SC brings the blush back on the cheeks of Female Make-up artists in Bollywood

A female make-up artist
A female make-up artist

The blush is where it should be. Female make-up artists are delighted over the Supreme Court putting an end to a 59-year old practice in Bollywood.  The law seemingly illogical restrictions which touted discrimination among the male and female artists looking for earning their bread and butter in Bollywood.

The apex court had laid down rules such that the females could not be make-up artists and males could not be hair stylists, second the same person cannot take up two profession which mean a single professional could not do both hai and make-up. Such gender based discrimination toys with our fundamental constitutional values. These laws are both chauvinist and archaic.

Holding that harassment of women in the 21st century is both “inconceivable and impermissible”, the apex court axed the provision by finally putting an end to the restriction on women make-up artists and hair dressers in the film industry.

The court also held a high a rule that stated that if  a make-up artist or hair dresser wishes to be registered make-up artist in Bollywood and become a member of the union, he or she should have a five year domicile of Maharashtra. This rule was apparently bent for convenience by the union so that they could harass and demand bribes from the professionals who wished to make a career here.

Female make-up artist Charu Khurana with A junior
Female make-up artist Charu Khurana with A junior

It said that there is no “rationality’ in such kind of discrimination and directed the Cine Costume and Make-up Artist Association (CCMAA), Mumbai to delete the provisions within 10 days.

The court passed the order on a PIL filed by one Charu Khurana  and other women make-up artists who alleged that female artists are not allowed to be a member of the association and one cannot obviously cannot work in the industry without being registered with the association. She expressed her discontentment by saying, “Only a member of these associations is allowed to work as a make-up artist in the production unit in the cine industry. These federations and affiliated unions ensure that no non-member works in the production unit”.

Khurana qualified from the Cinema Make-up School, California, but her application for membership was rejected by the CCMAA in 2009 because she is a woman. The SC has now allowed women to become make-up artists but when will it allow men to do hair, is a question that needs to be answered soon.

Bollywood actress and fashionista Sonam Kapoor too was very eloquent about her discontentment. “It’s a scary chauvinistic way of looking at things and that too, from the dinosaur ages. As per the labour law, you can’t do two jobs. So you can’t be a makeup artist

Fashionista Sonam Kapoor
Fashionista Sonam Kapoor

along with being a hair stylist. That’s like saying that if I am an actor, I can’t be producer or a director. Isn’t that weird? It doesn’t matter to me whether my stylist Namrata Soni is a woman or a man. What is important is that she is the best professional for my face. The rule is equally unfair for men at the moment, who are not allowed to do hair. That too, needs to change.”

We hope things change for better again and the artists truly acquire creative liberty. Kudos to Charu Kurana for picking it up and sailing through right till the end and helping other female Make-up artists in Bollywood.

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