Actor Varun Dhawan recently tied the knot with long-term beau Natasha Dalal. While the intimate wedding ceremony, which took place in Alibaugh on January 24, has left fans and social media in a tizzy, some actors seem to be taking the opportunity to make a point about gender discrimination in the film industry.
Soon after Dhawan and his new bride's photos were shared on the actor's Instagram account, Tamil actor Shraddha Srinath took the photosharing platform to congratulate the duo. But she also used the occasion to take a jab at typical Indian mentality when it came to the wedding of male and female actors.
"Another good actor bites the dust. Sad that we will not see him on screen again. Obviously, his wife and in laws will not be okay with him acting with other heroines. Maybe he will switch to doing male-oriented films? But how to balance personal life and work-life ya. Tough. Will miss him. Congratulations though, Varun,” she wrote in an Insta story.
The sarcastic post is an allusion to the kind of comments women across professions are subjected to once they get married. In the film industry, the pressure on women is all the more intense. With the industry constantly promoting inauthentic and unfair beauty standards for women, ageism and shunting of women actors after a certain age or after marriage is not unheard of as a practice.
In fact, countless women actors have faded away from Bollywood since getting married, even have some have managed to make "comebacks" in "mature" character roles. Male actors, on the other, have, seem to have a much longer shelf-life. Most of the top actors in the country including Shah Rukh Khan, Amir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, have continued to have successful careers in Bollywood despite their wedding. In fact, they even get paired with younger actresses who play their love interests even as their yesteryear co-stars struggle to find lead roles.
Srinath's post is an apt response to those in the industry as well as fans of Bollywood who think a woman actor's shelf-life is proportional to how long she remains single. While some discomfited fans outraged against Srinathf for allegedly attacking Dhawan on the occasion of his wedding, others took the post for what it was - a response to patriarchy.
Shraddha Srinath's instastories today 😂😂— S 🐼 (@extradecoction) January 26, 2021
However, the outrage was such that Srinath had to share a follow-up post to clarify that she wan not intending to make fun of Dhawan or Dalal. "“I took a jibe at patriarchy yesterday. I merely switched genders. And it sounded like a joke right? It sounded absurd to you all when I said an actor will have to retire from work because he’s getting married. Why doesn’t it sound just as absurd when the same assumptions are made about an actress?” she wrote.
Meanwhile, not much has been revealed about the intimate ceremony in which Dhawan and Dalal tied the knot, though it has been reported that all attendees had been tested for coronavirus before the event. Photos from the event have been taking social media by storm.