Item Girls and Cheerleaders!

The buzzword nowadays is marketing, in all forms of products and services. For marketability you need loads of glamor quotients that generate the required publicity or the desired hype. And as always, glamor is closely associated with beautiful women.

Creativity in marketing amounts to an uncanny ability of the advertisers to link everything under the sun to beautiful women or hot girls. East or west, this women-centric perception of glamorization is growing. There has to be a distinct success quotient associated with this process, else the progression would not go on.

Indian cinema in the Hindi language, popularly known as Bollywood covering mostly mainstream movies, has been the glamor storehouse with its heroes, heroines, vamps, villains and elaborately choreographed song and dance sequences. For obvious glamor reasons Bollywood had been increasing its links with the fashion industry too in recent times. Models are game always for both heroines and vamps in movies and they are the quickest to get established in the film world.

The Bollywood producers and directors want to generate maximum publicity and hype particularly before big movie releases. So, they have often adopted the concept ‘item numbers’ which means a technocratic and madly orchestrated dance sequence. This particular sequence has no relevance to or bearing on the main plot, the only motive being more effective marketing. The lead dancers in the ‘item numbers’ is called ‘item girls’.

Item numbers have created a distinct profession of item girls who may or may not ultimately become leading ladies. But doused in glamor they are hugely successful in terms of money, career and exposure. Basically an item girl, Rakhi Sawant has become a raging sensation in India thanks to her reality shows on television one of which even featured Rakhi as a prospective bride and married her off before the whole nation.

With millions of cricket lovers around Indian Cricket is marketed most aggressively by the richest cricket board of the world, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and it was just a matter of time before Cricket and Movies sized each other up. A mutually inclusive relationship started between them and that led to mega movie stars watching live cricket matches getting a lot of attention from the glamor hunting media while movies started having stories plotted on cricket. For glamor marketing enough was never enough though.

Like the normally three-hour Bollywood movies, the BCCI invented the Indian Premiere League (IPL) in the shortest T20 format of cricket where matches get completed in exactly three hours. Such cricket movies have to be showered with glamor. So, the BCCI introduced cheerleaders in IPL matches. Cheerleaders are basically athletic and attractive girls who cheer on every major happening in a cricket match by dancing and gesticulating ferociously. Essentially the cheerleaders substituted for the item girls of movies. Aroused by the holy mix and an ‘understanding’ cricket board top entertainment TV channels in India started bidding for major cricket tournaments including the World Cup with the express aim of staging attractive female anchor-commentators, star guests and various glamor-mongering on-field activities.

In the next stage of glamor marketing we could definitely hope to see a mutual mega-mix of models, item girls and cheerleaders. Cheers!