Aiysha Saagar, Queensland-raised pop singer, posed topless on her website to promote the Gold Coast to socially conservative Indians. Interestingly, the campaign seems to have backfired as it angered the Indian community. She posed topless on Surfers Paradise beach with her body painted in the Australian flag.
Indian Associations in Queensland events coordinator Neeraj Narayan said more than 60 per cent of India was still conservative.
He said Ms Saagar's partial nudity would reflect badly on the Gold Coast's image.
"They may not see the appeal in coming to Australia if that's the image she is promoting," Mr Narayan said.
However he said Bollywood films and globalisation had made nudity more acceptable in recent years.
"It's slowly becoming more normal, but this will still be more negative than positive, I think," he said.
"Bollywood has advertised sex appeal and a more westernised culture."
Councillor Bob La Castra introduced Ms Saagar to Mayor Tom Tate, who dubbed Ms Saagar an ambassador.
They were not aware of the topless photos but both still supported her new role.
Cr Tate said: "You see more if you go to the beach on any given day."
Cr La Castra said he was sure the photos were "tasteful".
"I'm sure it's purely to promote that she's Australian and proud of her country," he said.
Ms Saagar, who released her fifth album Indian Girl this month, has lived in India for the past eight years but spends months on the Gold Coast during summer.
She said the images were not meant to be posted on the website and were intended to be launched in India to promote her career "down the track".
"The whole point of these photos is to promote me as an artist," she said.
"Bollywood has come a long way. It's quite modern and they are trying to experiment with different genres."Source: www.goldcoast.com.au
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