“God has given me a great body and I will show it off. If you don’t want to see it, don’t.”
Those timeless words, uttered very recently by the woman of the moment, Indian actress Mallika Sherawat, have such resonance.
There is a time honoured tradition of showing off going back centuries. Some built massive buildings in their names; others had their faces carved in rocks. The Mughals assembled harems so big there was potential for a porn industry larger than Hollywood’s.
Having been traditionally denied the trappings of power, women were left only with themselves, which they use to this very day. To the delight of monkeys like this one of course.
So it is with great sadness therefore that the Media Bandar receives public reaction to show-offs like presenter Sofia Hayat, Sahara the porn star, Big Brother’s Narinder and even kiss-and-tell queen Faria Alam.
This is what usually happens: Asian girl appears on TV or in print with a ‘questionable’ claim to fame. The moral police start their crusade. Death threats are issued though they don’t usually get as public as the Fatwa on writer bad-boy Salman Rushdie.
But they should be applauded. May they and countless others who follow them live long. You think the monkey is joking? Think again buster!
The problem is that we Asians are too scared of our own bodies. Terrified. We can’t bear to appreciate our own bodies, let alone anyone who is an exhibitionist. The glory days of the Kama Sutra are long forgotten.
They say it’s not right to show off your body like that, but showing off is a long-admired trait. Except we do that with money instead of bodies. Pimping your new BMW? You might as well go topless.
You know when a brother is watching a rap video he is trying to save the mental images of the hip-hop-honeys for later usage. But an Asian girl shows some skin and the boy starts competing with the pope for being pious.
Anyway, the girls do better than anyone else to destroy stereotypes. Think of all Asian women as oppressed? Think we don’t like sex? Now you know we do.
Sometimes people throw the religion card down like it’s a royal flush in a game of poker. ‘Hah! What you gonna say now sucker, my religion says it’s wrong so this girl is clearly a re-incarnation of the devil’.
Except, something doesn’t quite match up. The Taliban were the biggest ‘batty-riders’ this side of Alcatraz; the Indian Hindu right are notorious for their part in riots and breaking shops during Valentines; the Saudis still refuse to give women the right to vote; American Christian Evangelicals want creationism to be an ‘alternative’ theory to evolution and believe everyone else is going to hell.
Looking at it that way, these girls above are practically angels. They don’t kill, they don’t harass. They don’t bitch about others. Ok, maybe not the last one.
During America’s war on Afghanistan post 9/11 there was an ingenious idea by someone to destroy the Taliban by dropping millions of copies of porn magazines on the country. Think of how many lives would have been saved.
The moral of the story is: sometimes sex is the answer, not the problem.