Mannequin: Working Women in Indias Glamour Industry

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“This book does an impossible thing — bridge the gap between fashion and feminism. Manjima Bhattacharjya offers us a sweeping history of India’s beauty industry, but more precious are the stories she brings from behind the catwalk — stories from small towns, stories of osmosis, desire, and ultimately, empowerment.” —Tishani Doshi, poet and writer “Mannequin attempts to decode the link between fashion and feminism and emerges as an important voice in the struggle toward empowerment through its intensive research and empathy.” —Nonita Kalra, editor, Harper’s Bazaar India —Nonita Kalra, editor, Harper’s Bazaar India “An extraordinary and unputdownable deep dive into the fascinating world of Indian fashion.” —Sonia Faleiro, author of The Girl and Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay’s Dance Bars With a domestic market of around 70 billion dollars, the Indian fashion industry employs over 60 million people and accounts for a sizeable chunk of the country’s GDP. Despite this, models—the most visible yet voiceless actors of the industry—are rarely given the recognition they deserve. It is this overlooked demographic that forms the focus of Manjima Bhattacharjya’s remarkable study, bringing these women’s voices and perspectives to us. Tracing the rise of the modelling and beauty industry from the 1960s to the present day, Bhattacharjya argues that modelling is work, and should be recognized as such. At the heart of the book lies a difficult question: should the industry be seen as objectifying women or as acknowledging their agency? Mannequin is also an individual’s personal exploration of the changing relationship between fashion and feminism.

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Manjima Bhattacharjya






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