The future of Bollywood is female. Is this a silver lining? Or does it put the spotlight on a much, much larger (and rather disturbing) crisis? A huge reason why the majority chunk of the debutante class is female is because the film industry, which is stuck knee-deep in patriarchal ideals, associates their brand value with youth and sex appeal. Men are exempt from this phenomenon (well because patriarchy duh), and older women are promptly cast out. 9 of the 10 new actors are being set up to be objectified and will be paired opposite men almost twice their age. Ew. Anyway, this eerie, grotesque thought aside, can we talk about another giant elephant in the room.

Why is the next gen of Bollywood basically clones of one another?

For starters, all of them sport the same wannabe Mailbu accent that can often be found cruising the halls of Dhirubhai Ambani International School. Oh wait, that is where they went to high school. 

All of them are somehow related? Actor X is Actor Y’s papa-ke-phoopha-ke-chacha-ke-nephew-ke-stepmother-ke-second husband-ke-ex girlfriend-ka-ladka. Bollywood and Congress party share the same philosophy: keep it in the family. It works for neither. 

Most of these girls have the same body. If somehow they’re an exception (ahem, Alia Bhatt during her debut, ahem) they have to sell their soul to the gym to achieve what the male gaze considers a hot body. I’m not saying these women aren’t exceptionally gorgeous, but is it a clause in some authoritarian Bollywood rulebook that no female actor can exceed a size 2? 

They’re all mascots of South Bombay. They look, live and breathe nothing like 99% of the country’s population. They have no idea what life is like out there for the rest of us, and that translates in films. I mean can we forget what a royal disaster Ananya Panday and Ishan Khatter starer Khaali Peeli was? Neither of them could shed their posh accents and opulent body language. Is representation in Bollywood only limited to South Bombay?

Now obviously, I don’t mean every new actor. Chum Darang and Andrea Kevichüsa also made their debuts this season. But are we willing to take a bet on which of these girls will receive superstar status? Hint: It’s not going to be the one who looks different.