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Tamil actor Manjima Mohan was trolled for gaining weight when she posted her wedding pics on social media. Another Tamil actor was removed from a series as she had acne. Enough!
“She has a perfect jawline.”
“Her face looks ugly with all those scars!”
Are looks everything?
I noticed an advertisement for intimate area skin lightening targeted on my Instagram. I also received a promotional message asking me to “look my best” and book a free consultation with an aesthetician.
The pressure has been real this festive season with advertisements targeted to women telling them to ‘look beautiful’.
I’ve had issues with acne and facial hair for a while now. I’ve been told to try multiple treatments or creams by salespeople. They instantly look at my acne, point at it, and ask me if I’d like to try their products. Consequently, I had cripplingly low self-esteem. Somehow I was forced to believe beauty is being ‘perfect’. And the standard for my ‘perfect’ was the advertisements and actresses I saw on TV. The first thing a stylist said as I entered a beauty parlor was that I had gained weight.
Not having flawless skin made me insecure. And the people around me pointing it out made it worse.
I also remember when someone asked me why I had hair on my face that made me look like a man. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. Unfortunately, people do not know the reality. Women with excessive (coarse) facial hair could have a hormonal imbalance, hirsutism, or other red flags, and not always about ‘looks’!
Why don’t we get used to the fact that women actually have facial and body hair? Anyone can! And what anyone does with their body is their choice!
How the media portrays skin care and forces people to buy their products does not help. It is funny how advertisements promote waxing strips by showing flawless and hairless skin. The same way fairness creams were to make a fair-skinned woman with smooth skin even light-skinned. And suddenly, she becomes famous and loses all her insecurity.
The ideal standard for women is a perfect and flawless body, which leaves no one alone.
A Tamil actor Manjima Mohan, recently got married. Instead of being congratulated, she was fat-shamed and trolled for gaining weight when she posted her pictures on social media. One of the comments on her Instagram post read, “Looking like aunty, not as a bride, please reduce weight.” And guess what? The handle belongs to a fellow woman. And another said, “One day, you are going to burst.”
A Tamil serial, Pandian Stores, canceled an actor because of her facial acne. She was given a few months for it to get better, but the makeup for her shoot only increased it. The team decided to replace her with another actor due to her acne problem.
Actress Samantha was trolled for how she looked. They gabbed about how she is “not recognizable” after her alleged surgery. Since when did the public decide what she should do with her body?
These are just a few examples. Every day millions of Indian women are humiliated and degraded due to their looks. Women, our bodies deserve to be honored, not shamed!
Regrettably, most children in India are raised with a level of body stigma. It is a social and cultural phenomenon. Being thinner, for instance, is often synonymous with being deserving and happier. Unfortunately, we do not enforce boundaries in families. And everyone gets to comment about each others’ bodies. A girl is taught from a young age to have flawless skin and be skinny to get a ‘suitable’ groom or to be considered for marriage.
It may be detrimental to the self-esteem to comment on someone’s physical appearance, including weight. These remarks are unnecessary and sometimes more hurtful than helpful. They support the false idea that our worth is determined solely by our outward appearance. An individual is more than just their looks.
Nobody is exempt from the cultural stresses to appear a particular way. But in any situation, comments about your body are unnecessary. An expectation of your appearance might lead to unreasonable goals that are hard to reach. Even when you know glamorized photographs on social media have been heavily photoshopped or altered, it is simple to compare yourself or others negatively. Anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating are just a few examples of eating disorders from a poor body image. Fat shaming is not new in our society, with obesity equated to being unmotivated to reduce weight.
‘I adore my body completely’, which is the takeaway from body positivity, which might not be realistic as a solution. But have you heard about the concept of body neutrality? It says you can live without worrying about the body, both positively and negatively. It separates aesthetic beauty from personal value, reminding you that your body image has little bearing on your ability to influence the world.
Body neutrality encourages you to embrace your body and reflect on its accomplishments rather than beauty. For example, consider how strong the legs and arms are rather than how ‘huge’ they are. There is a difference between working out because you despise yourself for not having a ‘flawless’ appearance and working out because you want to feel healthier. Most notably, the concept does not want you to beat yourself up if you don’t feel like appreciating any part of yourself on any given day.
Note that body neutrality doesn’t address widespread fatphobia and capture the lived experiences. Instead, it might be more beneficial to think of it as a single point on a spectrum of body acceptance. And most importantly, seek professional help if you are suffering with your body image.
I’d like to end my article with this powerful quote.
“To all the girls that think you’re fat because you’re not a size zero, you’re the beautiful one. It’s society who’s ugly.” ~ Marilyn Monroe
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Mirali Borde is a budding writer trying to make it in this world.
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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What I loved was how there is so much in the movie of the SRK we have known, and also a totally new star. The gestures, the smile, the wit and the charisma are all too familiar, but you also witness a rawness, an edginess.
When a movie that got the entire nation in a twist – for the right and wrong reasons – hits the theatres, there is bound to be noise. From ‘I am going to watch it – first day first show’ to ‘Boycott the movie and make it a flop’, social media has been a furore of posts.
Let me get one thing straight here – I did not watch Pathaan to make a statement or to simply rebel as people would put it. I went to watch it for the sheer pleasure of witnessing my favourite superstar in all his glory being what he is best at being – his magnificent self. Because when it comes to screen presence, he burns it, melts it and then resurrects it as well like no other. Because when it comes to style and passion, he owns it like a boss. Because SRK is, in a way, my last connecting point to the girl that I once was. Though I have evolved into so many more things over the years, I don’t think I am ready to let go of that girl fully yet.
There is no elephant in the room really here because it’s a fact that Bollywood has a lot of cleaning up to do. Calling out on all the problematic aspects of the industry is important and in doing that, maintaining objectivity is also equally imperative. I went for Pathaan for entertainment and got more than I had hoped for. It is a clever, slick, witty, brilliantly packaged action movie that delivers what it promises to. Logic definitely goes flying out of the window at times and some scenes will make you go ‘kuch bhi’ , but the screenplay clearly reminds you that you knew all along what you were in for. The action sequences are lavish and someone like me who is not exactly a fan of this genre was also mind blown.
Recent footage of her coming out of an airport had comments preaching karma and its cruel ways, that Samantha "deserved her illness" because she filed for divorce.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu fell from being the public’s sweetheart to a villain overnight because she filed for divorce. The actress was struck with myositis post divorce, much to the joy of certain groups (read sexist) in our society.
A troll responded to Samantha’s tweet, “Women Rising!!” by adding to it “just to fall”. She replied, “Getting back up makes it all the more sweeter, my friend.”
Here’s another insensitive tweet by BuzZ Basket showing fake concern for her autoimmune disease. “Feeling sad for Samantha, she lost all her charm and glow. When everyone thought she came out of divorce strongly and her professional life was seeing heights, myositis hit her badly, making her weak again.” Samantha responded, “I pray you never have to go through months of treatment and medication like I did. And here’s some love from me to add to your glow.”
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