Sailaja N. Joshi

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Le Sigh has Moved!

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Please visit Le Sigh at its new home,


Sailaja N. Joshi



“It” Beauty: Where tradition and globalization collide.

In Presentation of Self, Social Change, Uncategorized, United States, Women in Society on September 16, 2010 at 9:44 am

CNN recently published an article entitled, “Is ethnic beauty the new ‘it’ factor?” Now the fact that we’re having this conversation makes me incredibly excited because it means America, is starting to accept a wider definition of beauty.

The article goes on to talk about how there has been a great call for ethnic women (Beyonce, Kim Kardashian) in fashion magazines in an effort to appeal to a global ideal of beauty. In addition, more white women are tanning and straightening their hair in an effort to emulate their Asian sisters.

It’s wonderful that the definition of beauty is beginning to expand to include other races, though I can’t help but think that this article is a bit short sighted. It discusses how American (read: white) women are changing their bodies in order to emulate a more ethnic ideal. I’m glad American women are embracing their ethnic roots, or wannabe ethnic roots, but what about the REST of us non-white Americans?

So we talk about American women embracing an ethnic ideal, but perhaps it’s the other way around for women of ethnicity? Let’s take our girl Beyonce for example. She’s curvy. She’s tan. And she’s got, (hold the phone) blond hair.

Now, considering Beyonce’s roots and ethnicity, I’m to go ahead and say she’s not a natural blond. In fact, she’s probably far from a natural blond, but the point here is that she morphed herself to meet an image. And that image at the time, was that of (perhaps) a Stepford Wife.

It is telling that she, as a women of ethnicity, was attempting to morph herself into an image of ‘ideal American beauty.’ It seems to me that while CNN reported about white women going ethnic, they failed to point out that some ethnic women are going white.

In the world of Anthropology, we often talk about the Anglo-perspective. Where, we as Americans considering our point of view, to be the world’s point of view. With globalization though, we are quickly learning that we are NOT the only one’s on this planet and in fact, our perspective is very often not shared globally.

I think this CNN Article, does an excellent job of pointing out the shift in ideal beauty in America, but does so from a decidedly Anglo perspective. As we embrace ‘ethnic’ beauty, perhaps its time we also examine ethnic beauty and understand how THAT is shifting in this global marketplace. Moreover, how do we define ethnic beauty in this global world? Is it simply the opposite of what the norm once was or is it something more?

Only time, and this Anthropologist, will tell.

Bafana Bafana! Where is your World Cup Spirit?

In Uncategorized, World Cup on June 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I, like most of the world am a huge fan of Football, aka Soccer here in America. A couple of weeks a go, as I was contemplating my own World Cup bracket I came across this amazing Infograph published by SectionDesign via Information is Beautiful.

World Cup Info Graph

Now this graph is not only beautiful but a perfect example of how culture influences a nation. This graph uses GDP, population and Football experience as a way to predict the outcome of World Cup 2010.  I wonder perhaps if we included dominant religion or attitudes towards sports if the outcome would be similar. I wonder if being a machismo society has anything to do with the outcome of a country in this World Cup.

What are you thoughts? Do you think its possible for a country with little experience and a low GDP to make it to the semifinals in this game?

The Informational Interview-Guest Blog Post on Our Unemployed Life

In Guest Blogger, Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 at 7:52 am

As many of you know, I’ve been conducting a lot of informational interviews with people in my industry. I figured I would share what I’ve learned and have posted some of my thoughts on my friend Linda’s Blog, Musings of an Unemployed MBA Graduate.

Take a moment to visit her blog and investigate the tips and tricks she posts on finding the  perfect job for you!

What are YOU doing here?

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I believe that if a company is going to be truly successful, they must first and foremost REALLY understand their consumer. That understanding does not come through focus groups or market intercepts. It does not come through product testing or self-administered questionnaires. These are all merely tools used to understand consumers, but they are not the key.

They key, my friends in Anthropology. Human beings are complex (understatement of the century), and their complexities are only amplified by our modern materialistic tendencies. Anthropology provides us naked and raw understanding of human behavior, innate attitudes and needs. Through this understanding of cultures and societies, business can develop products that above all else, fit the need of the consumer.

And so, I believe that the time has come to bring Anthropology into the glitz and glamor of marketing research. This blog takes a look at some of the issues today in the business world and demonstrates that with a little bit of anthropological perspective, things can change for the better.