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  • Writer's pictureMathushaa Sagthidas

My take on Bend It Like Beckham

Bend It Like Beckham, is a 2002 romantic comedy sports film produced, written and directed by Gurinder Chadha. Surprisingly I had not seen this film until during the first lockdown in London. Bend It Like Beckham is about an Indian girl, Jessminder breaking stereotypes and following her dream to peruse football as a career. This is important for south Asian representation in the media as it tackles these stereotypes from their perspective rather than a secondary one. Something you see when the main character Jessminder explains the culture around arranged marriage to someone not of the south Asian community, as she didn’t understand “how you Indian girls put up with it” (28:40 – 30:01, Bend It Like Beckham, 2002). Although, we see more of south Asian perspective it is still limited, as these stereotypes is something we still see in the western media; we even see it in Bend It Like Beckham, where someone white says “I expect your parents are fixing you up with a handsome young doctor soon” to Jessminder (38:10 – 38:36, Bend It Like Beckham, 2002).

Thus, showing that ethnic stereotype types such as this have now become a form of conversational communication for the white race, when talking to those of south Asian ethnicity. They are picking out the negative conspicuous traits and exaggerating them, even when they might not be true, without considering how this perspective impacts the south Asian community, even though they are trying to tackle them by excessive exaggeration. However Jessminder’s character is contributing to changing the south Asian stereotype that women tend to be ‘housewives’ with a lack education and job experience, whilst men are the ‘academic breadwinners’. In general, I enjoyed watching this film and did find parts of the film very relatable, would recommend people to watch it to understand certain aspects of south Asian culture and families.

Imagery credit to creators and producers of Bend It Like Beckham.

Math x

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