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Comedian Bharti Singh spoke about the body shaming and trolling for her weight on Moving in with Malaika, but it all sounds scripted and not real.
Happened to watch ‘Moving in with Malaika’ on Disney Hotstar and though I am not reviewing the series here, I would mention a particular episode about body shaming and positivity, where Malaika Arora invites popular comedian Bharti Singh.
They talk about how women are trolled for their choice of clothes, their weight, complexion, age, etc. And then Bharti Singh gets emotional about being bullied all the time for her weight. She says, the day she got married, trolls went to the extent of saying, “Bhains (buffalo) ki shadi (marriage) hui, Bhains ne Bakre ko Pakad Liya!” (A buffalo has got married to a goat!)
She weeps, yes, trolls can be merciless and abusive at times.
But surprisingly, I feel indifferent, I can’t somehow bring myself to sympathize with her.
She is one of the top comedians in India and is ruling in a domain dominated by men. My respect for her notwithstanding, I recollect some of her skits and a few shows she has been part of.
Over the years, almost every performance of hers involves her being referred to as ‘Genda’ (rhinoceros), baby elephant, cow, buffalo, and the choicest of fat-shaming jibes. The jokes are invariably about her weight and mind you, these are scripted, well-practiced skits. She has happily let the jokes be, and now when I look back, I kind of realize that her rise to fame has been mainly through slapstick comedy, based on body shaming.
Not to mention, these particular comedy shows rely heavily on shaming women. ‘Buddhi, Kekde jaisa Muh, Aadmi ki Shakal Wali, Haathi ‘, are just some regular digs at ladies in the show, that pass off as punches. And unfortunately, Bharti Singh has been participating in most of these, in fact, her acts often involve mocking other women in the skit. She’s famous for those punches, for addressing clean-shaven men as ‘Ladki‘, slim girls as ‘Machees Ki Teeli‘, and whatnot.
For someone who has been fat-shaming, face-shaming, and body-shaming people in the name of comedy, and has been sporting enough to take jokes on herself, what would a mere online troll mean?
So, the tears Bharti shed on Malaika Arora’s show, are they for real? Or just another marketing strategy for another show with another format?
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