Priyanka Chopra Feels “Exotic”

There are a lot of things I don’t like about this – mostly that she is coming to America and exoticizing herself, perpetuating ideas we already have about how “desi girls” are not substantial human beings but instead are “exotic” – but I do respect Priyanka Chopra as a woman. She might not be the best dancer or singer, but she knows that she’s pretty and charismatic, and used her strengths to her advantage. She has used the patriarchy to be able to do these other things that she’s not really that great at but obviously loves doing, and I have so much respect for people who have the courage to really just do whatever the fuck they want. Given that this was a big step up from her first single, maybe next time we can get something of substance out of her. Priyanka obviously has this substance beneath her beauty; in Fashion, she helped make a really great statement about the struggles beautiful ambitious women face trying to pursue their dreams in India. I don’t really know how I feel about her as a musical artist, but she is strong enough that she is going to succeed at whatever she tries to do – I just hope eventually she will move on to use this success to make music with a better statement than “look at how pretty and foreign I am!”

12 responses to “Priyanka Chopra Feels “Exotic”

  1. I think you are giving her too much credit about her role in Fashion. Also isn’t she playing the role of Mary Kom in her new movie? It is so gross that they hired instead of hiring an actress from Northeast. She should have turned it down but I guess she doesn’t see anything wrong with playing someone from a marginalized community that bears ethnic slurs from other Indian people Ugh, I guess I am just unhappy with her choices. I’ll say one nice thing about her. she is really pretty in person.

    • Hahaha yeah I agree that she doesn’t always make the best choices, but most of the other actresses her age in Bollywood are SO much worse. I just really like that she is really creating a career for herself and making her own decisions, instead of going off parental fame. And at least they’re making a movie about Mary Kom! It would be better if it were ethnically accurate but I’ll take even small steps towards progress…. (yeah, I’m being way too optimistic about this)

  2. “perpetuating ideas we already have about how “desi girls” are not substantial human beings but instead are ‘exotic’… ‘look at how pretty and foreign I am!'”

    But South Asian women (and men) aren’t considered “exotic”; they’re considered strange, unappealing people (at least where I live) when people don’t ignore them like they usually do. Sure, exploiting the foreign and pretty thing seems regressive, but considering what most Americans think of Indians, I think this is progressive. I hope it does decently to pave the way for other people and make South Asians more visible globally, but it’ll probably flop. No one’s here for Indians except Indians.

    • I think it can go either way; I definitely know SA [women, at least] who feel like they have been exoticized. Just look at the way the kama sutra is portrayed in the West to see that India has been exoticized and sexualized for centuries! But I also see where you are coming from, and how the song could potentially be used in a positive way for desis in America if it becomes popular – hopefully that is the case, but I have my doubts.

      • I’m gay so I get it because I’ve experienced the same thing from the some of the men I’ve met, but we both know it’s just a fringe group and not the mainstream. In general, we’re not even thought of and when we are, it’s not usually positive. In fact, I’ve noticed that a lot of compliments I receive are backhanded with a tinge of “you don’t look Indian,” but that’s another long topic. You mentioned the the Kama Sutra, but how many people even care about it in modern times? And even when things like “tantric sex” come up in the media, it usually leaves out Indians in its discussion or portrayal. A little off-topic, but I was actually having a discussion with someone irl about something similar recently and mentioned how many Indians things are popular as long as they’re not really Indian. Just look at how yoga is often marketed here as something East Asian; there are two gyms near my apartment and both have Chinese female models (other than the standard white ones) in their ads for yoga.

        Anyway… it’s been two months since the post and so far no impact from the song. Not that we were expecting anything different.

  3. Alright critics….take a breather….

    We r international baby… not a big fan of the actress…but proud to see an indian artist teaming wid international artists of d caliber of pitbull,Will i am. She does pack a punch as a singer….

    Am waitin for her to team up wid another indian origin sensation JAY SEAN….u betcha…its gonna b one helluva performance..

    Hats off to PC…it takes courage to get outta ur comfort zone n take on the world…

    We r international baby n we r here to stay!!

  4. Pingback: Priyanka Chopra Single | Sexy Hollywood·

  5. Priyanka rules, she’s fantastic singer, actor, lyricist etc etc….don’t be judgemental!!!

  6. I agree with you on almost everything, really. But to see an Indian artist get a platform like she has and to realise that she can’t sing without auto-tune is such a waste just like the people going off parental fame (read as Shraddha kapoor in Aashiqui2). There’s many young, versatile AND beautiful singers in India, but no, they don’t have bikini bods and hence not bankable. If the grandest debut for an Indian singer abroad relies almost completely on objectification of women, stereotypes that bollywood actresses only look pretty and make faces and Pitbull’s redundant bland clump of words, I’d just have to continue tuning out coz nothing ever makes sense anymore. Nevertheless, she’s doing what she wants; don’t matter if it’s an epic fail, someone’s ego’s massaged.

    • Hahaha, I think all of this is very accurate. I wish we could see India/US collaborations between better musicians, but unfortunately I think most of the actual musicians in India just wouldn’t be successful with American audiences – for some reason we want autotune and looks instead of actual talent. Even if other people wouldn’t like it as much, I can almost guarantee that if a Shreya/Sunidhi/Neeti collab happened (even with the likes of Pitbull), I would love it. What we really need is a female version of Jay Sean to come out from somewhere (and have more than 2 hits).

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