Sexuality and substance abuse portrayals in item songs in Bollywood movies
Journalism and Mass Communications
South Asian Popular Culture
The current research examined a specific genre of songs in Bollywood films called ‘item songs’ which are known for showing prominent Bollywood actresses surrounded by groups of men performing provocative and sexual dances. Specifically, 125 items songs released between 1991–2014 were examined using quantitative content analysis for the portrayals of sexuality, and substance. The findings indicate that most such portrayals depict thin, young, scantily clad women, performing sexualized dances for male spectators. Furthermore, most portrayals featured illicit substances such as alcohol and tobacco. Given the rising number of cases of violence against women in the Indian society and an uptake in substance abuse and related health conditions, it is pertinent to examine the role media portrayals may be playing in influencing the related attitudes and behaviours. The implications of the study are discussed.
Bollywood, Hindi movies, substance abuse, gender, sexuality, India, item songs, stereotypes
Parul Jain, Enakshi Roy, Nisha Garud-Patkar, and Imran Mazid. "Sexuality and substance abuse portrayals in item songs in Bollywood movies" South Asian Popular Culture (2019): 15-29. https://doi.org/10.1080/14746689.2019.1585605