In life nothing comes easy, not even the things we desire. Every day I am compelled to read posts of which at least one is about the desire for a good body. They definitely don’t push me to hit the gym right after, but I do take a moment thinking whether it is imperative to be of a certain size. And next thing, I see the internet go bananas over an actor/actress sharing their before and after photos flaunting their weight loss. I have lost 20 kilos in a year and that’s not even news.
I remember Parineeti Chopra getting her claim to fame from her very first, Ladies Vs Ricky Behl, and was adored by the masses. While many loved watching her exuberance, many booed her for she failed to match the stereotypical image of the heroine they have. These are the set standards we as humans have made; we are awfully judgmental of the looks of others. And after all she was an actress, how could she choose her own way of being?
The other day, Bhumi Pednekar at an event spoke about her journey from putting on weight to shedding 30 kilos by now. On being questioned about her drastic weight loss, she quipped the horizons for her have widened. She spoke about being to receive offers for characters people didn’t even picture her in at one time. Even Parineeti has mentioned so once.
Their words kept ringing in my ears. The thought of body typecast kept haunting. Are people in the industry required to maintain a certain body type? The question hit back and again. Do characters have a certain body image when being written about in a story? And believe me or not, but body shaming is not only about actresses. Arjun Kapoor lost oodles of weight before he entered Bollywood, and working out under the supervision of Salman Khan did seem fun. Yet, dating back a month was an article that spoke about Arjun putting on weight.
If one thought body shaming was only a woman’s prerogative, then no, our boys are working hard too. There is a definite pressure maintained on actors to work towards a chiseled body, only to later exhibit it for the thrill of their audience. Body transformations are sure applauded, but these transformations in a small duration almost appear impossible to the human eye. Thus arises the questions of actors being bogged down with the pressure of maintenance.
It was only recently when Zarine Khan posted her overweight pictures from school condemning body shaming. Being a known face in the industry she did garner a lot of attention, but she too was living under the pressure of losing weight post Veer. Are there set rules in the industry against body type? Are actors under constant pressure to maintain a certain body image? Does one’s body image decide how good or bad the actor is?
Questions remain unanswered. While one side where actors condemn body shaming, on the other they themselves are under the constant pressure to maintain. But just like day after a dark night we have actresses like Huma Qureshi and Vidya Balan who with their confidence continue to smash the Bollyood standards of beauty, and inspire women to love their body irrespective of the size.