Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher’s American comedy-drama, Never Have I Ever‘s lead, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is Indian Gen-Z’s latest crush. Why?
Probably for the very first time, a girl of South-Asian descent with a culture shockingly similar to the character ‘Devi Viswakumar’ has been cast. Ramakrishnan is a Sri Lankan-Canadian of Tamil descent and has undoubtedly justified the character’s nature.
Why Has Ramakrishna’s Craze Been So Shocking?
Apart from the fact that Ramakrishnan’s acting has been terrific, she fits in. This might have been the first time ‘desi’ people have been rightfully represented in the western entertainment industry.
With her not-whitewashed brown skin, unstraightened curly hair, and not picture-perfect smooth skin, Krishnan feels like one of us there.
Ramakrishnan’s appearance matches with the majority of the ‘desi’ kids and that is why we have been pouring our hearts out on the series. She does not attempt to go ‘all-American’ on her winter dance and, biggest of all, she seems comfortable in her own skin.
Unknowingly, several such series, some of them produced in India itself, have been setting unrealistic beauty standards for the Indian youth. The lead will either wake up with smooth, glowing skin or will change into the perfect feminine girl and still ‘appear’ coy.
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But throughout her entire crazy journey, Devi’s character has been anything but confident. She was in her brown skin, curly and frizzy hair, and owned her ‘body hair’ with a smashing reply to Ben, “At least I can grow a moustache.”
No matter what we choose to do with our body hair later in life, at least we know it is ‘normal’ to have a baby moustache during teenage years and that is all that matters.
So What Has Been Genz’s Reaction?
Genz’s have done what they do best, make it a trend. Instagram has been flooded with reels of Devi’s close-ups on Arijit Singh and Atif Aslam’s songs, fan pages have sprung up, and the social networking space is being owned by the Gen-Z’s appreciating themselves. Though it might not seem like it, this was a long way up.
From wanting to be the blonde girl with blue eyes to slaying that brown skin, the Gen-Z’s have been owning it. Surprisingly, it isn’t only the girls, but the boys too, and rightfully so. This generation, although the proud-owners of the cancel culture, knows inclusion too.
What Is Next Now?
From all that social hullabaloo going on, it has to only go up. Ramakrishnan made her way through the 15,000 applicants to land Devi’s character, and she, in turn, did it for the thousands of Desi Gen-Z’s, especially the first-gen South-Asian Americans, who must’ve related to it a lot more than we did. And, ‘Devi’ has confirmed that too!
“I think the reason why people like the show is because we haven’t seen South Asians take the lead role as often as they should. It’s happened before, I’m sure, and most of the time it’s because they make that space for themselves, “ she said, citing the example of the show’s co-creator, Kaling, who also wrote and starred in The Mindy Project and Late Night.
“But that’s not enough. We need more representation and need to see more South Asians take those lead roles, because clearly there is a market for it, and a want for it, “ Ramakrishnan told PTI in a Zoom interview.
There we have it from Ramakrishnan herself, South-Asians are taking the lead and rightfully so. Because if we do not appreciate ourselves, no one else will.
Image Source- Google Images
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The post is tagged under- Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Never Have I Ever, Devi Vishwakumar, Canadian-Srilankan, South-Asian, desis, western entertainment industry, American dramas, Ben, Paxton, body hair, representation, belongingness, body image, identity, teens, youth, Indian-Americans, Tamil culture, brown skin, self-love, self-appreciation, Mindy Kaling, creators