Shilpa’s filthy hands

Redmond, Sean 2009, Shilpa’s filthy hands, Entertainment and sports law journal, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1-9.

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Title Shilpa’s filthy hands
Author(s) Redmond, SeanORCID iD for Redmond, Sean
Journal name Entertainment and sports law journal
Volume number 7
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher University of Warwick, Warwick School of Law
Place of publication Coventry, England
Publication date 2009-04
ISSN 1748-944X
Keyword(s) Food
Summary The celebrity Big Brother race row centers, in part, on the preparation, handling and consumption of food. While the ritual of formal and informal dining is a key trope of the series, in this instance it is used to construct notions of difference and Otherness. Eating/not eating Indian becomes a symbol of purity and danger: of Shilpa's filthy natural self that somehow lurked beneath her glamorous exterior. If one eats Indian one is consuming the Other, with the potential to be taken over or spoiled by it. Shilpa, then, comes to stand for a complex and contradictory mix of Eastern/Oriental gender stereotypes. However, at the same time, the racialised grammar of representation used to mark her out as Other draws attention to the white bodies attempting to deny her wholeness. In choosing to eat/not eat Indian one opens up a dynamic space for an interrogation of whiteness to emerge. In fact, Jade, Jo, and Danielle become inferior signifiers of national identity in an age of global consumption. By contrast, Shilpa becomes 'surplus value', a supericonic sign that resists the name calling, fetishisation, marginalisation demanded by those on the show. The Big Brother race row may well be a text that directly speaks to the new post-colonial communication flows in place in the contemporary age.

Language eng
Field of Research 200212 Screen and Media Culture
Socio Economic Objective 950204 The Media
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Communication and Creative Arts
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