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Sameera Reddy had been trolled for her weight after her 1st pregnancy weight, and speaks up now in her second, glowing in her late pregnancy.
Celebrity mom Sameera Reddy had been trolled for putting on a lot of weight after her first pregnancy, at a time when she was feeling low. While she admits that she had body image issues at that time, she is confident and happy during her second, and the trolls can take a hike!
A friend of mine recently gave birth. A couple of months after the delivery, she looks as trim as she did before pregnancy. At a party recently, I overheard some Indian women talking about her. “Who would even believe that she was pregnant?” they said as they considered their own belly fat and love handles. I felt sad that they felt the need to make that comparison, but I was not surprised. Aren’t such conversations all too common in India, where a woman’s body is constantly looked at, judged and talked about?
No wonder that women feel ashamed of and unhappy about their bodies –bodies that have survived bringing brand new, beautiful human beings onto this planet; bodies that they should be proud of.
Which is why the positivity that emanates from Sameera Reddy’s social media posts about her pregnancy are refreshing. She is glowing, and why not? The actress is pregnant with her second child, and she has been sharing the most gorgeous pictures of her baby bump, and she has been open and honest about her thoughts and feelings about the same.
Posting about the final lap of her pregnancy, she wrote, “Final lap of this pregnancy and I feel strong, excited, nervous and powerful. Mixed emotions in so much grace.” Earlier, she posted, “I embrace my curves, my cheeks, my water retention and my pregnant belly with a smile.” A couple of weeks ago, in response to trolls, she posted a beautiful picture of herself in beachwear with the caption, “Her soul was too deep to explore by those who always swam in the shallow end. This is my answer to anyone who feels uncomfortable with me enjoying my pregnant belly.”
Speaking about her first pregnancy, she said at one AMA with fans, “After the first child I was a victim of depression. I did not fight it. I took a lot of time to realize that I feel bad about my body and my image. I used to hide from the world and was worried about what people would think about me. I took therapy and homeopathy I will never let that happen again.”
Sharing a before and after picture of her pregnancy, she wrote, “I touched 102 Kgs in May 2015, the month Hans was born and I’m not scared to admit it. It took me to the deepest darkest places in my head. My confidence shattered. And I couldn’t lose the weight for a year after because I was too scared to even step out. I disappeared because I didn’t have the strength to be judged by the world after all the years of being glam and fit on screen. But the beautiful part is that you can only hit your lowest low to know you can absolutely climb out of that hole. It’s a fight. A hard one.”
These honest, heartfelt admissions are reflected in the stories of women everywhere. All women are not celebrities, but any woman who goes through pregnancy has to deal with a changing body that doesn’t always co-operate. Even after pregnancy, not all women have the sort of lives that allow them to work out, lose weight and get toned. To assume that they do, or must, reeks of entitlement and privilege.
Women can often feel unattractive because of the changes to their body and this has implications for their long-term mental health and for their bonding with their unborn baby.
“Women are under constant pressure about their appearance and during pregnancy and after birth is no exception. It is important therefore that pregnancy care is not just about the physical health of the mother and the health of the unborn child, but also about women’s emotional wellbeing, which can give us a lot of important information about how they might react to being a new mum in the longer-term,” says Dr Catherine Preston, an expert in body image from the University of York’s Department of Psychology.
The most visible examples of women being shamed for their pregnany or post-pregnancy bodies are celebrities like Aishwarya Rai and Neha Dhupia.
Kareena Kapoor first got criticized for her weight, then got shamed for going to the gym, and then for “looking like a skeleton,” proving that no matter what women do, there will always be those who take it negatively. This is why it is best to live ones best life, irrespective of what others say.
Sameera does have a message for those who comment about women’s pregnant bodies though. “I have one question for these trolls. Where do you guys come from? Your mothers, right? Was your mother very hot after you came out? I am just saying that it’s shameful because it is such a natural process and it’s so beautiful, it’s so amazing. And there are sexy ones like Kareena who just come out looking fully hot and then there are people like me who take time. It took me time with the first baby. Maybe it will take me time with the second baby. But what’s important is to accept yourself. And to all the trolls out there, say what you want guys. I think that I have a superpower. I am giving birth to a baby.”
More power to Sameera and others like her!
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
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As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
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