Hyphen magazine - Asian American arts, culture, and politics


India Craze

A collection named India. Cringe.

I continued reading. Color Nirvana. That doesn't sound so bad.


At first, I just noticed the model before I even noticed the name of the collection. However, upon closer look, this is what I saw on the bottom part of the ad.

indiaopi2.jpg
I had to do a double take. Like a serious double take.

Curry Up Don't Be Late? Yogo-ta Get this Blue?

Oh my inner demons. Who came up with these names?

Has anyone else seen this ad aside from me? This reminded me of the post that Neela had blogged about a while back about a line of cosmetics for South Asian females (and males, I suppose). But for some reason, and please correct me if I am wrong, I don't really think this new collection is meant for the South Asian community.

What should they do? Throw slumber parties and purr to each other, "Darlin', let me try the 'Keys to my Karma' on you. It'll look faaanastic." If the collection were called China, what would the nail polish themselves be called? Mao Mao Red? Dumplings White? Even better, Fortune Cookies Yellow.

This is absurd. Let's wear culture in the form of nail polish. I've never purchased anything from OPI before and will make sure that I never will. In fact, I might just write them because I hope they're not rejoicing in their conference rooms thinking that this was a great idea.

I'm India Mood for Love. Psh. Get outta here.

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momo wrote 6 years 36 weeks ago

re: India Craze

this isn't the first time OPI has released a line of nail polish using some Asian-theme. a few years ago they had a Japanese-themed line. how about Holy Pink Pagoda! if you go to their website you'll see plays on a bunch of different cultures/locales, like Not So Bora-Bora-ing Pink, Yucatan if you Want, etc. etc. i don't know if they thought it was funny or what.

Neela wrote 6 years 36 weeks ago

re: India Craze

Right on, Lisa. I saw an ad for this line -- just the pic of the girl -- without the nail polish last week at my nail salon in a magazine and tore it out so I could scan it in later. Then, at another nail salon in Echo Park, LA, I saw the nail names and my friend and I were like: WTF?!?! I'd really like to find out whose idea this was. Immerse yourself in the color paradise, my ass.

Anonymous wrote 6 years 35 weeks ago

re: India Craze

This is fairly typical. Not the first time, won't be the last. I think they are trying to be creative with nail polish. They got a Russian line too. To me, I think the company is desperate, some close-to-being-fired-if-no-new-product-proposal-in-2 -days designer probably took a trip to India and was like, "Oh man, I got it."

lisalee wrote 6 years 35 weeks ago

re: India Craze

just because it's typical, doesn't make it right. even if they came out with a russian or a french line it's like, a really bad sense of humor. haw haw haw maroon? i don't know. i want to say that their ad isn't eye-catching enough where people are noticing this. but maybe people are and just feel sorry for them for being so desperate?

Brigitte wrote 6 years 28 weeks ago

re: India Craze

There is a Russian line. Some of the names are "Boris & Natasha," "Vodka & Caviar," 'Cosmo-not Tonight Honey" and "Ruble for Your Thoughts"The Australian Collection has names like "Didgeridoo Your Nails?", "Suzi Loves Sydney", and "Don't Melbourne the Toast!"The "India" ads are more arresting, partially because the model is so striking.I don't think the intent is racist but the color names are so corny that it puts a weird spin on the ad when coupled with the photograph.

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About The Author

Lisa Lee

Lisa Lee works in User Operations at Facebook, and has more than five years of nonprofit experience in marketing and communications for multicultural arts and cultural organizations.

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