The glamour world has always been dominated by women, even then this world hasn’t exactly been free from biases of its own, especially if we consider the Indian film Industry. Yet these women didn’t let these barriers come in their way and worked to the top.
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This beauty from Jamshedpur earned herself global recognition at the age of 18 when she was crowned Miss World. Starting her career with the Tamil film, ‘Thamizan,’ Priyanka soon entered Bollywood with ‘The Hero’ in 2003 in which she played the second lead. After her first commercial success ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’ in 2004, PC has only gone uphill. With critically acclaimed performances and box office superhits like Aitraaz, Don, Fashion, Dostana, and Barfi, Priyanka took her success to the next level with her International singing debut. This album although didn’t earn her as much appreciation as PC might’ve liked, but did boast successful tracks like ‘In My City’ and ‘Exotic’. In 2015, Priyanka made a mark on Hollywood with ‘Quantico’ in which she played the lead role of Alex Parrish, an FBI agent. Since then she has made appearances on many acclaimed Talk shows, most notably, The Ellen Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. She has also hosted, been nominated for, and won many International awards, prime among which was her 2016 Oscars stint. PC now awaits the release of her first Hollywood movie as this ethnic beauty takes over the industry.
An Indian-American filmmaker Mira Nair, brings economic, social and cultural spheres of Indian society to the International audience through her work. She started out as an actor during her days at Harvard University. She made her first mark in filmmaking with ‘So Far From India,’ a documentary about the life of an Indian newspaper dealer in the subways of New York while his pregnant wife waited for him to return home, that earned Nair awards for Best Documentary at the American Film Festival and New York’s Global Film Festival. Her first film-making venture was ‘Salaam Bombay,’ which although didn’t do very well at the box office, won 23 international awards including Camera d’Or and Prix du Publique at the Cannes Film Festival in 1988. After her first critically acclaimed venture, Mira went on to make more thought-provoking movies about her homeland and her fellow countrymen, which included Mississippi Masala, and Monsoon Wedding, which became her most notable and highest grossing film. She directed the Golden Globe-winning ‘Hysterical Blindness,’ produced the movie adaptation of Vanity Fair, and was even offered to direct Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, which she turned down for ‘The Namesake,’ based on Jhumpa Lahiri’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. Mira Nair is also the recipient of Padma Bhushan award by the Government of India.
This internationally acclaimed fashion designer from Punjab became the first Indian to present a Couture show in Paris in 1998 where she successfully launched her first luxe collection. A graduate in the Art of Fashion from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi she launched her label in India in December 1990. She has a wide base of clientele amongst the India elite which includes popular names like Madhuri Dixit, Sushmita Sen, Rekha, Hema Malini, Hon’ble Minister Sushma Swaraj, Parmeshwar Godrej, Shobha De, and many more, along with notable international clients that include Former US President Bill Clinton, Prince Charles of Wales, Nicole Kidman, Jerry Hall, Andie MacDowell to name a few. Ritu Beri is a popular brand name not only in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore, but the USA, London, and Paris as well. Her name has been associated with many international social causes and charities some of which are her fundraisers for the Indian Red Cross society, AIDS by Richard Gere, Savera, People for Animals, and Blessed Hearts Foundation which is her own charity aimed to improve and uplift the condition of the less fortunate Indian children as well as to create awareness about autism. In 2010, the French Government honored Ritu Beri with one of the highest civilian awards, Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters).
With India celebrating the phenomenal successes of Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, we often forget this girl from Mumbai who gained international acclaim with her debut British movie which was a blockbuster at the Oscars. Although Pinto couldn’t get a nomination for herself at the Oscars, she won the Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Spring International Film Festival, the Screen Actors’ Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a cast in a Motion Picture, and a nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting role at the BAFTAs. Since 2008, Freida acted in several American and British movies which include ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ her biggest Box Office success. Her prowess isn’t limited to the field of acting as she has emerged as a major fashion icon in Hollywood with her regular red carpet appearances at nearly every film premier and award ceremony of note. Pinto has featured on People Magazine’s ‘World’s Most Beautiful People’ and ‘World’s Best Dressed Women’ lists in 2009. In 2011, Los Angeles Times Magazine included her on its ‘50 Most Beautiful Women in Film’ list, where she was the only Indian celebrity. Freida Pinto strives towards excellence every year and has been surprising the audience with all her performances.
This quintessential global citizen with Indian roots has been dominating the TV Industry of the west for a long time now, with her Star Trek debut in 2016 being the biggest mark. She landed her first role on TV with ‘The Border’ in 2008, a Canadian drama for CBC that got her a Golden Nymph Award at the Montecarlo Television Festival that same year. This win earned her recognition in Hollywood as well, where she was cast as Kayla Hassan in the hit FOX series ‘24’. Portraying, the role of President Omar Hassan’s (Anil Kapoor) daughter, she was a scene stealer. From ‘24’ onwards she booked roles in major television series like CBS’s ‘Rules of Engagement’, FOX’s ‘Lone Star’ and ABC’s ‘Last Resort’. She won the award for Best Supporting actress at World Fest Houston for her movie ‘Séance: The Summoning’ in 2012. In May 2013, was released the most highly anticipated movie of the year, ‘Star Trek: Into The Darkness’ in which Contractor played Rima Harewood, a devoted wife, and mother facing extreme challenges. Despite having worked in Hollywood all her life, Nazneen is interested in making a career in the Industry of her place of birth.
This host of the reality television program ‘Top Chef’ is an author, model, and executive producer, who earned herself a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Host of a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. At the age of 18, she started her career as a model in Spain and went on to be one of the first Indians to boast a career in Paris, Milan, and New York. She modeled for top designers such as Emanuel Ungaro, Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Ralph Lauren, and Alberta Ferretti and has even featured on the covers of Redbook, Vogue India, FHM, Cosmopolitan, and Harper’s Bazaar, to name a few. She has also acted in many Hollywood movies prime among which was the role of Geeta in ‘The Mistress of Spice’. Padma Lakshmi is also a philanthropist and co-founder of The Endometriosis Foundation of America, a non-profit organization aimed at increasing awareness, education, research, and legislative advocacy against the disease. She is also the global ambassador for ‘Keep a Child Alive’ and a strong advocate for women’s rights.
Despite the resistance that women often face from the society which we live in, these names and much more are thriving in the Glamour World and proving to those with small minds that bring on the screen and in front of the camera speaks clothing of a woman’s character. Through the power of the media, they are not only changing the minds of the masses but inspiring many to never give up on their dreams.