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Band Baajaa And Imperfect Brides

Band Baajaa And Imperfect Brides

April 05, 2012

An interesting makeover show ‘Band Baajaa Bride’, but what is disturbing about it?

I am yet to forgive my two best friends for what they did to me at my wedding. Now, don’t go getting any ideas. My buddies dragged me to a certain beauty parlour and got me a mini-makeover. I still cringe when I look at my wedding album. I don’t recognise myself, with all that face-paint on ;-)

This is exactly why I feel bad for the brides who participate in the new makeover show ‘Band Baajaa Bride’. I am a complete sucker for makeover shows, and I was excited to catch an episode of this show, where the famous designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee creates a grand outfit for the chosen bride-to-be.

On the face of it, the show seems like an amazing opportunity. Having a stunning dress designed by a top designer, looking like an Indian queen on your wedding day, adorned in all the finery, and getting all this for free ;-)) – a dream come true for any bride.

So what is it that I am cribbing about?

Just this – the show transforms a naturally charming bride into a grand, but stereotyped-model.

The episode I watched featured an extremely pretty bride-to-be, with lovely long tresses and an innocence that radiated. She wanted a ‘lehenga-choli’ that was not ‘red’ in colour. And she wanted to ‘look REAL’ – just the way she was.

What do you think Team Band Baaja did? They took her to a cosmetic surgeon to make her lips look fuller (that by the way, looked perfectly fine to me), chopped off her ‘boring’ tresses to make her look younger (apparently her fiancé also said ‘pretty but not glamorous’), and created a very regal wedding outfit in red.

The bride looked gorgeous. The outfit, the styling, the accessories were all perfect. But somewhere down the line, that pretty girl who had walked into the show wanting to look ‘REAL’ had been lost. She now looked like a perfect TV-serial or Bollywood-type wedding model. So in place of a charming young girl, we had someone who represented the designer dreams of Bollywood. Instead of simple, realistic, and attainable charm, we now had glitz, sparkle and heavy work that is simply not attainable to most of population.

It is this stereotyped concept of ‘perfection’ that immensely bothers me. A show like this makes a bride believe she NEEDS a grand makeover, failing which she would not look ‘good enough’ on her special day

Yes, you can say this is a case of sour grapes. There was no such makeover show when I was a bride ;-)

But on a serious note, isn’t this the problem with us? We seek perfection in everything that is superficial. A lame child, a dark girl, an obese boy – instant ridicule. Every matrimonial advert reads ‘Wanted: Slim, Fair, Good-looking bride for boy’. How about people who do not fit the bill - are they not worthy enough of consideration?

Interestingly, we do not make any attempt in perfection ourselves, in terms of skill, education, vocational training, etc. Like Tys’s post reads, we don’t aim to stand up for anything worthwhile. Instead, we watch makeover shows, dreaming of looking perfect, but not bothering to be perfect in the things that do matter.

Coming back to the show itself, not all is wrong with it. Yes, it does a huge deal of advertising for designer-outfits and designer-jewellery. But despite that, the anchor Team comes across as friendly and enthusiastic.

I loved what Sabyasachi himself said on the show - ‘a beautiful bride does not need Sabyasachi’ – That was incredibly humble and delightfully charming. I loved watching brides weave their dreams.

But I don’t like the fact that there is a huge chance, that it makes people believe they are imperfect ‘just the way they are’. That, is dangerous.

So what do you think?

Photo credit
: NDTV Goodtimes 


  • vibha
    25.04.15 03:14 AM
    Come to Los Angeles for my daughter's wedding next summer! :) love your shoe
  • shama
    20.09.14 03:01 AM
    Hello Muskaan, I remember your BBB vdo, you were so excited throughout the vdo. BBB makes us (brides to be) feel desperately to be in the show (your youtube vdo before BBB shows the same motions) and dressed up in Sabya's creation.. I am sorry to hear you had terrible expe working with them, m sure no bride wud like to have sleepless nights few days before the big day..were there any good side of BBB you would like to share cuz reading your comment made me really worried (I recently registered for BBB season 5)
  • Srividhya
    08.08.14 02:02 PM
    I believe the jewellery and outfit comes for free to the bride. Most of the brides come from affluent family. Why don't they choose the brides from the deserving category of the society, brides to be who have not even gone to parlour once, can't afford such heavy jewellery, not heard of make overs...then they can do more justice to the show....
  • faree
    16.06.14 03:09 PM
    Who pays for Lhenga n makeover????
  • muskan khanna
    muskan khanna
    17.02.14 10:52 AM
    omg! Pallavi, i couldnt agree with you more, I was one of the brides on the show.. and believe me it is rubbish! I was taken to a cosmetic surgeon and injected with unnecessary stuff just for the show. I was given no parlour visits, no manicures or pedicures or anything! I was made to wake up at 6 every morning and work until 1 every night for 3 days non stop a week before my bid day! And then on the wedding morning, i was called in at 1am to get ready for a 10am wedding! had an entire sleepless night, aside from that was made to wear enough make up to dress up the ENTIRE crew of band baaja bride if they needed to dress off my face literally...! If you know anybody who wants to be on this show, pleaseeeee tell them otherwise!
  • nidhi brijwasi
    nidhi brijwasi
    20.11.13 04:13 PM
    I wanna participate in d show. My weddin is is on 18th feb 2014. I cudnt find d registration form. Plz help me wid dis. Thank u.
  • paidi sailaja
    paidi sailaja
    16.11.13 01:56 PM
    i wana participate in show and my wedding is on feb 4th 2014.pls tel how to apply.
  • Hiral
    01.10.13 02:38 PM
    I agree totally with you, I have been watching this show for long time. I liked the entire process initially, but now i watch only the jewellery selection and bridal outfit designed by sabyasachi (they are just beautiful and unique everytime). But, i wonder how much of this show is really true and how much fake. I read terms and conditions for applicants, and was totally not convinced at all. I would rather never apply for such shows for my wedding atleast. Do they charge for all make-over and outfits from bride's family?
  • Rajpriya
    24.06.12 10:25 PM

    As long as the bridegroom remains the same why not go through it all over again? I hope you have not added more wrinkles in the last 15 years. If you did I know some expert make-up ladies who would be happy to make you look 15 years younger for a price.
  • swatee
    24.06.12 07:56 PM
    Although i got married 15 years back but the show creates waves to be bride again in me. I was doing my post graduation and got married in between so could not enjoy the marriage as such.i even not selected single of my saree and jewellery.Eager to be bride again.
  • Writerzblock
    02.05.12 06:47 PM
    @ Mocha: LOL! Nah, not really. Unless he's super-dashing ;-)

    @ Bhavna, @Rajpriya:
    On that happy note (of truce, I hope), please take a look at the following satire:


    Oh, and this video too:

  • Rajpriya
    02.05.12 02:09 AM

    You are free to say what you want. May be the last sentence of my comment should not have been directed personally at you. Sorry about that.

    But I cannot understand the amount of marriages that break up. In every marriage a man found the woman attractive the one important reason why he married in the first place.

    So what in your opinion goes wrong? I have seen pictures comparing a woman with and without make-ups. Some look awful with out a make-up. At what stage does a man really get to glance inside the heart of a woman?

    I hope you won't say all my comments are cheap. Up to now I have had an excellent life. Having a good life for the remaining years won't be problem too.

  • Bhavna
    02.05.12 01:03 AM
    At no time I insinuated my inside is attractive. It's quite misplaced of you to claim that the 'second opinion' might differ from mine (whatever it is), given that I'm a complete stranger to you. Seems like you love your cheap or I'd dare say, free arguments. Get a life :~)
  • Rajpriya
    01.05.12 11:28 AM

    OK! I start with agreeing with you. Why does a woman have to please the man?

    It’s the women who chose to put on make-ups to get the man.

    Of course all men want to associate with pretty and attractive women no doubt. By making her outside appearance attractive, a man is deceived into believing that her inside is attractive too.

    The man is foolish to get attracted to the outside appearance of a woman and soon wakes up to the reality of how unattractive her heart can turn out to be.
    He pays a huge price for the outside with expensive things and finds it was his wealth that she was after.

    So! Be yourself. Be simple and if the man you are with finds out that your inside is prettier and attractive much more than your outside you are doing your man the biggest favor.

    In your own opinion you may think your inside is attractive. When two people are involved there is also a second opinion that might differ from yours.

  • Bhavna
    01.05.12 04:47 AM
    I beg to differ: it is a man's world. Everything a woman mostly does is to please the man, to look pretty, attractive. I mean honestly aren't men the creatures who like to look at physical beauty first before glancing at what's inside her heart? ;)
  • Rajpriya
    01.05.12 02:56 AM
    It's a woman's world.
  • Bhavna
    01.05.12 01:42 AM
    It seems all the stress of looking perfectly gorgeous belongs to the bride only. How come no one judges the bridegrooms?
  • mocha
    30.04.12 06:07 PM
    does anyone even look at the bridegroom?

  • Pallavi
    10.04.12 11:47 PM
    @ Suresh: Thank you. I love the essence of what you said.. packaging over product does seem to hit the nail on the head. And no, I didn't take it literally!!

    @ Vetrimagal: Makeovers often turn into extreme makeovers. Artificial... is the key word here, I suppose! Makeover shows try to portray 'artificial' as 'real'.

    @ Seema: Quite true! A few tips to look nicer are definitely appreciated. But like you said, even I felt 'bechari ko kya bana diya'!!

    @ Ramakant: I truly hope that we are trying to improve ourselves in the things that do matter. However, I think it is a very small percentage of population that focusses on evolving into better people as compared to better-looking people! I would be very glad to be wrong on this count.

    @ Mak: Very well said.. the confidence that we are perfect JUST the way we are, has to come from within. Reality shows are indeed scripted. What I am worried about is the adverse impact on those watching the show!
  • Pallavi
    10.04.12 11:36 PM
    @ Varsh: Ah, I wish we would all start thinking like you.. i.e., comfort over designer-looks! Thank you!

    @ Jayanth: Very well analysed!! Shows like this do try to influence/change lifestyle. As long as we can watch this as pure entertainment, we should be safe. Or is it too late already?!!

    @ Geets: Thank you so much.

    @ Aksharaa: Lol! I would love a designer lehenga too, that too for free ;-) but all the same, I would like to feel re-assured that the 'real' me is good enough with or without designer wear. Extreme makeovers can indeed be tiring!

    @ Vivek: Thank you very much :-) Interestingly, we reserve the 'chalta hai' attitude for things that do matter. Like cleanliness, civic sense, know..boring things like that ;-)

    @ Jyoti: Another very valid point!! I wonder if they would make a show like that focussing on the bridegrooms. And either way, I just wish we could begin to appreciate simplicity and natural charm, instead of 'superficial makeovers'. I would love to see a show where a person (bride or groom) is taught new skills/etc to make them a more accomplished person, rather than a more physically attractive person!
  • mak
    08.04.12 01:32 PM
    The feeling has to come from within ourselves that we are perfect as what ever we are.
    Talking about the show i agree with you. One doesn't need a makeover unless it is necessary.
    But we have to be aware of the fact that reality shows are scripted to some extent.
  • Ramakant
    06.04.12 03:24 AM
    I agree that we tend to give importance to lot of trivial things in life. But wouldn't quite agree that we are not bothered about trying to improve ourselves. We continuously keep evolving into something better each day, in both our personal as well as professional spheres.
  • Seema
    05.04.12 08:36 PM
    Yeah I agree with you .I also watch the show regularly and like it too....but I love the dresses and according to me some changes are fine as the bride but many times they make so many changes that I think....yaar pehle jyada acchi lag rahi thi...bechari ko kya bana diya.
  • Vetrimagal
    05.04.12 08:06 PM
    If all the brides look the same whats the fun.

    Sometimes, I feel, the brides look unrecognizable in all those make overs,it looks very artificial.
  • C. Suresh
    C. Suresh
    05.04.12 06:47 PM
    Good post. I think we now seek perfection, if at all (and I don't mean only Indians)more in the packaging than in the product. That, essentially came through in your post. (used the words metaphorically so please don't assume that I considered brides to be 'products':) )
  • Jyoti
    05.04.12 06:45 PM
    I hate it when Indian parents go out hunting bride for their so-called honhar son. They need the 'perfect' bride and here perfect means a good combination of beauty, brains and of course money. It doesn't matter that the groom is an average looking person with a potted belly and a shit mentality. I don't know why Indians seek perfection only from the females while the males are always the perfect groom even with all their imperfections.
  • Vivek Iyer
    Vivek Iyer
    05.04.12 04:59 PM
    Nicely written!

    Frankly, the moment I read "It is this stereotyped concept of ‘perfection’" I was annoyed, thinking you referred to it generally. But, you built it up well as you brought in the concept of lacking perfection in things that matter. A good literary catch :)

    India is far from perfect in doing stuff, and the "chalta hai" attitude is what keeps us below sea level!
  • Aksharaa
    05.04.12 01:40 PM
    Isn't anything real and simple and innocent anymore?
    Don't please get me wrong. I'd love a Designer lehenga n any number of designer makeovers to happen to me. But to make it a part of just about every little or big thing these days, to make everything over the top and this quest for "perfection"...I find it rather tiring and very sad sometimes....
  • Geets
    05.04.12 11:38 AM
    we seek perfection in everything that is superficial. awesome post....totally agree wid u..
  • Jayanth Tadinada
    Jayanth Tadinada
    05.04.12 11:34 AM
    Since when are Indian weddings *All about the bride and her hair and make up and her dress?*

    I think the cultural context behind the reason shows like these are produced should be considered.

    These media and the advertisers are trying really hard to sell a culture and a lifestyle that is in "synergy" with their existing products so that they can sell the same stuff in these newly opened market also. I guess it is easier than designing new products that are relevant to our people and culture.

    And it is a standard strategy for PR and advertising agencies all around the world to create almost impossible stereotypes and sell products using that.

    Look at how diverse the population of America is and look at how bland and stereotypical their advertising and mainstream narrative stereotypes are?

    I don't think the middle class is really into what is being advertised and sold on TV right now but may be the kids growing up watching this shit will eventually be :)
  • Varsh
    05.04.12 10:17 AM
    Interesting post. All this 'being perfect for the D day' thing is exaggerated beyond limits is what I feel. Who defines perfect here anyway? Wearing an outfit and hair-do that is comfortable for the bride is important or being thoroughly uncomfortable in designer everything?
    This makes the less privileged ones crave for superficial things. Not fair. Be real. Be happy. :)

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