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Make-up 07 Nov 2014

Female make-up artists express gratitude over SC order to lift six-decade ban

Celebrating on the verdict of Apex Court, the female make-up artists in India are expressing happiness and gratitude over lifting of nearly six-decade ban.

Breaking the shackles of six-decade ban and critically defining it as ‘constitutionally impermissible discrimination’, the Supreme Court of India has slammed the law that banned women make-up artists from working in the film industry.


According to the report of a leading daily, the Indian Express, a two-judge panel including justice Dipak Misra and V Gopala Gowda said, “How can we allow such a practice to go on? How can an organisation ignore a particular gender or class of people when this is not permissible under the Constitution?”


The judge panel was hearing a petition of nine female make-up artists, who were rebuffed by the official body representing make-up artists in Bollywood, the Cine Costume Make-up Artists and Hair Dressers Association (CCMAA) that explained the rule was made to ensure men aren't denied work.


Rubbishing the rule, the panel wrote, "We are in 2014, not in 1935. Such things cannot continue even for a day."


Praising the Court’s decision, Celebrity Hair and Makeup Expert Puja Taluja said, “I am glad with the Apex Court’s verdict, better late than never. Earlier, making a niche in the film industry was tough due to this ban. I did a lot of struggle in making career in Bollywood. We used to assist a veteran to enter in Bollywood, who used to follow traditional techniques of make-up and not letting us to experiment with new trends and techniques. Showing our creativity was not allowed and any kind of monopoly is not good. This verdict has opened doors of opportunities for young female talent.”


Similarly, renowned Bridal Make-Up Expert Shruti Bajpai shared, “I believe discrimination in any form is not acceptable. If a woman wants to pursue make-up as her career, it’s her sole right to show her skills in any industry, whether fashion, films, TV or in print. When there are various Gender Discrimination Laws exist in Indian Constitutions which give equal rights to every citizen of the country, then how could this issue survive for nearly six decades?  Not allowing female artists to work in film industry, has not only kept females away from opportunities they deserve, it also enabled great talent to grow across the country.”


As per market experts, the Indian film Industry worth $2-billion (Rs 123,075,350,160) is the largest in world on the ground of ticket sales. It produces about 300 to 325 movies in a year, which is not official figure. Lacking a space in such a huge market was a big hindrance for woman make-up artists. 


Backing the court’s decision, Samaanta Dwivedi, founder of Zuri, a beauty and make-up tutorials portal and freelance make-up artist said, “This judgment is about equal opportunity for everyone. It is high time that some action was taken by the Apex Court to removing prejudices. We believe that everyone should be treated similarly and fairly whether male or female, majority or minority. Every talented person must be given equal chance to prove themselves. It is difficult to understand how this biasness was lingering in the Industry for 59 years. However, we are glad that it’s over finally.”


Joining the voice of other, Devyani RS Bajpai, Hair & Make-up artist, Yamini Unisex Salon, Indore said, “Actually, the real issue is the existence of gender biasness till date and I am not in a position to cover up my thoughts by sensibly molding my words. Now, I am just wondering that how will the creators of this derogatory law Make Up for it when they face the real questions , funny as all this may seem, it somewhere sounds Made Up when we talk about being a progressive nation and gender equality. Yes or no, it’s time we found out from the creators of this glamorous mess.”


The issue was raised by a make-up artist Charu Khurana, said to be the chief petitioner of the issue along with other eight qualified female artists, against CCMAA for rejecting their application to issue make-up artist identification cards in 2009 only because they were women.


Khurana, who acquired a degree from the Cinema Makeup School, California, was not aware of the ban and was forced to quit film industry. She had to pay a certain amount of fine for working in a movie, due to which, she decided to get the archaic rule scrapped and filed a petition in Supreme Court, says an Indian Express report.


Her five-year-long battle was finally heard by the Apex Court, assuring that if the CCMAA didn’t come back with a ‘positive response’ by the next hearing which is on November 10, an order would be passed for the clause to be deleted.


While women are working efficiently in areas like technical, cinematography, acting and hairdressing, not allowing females to work as make-up artist was a biased decision, which came to an end after years of struggle. This decision will not only bring opportunities but will also contribute in the growth of beauty industry.

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