• Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Freedom in the air

LIVING WITH THE STARS

From Facebook to Item Girl

Rafi Hossain
Photo: Abu Naser
Photo: Abu Naser

Even a few years ago, and as the name suggests, social media was meant only for people to connect to one another. But now it has evolved as so much more – from people promoting themselves and even the largest companies branding their products on Facebook, social media is the new place to conquer the minds of people. A few weeks ago, when I was visiting a friend of mine, who happens to be the CEO of a leading advertising firm, I was in for quite the surprise. He showed me the profile of Naila Nayem, the girl who uploads glitzy and sensual photos of herself on Facebook. Before this day, I had never heard of Naila, but based on what I saw on Facebook, she already had a fan following of close to one lac! People were 'liking' and 'sharing' her photos like anything. I also learnt that she is a dentist by profession, and also a model of Bangladesh. On her Facebook profile, she is followed by 52,355 people, and her Facebook fan page (which she operates herself) has 91,749 likes (facebook.com/artist.nailanayem)! It's not usual for a Bangladeshi model to use social media so well in promoting herself, that too, with very liberal photos of herself, so, needless to say, I was intrigued. I became a Facebook fan of hers as well, and every day, I would see new photos of her. Shots from films, modeling photos, even timely photos sporting custom made football fan wear that would make any man look twice (if not thrice!). I ran a small test in my own circles to test how popular Naila really is. Being a journalist in the leading daily newspaper of the country is a privileged position, one that gives me access to a wide group of diverse individuals of Bangladesh. I asked people in my circles about Naila Nayem, and whether they had seen her Facebook photos, 9 out of 10 times, the answer was yes! I must say that Naila has used social media really well, and that she is a Facebook star! I welcome her confidence and defiant boldness. Now, Naila is cast in mainstream films of Bangladesh, in most cases as the film's item girl. In a time of movies long forgotten, item girls were known as 'vamps'. These roles were mostly girlfriends of the villains in movies, and they would always do evil roles. In modern cinema, 'vamps' became 'item girls'. In today's movies, the position of item girls are not solely restricted for women who are merely sexy and are there to titillate the audience with stimulating dance moves, rather these positions are being sought after the top most actresses of the media. The best of female lead actors are appearing in movies only as item girls. And who knows, before you know it, maybe those who are only item girls now could become big stars and be cast in lead roles. Maybe the day isn't far when we will see Naila, who entered films as an item girl, acting in movies as the main female actor. Such is the dynamic world of film making; you never know how fast things change.

 

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, July 19, 2014

Last modified: 12:52 pm Thursday, July 17, 2014

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