Bollywood celebrity `wars` go international

Last Updated: Jan 11, 2011, 12:42 PM IST

Nevada: Bollywood celebrity media wars seem to have gone international and viral.

British, Hollywood, Indian and other media reported that Bollywood diva Aishwarya Rai (Jodhaa Akbar) has been replaced by younger Bollywood star Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) as the face of cosmetics firm L``Oréal, and now a company statement is circulating around that it was not true.

Both Aishwarya, 37, and Freida, 26, are “spokesmodels” for L`Oréal Paris along with another Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor (Delhi-6), 25, and other international celebrities like Andie Macdowell, Beyonce Knowles, Claudia Schiffer, Jane Fonda, Doutzen Kroes, Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, Milla Jovovich, Linda Evangelista, Elizabeth Banks, Evangeline Lilly, Diane Kruger, Cheryl Cole, Rachel Weisz, Gerard Butler, Eric Cantona, etc. L`Oréal Paris says that it has chosen spokesmodels that “inspire women and men the world over”.

L`Oréal Paris defines Aishwarya Rai as the "incarnation of Indian beauty"; talks about “Aishwarya``s intelligence, exotic beauty, and unmatched talent”; and adds that “Aishwarya Rai lends her smile to the Color Riche Star Secrets range of lipsticks and her immense green eyes to Color Appeal Star Secrets Trios eye shadows”. It describes Freida Pinto as "most promising rising star", "vivacious and precocious young girl" and

"India’s very own million dollar baby". Sonam Kapoor is "fashionista of Bollywood", "style icon" and” known for her eclectic style", according to L`Oréal Paris official website.

L`Oréal Paris is one of the brands of L`Oréal, which claims to be worldwide leader in cosmetics with a century of expertise, whose consolidated sales in 2009 was 17.5 billion Euros, and which believes that “everyone aspires to beauty”. Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones is Board Chairman while Jean-Paul Agon is the Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal.

Media took the hint from L’Oréal’s ‘Happy New Year’ television commercial which starred Freida along with other international celebrities but not Aishwarya, resulting in some claiming that the replacement was permanent and this marked as end of Aishwarya’s reign and her demise as India’s most successful international film star.

Now a statement from the firm is circulating in the media, which states “…Aishwarya Rai Bachchan continues to be our valued spokesperson, as she has since 2000…she remains an integral part of the L’Oreal Paris world wide Dream Team…She is one of the most iconic women of our times…”

Walmart still sells L`Oreal Paris “Aishwarya`s Beige” Lipstick.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, suggested that instead of obsession with minor issues like “pitched battles of Aishwarya and Freida”, media should focus more on highlighting major issues facing humanity, world and India today.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that instead of running after these mundane things, we should focus on realizing the Self. As ancient Hindu scripture Katha Upanishad points out that when wise realize the Self, they go beyond sorrow…When one realizes Self, there is nothing else to be known.

ANI