Long before the Mallika Sherawats and Rakhi Sawants were born, there was Zeenat Aman, her sumptuous bosom, voluptuous figure and all.
The ultimate oomph girl of the 1970s, Zeenat Aman, or Zeenie Baby as she was fondly referred to in the desi filmi magazines, was your Hollywood pinup girls Betty Grable, Gloria Swanson, Ava Gardner and Hedy Lamarr rolled in one.
For Indian men of any age in the 1970s and even in the early 1980s, Bollywood actress Zeenie Baby was the hot babe who haunted their dreams and, hey their waking moments too.
Zeenat Aman was never a great actress but then only an idiot came to Zeenie Baby’s movies to watch her histrionic talent!
Titillation was Zeenie Baby’s talent.
When one Indian news magazine described her as the undisputed Queen of the Come on, the 1970s monument to sex appeal, it was understating her sex appeal.
Of course, it was Satyam Shivam Sundaram in which her ample assets were put up for public display by Raj Kapoor.
Alas, neither Zeenie Baby’s knockout knockers nor Mukesh’s last songs did much for Satyam Shivam Sundaram at the box office.
Here’s Zeenie Baby in her own words on Zeenat Aman:
* It was what sold. My body. All of them (the directors) did it to me, every single one of them. There was nothing I could do about it. It was part of the game. I don’t blame them. I don’t blame myself [Zeenat Aman talking about being projected as a sex symbol on the screen].
* I’ve had the basic courage and confidence to never follow convention.
* Before us, there were either the saintly heroines or the nasty vamps. Parveen Babi and I brought in shades of grey.Â
* I’ve never been part of the mainstream of hypocrisy.
* They [cameraman, film director and costume designer] created a persona that had little to do with my reality; I was projected in a glossy, superficial, posturing way.
* I may have had the body and emotions of a woman, but I’ve always had the head of a man. I’ve lived my life like a man.
* [A]ge and ageing doesn’t bother me. And if I can’t find parts I’ll go into film production, TV advertising, anything.
* As for work, I don’t really want it. I don’t need it. I’ve done it all, seen it all.
* I am a woman of substance now.
* It’s a bit unfortunate that just when one has the histrionic experience and enough glamour, there aren’t any of the older-women parts so common in western cinema.
* I want to be married. I want to give it my best shot.
Source: India Today, Volume X, Number 18 September 30, 1985 P.36-38