Strip to fame

Oct 01, 2011, 06:57 IST | Waleed Hussain

Calling the b(l)uff on the latest shortcut to hitting the headlines

Calling the b(l)uff on the latest shortcut to hitting the headlines 

With the advent of social networking, podcasting and instant messaging comes instant fame as well. A host of personalities have become overnight celebrities in a matter of few tweets. One daring sentence, promising to bare all, is more than enough to set the ball rolling. It doesn't matter if the cause is just, honourable, or ignoble, it promises to make the person a celebrity overnight. It is a phenomenon that is rapidly becoming quite a trend in India too.

Just the bare necessities: Model Poonam Pandey has launched a
website where she claims to invite her fans into her virtual home on
real time

Affairs to remember
Not long ago, celebrities, models and aspiring actors would pay heavy sums to Public Relations (PR) agents to circulate stories of their alleged affairs in the media and hook-ups with popular stars. In the bargain, the person in question would be associated with the popular star and find a base with the star's fans. That was quite a popular trend in the '80s and the '90s. But with the new millennium, all that has changed drastically.

Yuvi's offer: Actor Yuvraj Parashar was one of the several who offered
to strip for Anna Hazare's cause

One tweet only
In the post-Twitter era, a few tweets or rather, one tweet is all it takes for a person to become an overnight household name. The best example of overnight fame on Twitter is model turned actor, Poonam Pandey. The Mumbai-based model became an overnight sensation when she tweeted that she was willing to strip and run a lap around the Wankhede stadium, if Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his Men in Blue won the World Cup. 

All skin, no show: Salina Wali Khan who had promised to dance in the
buff if the government failed to pass the Lokpal Bill. We do not know if
Anna Hazare would have approved

That was on April 2, 2011, and as history stands witness, Poonam became a household name in a matter of days. She landed a role in an action-based reality series, was offered over Rs 2 crore for a strip in another reality show. And now has over a dozen Bollywood films in her kitty. Top Bollywood producers want to cash in on this newfound fame and cast her against popular A-listers. She even managed to buy a Mercedes for her dad. And all that was made possible with one tweet, with fame and fortune following suit.

In fact, during the India-England series where Team India took a beating in all forms of the game, the Test series, the ODIs and the T20 match, Poonam was busy 'inspiring' Team India with frequent tweets and pictures of herself. In fact, she managed to woo and add over 50,000 followers on Twitter during the India-England ODI series alone.

For Anna's Sake
Inspired by Poonam's success, another Delhi-based model and actor, Salina Wali Khan went a step further and decided to express her solidarity with Anna Hazare's campaign in New Delhi's Jantar Mantar. Salina promised to dance in the buff if the government failed to pass the Lokpal Bill. She claimed that her motive was to fight against corruption and not to seek cheap publicity.

Prior to the 'promise' of her dance performance, Salina was known as a model in New Delhi, but after her offer to perform for Anna's cause, her name was flashed on TV channels across the country. Over a billion viewers now knew who Salina Wali Khan was and what she was up to.  Another actor, Yuvraj Parashar, who starred in the 2010 film Dunno Y. Naa jaane Kyon, offered to strip for the social activist's cause in New Delhi.

According to Yuvraj, Anna is "like God to him" and he was willing to bare it all for the cause. Not to be left behind, a Marathi actor, Yogita Dandekar, jumped on the bandwagon of the strip show. In her 'novel' way of protesting Yogita stripped naked, had the tiranga painted across her chest and circulated the pictures to media houses across the country. Just to add a touch of Anna, Yogita sported the white topi to pledge her support to the Lokpal Bill.

Chak De Top
Soon after India beat Pakistan in the Asian Champions Trophy in China, the skipper Rajpal Singh revealed that the team often did not have quality shoes to wear for international matches. He was particularly peeved at the dismal prize money that was announced soon after the Asian Champions Trophy triumph.

A Mumbai-based DJ, Jenny D was extremely touched by the sad condition of the Indian hockey team. In fact, just a day after the skipper's comments, Jenny clicked a series of nude pictures and decided to auction them off. The proceeds of the sales would be donated to the Indian hockey team, is what the DJ claimed.

Who started it all?

Bobbi Eden
While Indian models, actors and DJs are all busy staking claim to who started the strip show, the real star of the shock-and-become-famous brigade is Dutch porn star Bobbi Eden. Bobbi became a household name across the world, when she tweeted that she would offer oral sex to all her followers on Twitter if The Netherlands managed to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Prior to that June 28 tweet, Bobbi had roughly a thousand followers on Twitter. However, post the tweet, her followers climbed to 90,000! She was flooded with TV interviews, work assignments and even magazine covers. The Netherlands did not win the World Cup, but Bobbi became more famous than the Dutch team put together!

Larissa Riquelme
Moments before the quarter-final, between Paraguay and Spain in the FIFA World Cup 2010, lingerie model Larissa Riquelme gave her team an incentive to win the World Cup. Larissa promised to run a naked lap down the streets of Paraguay if her team won the coveted trophy. The South American nation was stunned when Spain knocked Paraguay out of the tournament. However, Larissa lived up to her promise even though her team had lost. She upped the ante once again during the Copa America. This time, however, Paraguay reached the final of the Copa America. Over a million football fanatics were glued to their TV screens hoping for a Paraguay win. But as fate would have it Uruguay stole the thunder from Paraguay and Larissa in the final moments. Would it surprise you that over 340,000 people follow Larissa on Twitter!

Diego Maradona
If you thought that only busty models and actresses vowed to strip naked to inspire their teams, think again. Argentina's national football coach Diego Maradona had promised to run naked in the streets of Buenos Aires, if Argentina won the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The legendary footballer had been a player when Argentina won the World Cup in 1986. He came very close to repeating the feat in 1990 but had to settle for second best. However, as the coach of the national side, his emotions got the better of him and he made a promise to streak. Argentina though lost and the controversial Maradona had to keep his clothes on.

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