"the young fashionista across the globe"
The world leading brand in beauty products L’Oreal has been reported to have replaced Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with Freida Pinto as their new face of Indian beauty. The exclusion of Aishwarya in the New Year campaigns indicates that she has come to the end of an era of her being known as one of India’s most recognised female faces.
With recent films not bringing Rai paramount success and reports of her putting on weight are contributing factors to her popularity not being what it once was both in India and abroad. A major story that caused a stir was her appearance on the front cover of the Indian edition of the fashion magazine, Elle. It was claimed that her photos in the magazine had been altered to make her skin colour look more whiter than it is in reality.
Aishwarya has been the target of many Indian newspapers since this revelation and many comment that due to the changes in her weight, her overall look and the lack of success as an actress; she is no longer seen as the representative of Indian beauty or the successful star she once was.
On the other hand, Freida Pinto, the model turned actress has climbed to international success very rapidly, thanks to her role in Danny Boyle’s Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Her face is being seen more and more in beauty adverts and is seen as the ‘new face’ of the modern Indian woman. Her endorsement by L’Oreal catapults her to pole position when it comes to the international advertising campaigns for the cosmetic giant. Especially, since she is replacing the hugely established Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
It’s reported that Freida’s multi-million dollar contract is said to be worth double of what Aishwarya got paid for her L’oreal campaigns.
Plus a performance bonus related to any new under-25s sales. When Pinto joined the L’Oreal brand, she said: “I am very moved to be joining the great L’Oreal Paris family and all these personalities: a family I am now proud to be a part of.”
A prominent commercial, featuring Freida Pinto appears on the L’Oreal Paris’ French site and other international sites. The advert is for L’Oreal’s Elvive Nutri-Gloss shampoo:
Freida is a spokesmodel for the brand’s and is delivering campaigns in English and other languages. And Freida gets as much screen space as a solo in the adverts as the other Hollywood stars, indicating that the commitment to Pinto is definitely at a major mainstream level.
A description for Freida Pinto on the L’Oreal website says: “Freida Pinto, India’s very own million dollar baby has gone from strength to strength, be it upcoming international films or building her reputation as the young fashionista across the globe. She is India’s favourite cover girl and a favourite amongst the media and aspiring actors. Her name has been firmly engraved in the minds of all.”
L’Oreals international ambassadors include Beyoncé Knowles, Claudia Schiffer, Milla Jovovich, Patrick Dempsey, Rachel Weisz, Laeticia Casta, Evangeline Lilly, Cheryl Cole, Jane Fonda, Diane Kruger and Gerard Butler. All of them feature in the new 2011 campaign including Freida Pinto but Aishwarya is yet to be seen if at all.
Aishwarya was signed by the company in 2005 as one of its global models, and apparently, to help ease the blow, she was offered Jane Fonda’s senior citizens’ contract for skin lifting creams and anti-grey hair dye kits, which she rejected.
A media anaylst said: “You can’t deny the fact that at 37, Aishwarya is no longer as young as she used to be. For westerners, she isn’t probably as much a draw as she was about five years ago. Now, Freida has caught their imagination, Right now, Freida is clearly the exotic flavour of the season in the West.”
Bollywood commentator Poonam Saxena said it the perception in India that Aishwarya’s reign is now over has grown over the last few years. “It marks the waning of her star. She’s had some films which have not been successful, she’s not looking herself, she has put on a bit of weight, she’s married, 37, and it appears she has had her time. That’s the perception,” she said.
So, it looks like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is no longer the queen of Bollywood or the face of beauty products and it looks like a case of out with the old and in with the new; the new vibrant and sleek, Freida Pinto.