Many films, particularly Bollywood films, portray a series of someone’s best possible case scenarios: A hero walks down the street, sees a beautiful woman, they make eye contact and she instantly falls in love with him before he beats up a bunch of bad guys and he brings her home. We go to watch these films, no matter how terrible they are, because they help us escape reality – where things don’t always work out perfectly – to temporarily exist in a world where the best thing that could possibly happen always will.
As a woman, films rarely show my best possible scenario. Not only that, but society constantly prevents us from even imagining our own best possible scenarios by telling us to think about all the terrible things that could happen if we wear something wrong, say something wrong, walk in the wrong neighborhood, or board the wrong bus. We’re constantly thinking about our worst case scenarios, which makes the escape of cinema into a world of best case scenarios that much more appealing.
I love watching films and temporarily escaping into the world of the male leads – in the case of Shahrukh Khan, a world filled with beautiful people, bright sparkly clothes, and catchy song & dance sequences. Unfortunately, I rarely get to escape into that world. I feel too much pre-established empathy with the female characters, who keep getting thrown under the bus, often literally (see: Cocktail), as they are used as props for the male lead’s success story. The films I watch, more often than not, showcase only the best possible scenarios of straight white (or at least light-skinned) men, at the expense of the rest of us.
I consume a lot of media that I enjoy, but I also consume a lot of media that I enjoy begrudgingly while it perpetuates rape culture, racial stereotypes, homophobia, and other mindsets I staunchly disagree with. This blog is a way for me to examine that, & to feel better about willfully consuming shitty media by doing so with a critical eye.
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