fellow heroines (add, media) and sneer at villains.
If you haven’t got the above naturally gifted by God, worry not. Many of the stars did not have the faces they now display. So just work it, buy it, plastic-surgeon correct it and get a dentist, beautician and make-up artist to fix what needs fixing. If it takes two hours or more to make-up a face and get hair in place, just endure it with a smile…like our stars do.
Tight is right!
Since you worked that body, wear everything TIGHT. Yup! Real super breath-wrenching, gasping-for-air, stomach hurting, butt-squeezing, boob push-upping, feet torturing, heel tottering, SPANX-corsetting tight. If it ain’t paining somewhere or everywhere, the garment ain’t working. Don’t think it is easy. You gotta suffer to get a star look.
If you are truly suffering to eye watering proportions, the saving grace and ultimate star saver is… Sunglasses Zindabad! Only brands please. And not Raybans or Cartier. Those are so passé. We want Dior, D&G, Gucci, Versace, Prada. Got it?
Finally here we are down to the extremities. Mani-Pedi are obligatory. Your hands and heels must look soft, nails buffed etc, etc. Ladies must do acrylic nails as soon as they enter the industry. Even though the time is on your cell, since stars are endorsing watches, might as well flash one. The more expensive the better.Chunkier too.Heavy duty metal and diamonds for day and night.