Okay so I’ve been watching sense8 and while there are things about it that are a little ridiculous (so many gunfights and explosions - I love it tho), the absolute BEST thing about it and the reason I decided to watch it in the first place: diverse cast.
- There’s Nomi Marks (a lesbian transwoman - her gf is played by Freema Agyeman),
- Sun Bak (a female Korean CFO and underground fighter ???!!!!!!!)
- Capheus (a Kenyan trying to save his mother who is dying from AIDS)
- Wolfgang Bogdanow (a German thief who faced child abuse)
- Lito Rodriguez (a closeted gay Spanish Mexican actor)
- Riley Blue/Gunnarsdottir (an Icelandic woman + genius female DJ)
- Will Gorski (an American CopTM living under his dad’s shadowTM)
- Kala Dandekar (an Indian woman pharmacist and devout Hindu)
but I wanna talk about Kala and Kala’s hair for a second longer. She is played by an Indian actress who is half Gujarati and half Telugu (Tina Desai/Tena Desae). She looks like this:
I have never seen an Indian woman with thick curly hair on a screen. Not one who’s meant to be beautiful and lovable. Not one who gets a romantic storyline. Even the actresses who do have naturally curly hair generally just straighten it always. Look at her hair and the frizz and the curls and !!!!!!!!
I grew up hating my hair. I absolutely abhorred it. I considered chemically straightening it more than once and only didn’t do it because keratin therapy is crazy expensive. The last time I cut my hair, the hairdresser went on and on about how beautiful my hair was and how much other women pay for hair like mine in weaves and wigs. And then she spent the next twenty minutes desperately trying to convince me to keratin straighten it. It’s only desirable when it’s straight, no frizz, tamed down. I still flatiron mine every time I have an event at which I want to look and feel beautiful.
But look at Kala! Capheus, Wolfgang, and Rajan all find her beautiful, and she doesn’t even straighten her hair for her wedding or engagement ceremonies! She’s STILL BEAUTIFUL. And look at her skin!!! MY SKIN IS THAT COLOR!!!! She’s not the palest possible Indian woman! She isn’t super dark either, but she looks South Indian, like me. And her strength of faith!!!! It’s questioned but never laughed at. Lord Ganesha is presented so respectfully and Hinduism isn’t made fun of or exoticised like I find in Western media so often!!!! Kala saves Wolfgang using her brains and building a literal bomb/molotov cocktail!!!!!!!!
I don’t think I ever realized just how much happiness it would bring me to find someone who looked like me on a screen, and who is called beautiful and wanted and isn’t fetishized at all. (I mean I’m way shorter and a bit squatter lmao bc I’m not an actual model like Tina but stilllll).