Working in an industry that is largely governed by a certain perception of beauty and body size, actors often face online trolling and criticism when they do not conform to the expected norm. The criticism is especially brutal for female actors. In the Indian film industry many actors have faced trolling and body shaming for gaining weight, including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Vidya Balan. Let us take a look at how these actors have handled the body shaming
Aishwarya Rai BachchanSoon after the former Miss World gave birth to her daughter Aaradhaya in 2011, the actress was body-shamed for her post-pregnancy weight gain, In 2012 the actress made her Cannes red carpet appearance where she was trolled for the weight gain by people online. Speaking to CNN News18 in an interview, Aishwarya had said, people think that if you look a certain way, you won’t be judged. But, believe me, irrespective of how you look, everybody faces judgement for something or the other.” Talking about her self-confidence during the time she faced the criticism Aishwarya said that she never had a moment of self-doubt and is happy in her own life with Aaradhya around. The actress said that she has positivity as well as clarity about herself and at the end of the day, she will be making the choices for herself. “Nobody else is dictating or telling me how to be and what to do,” said the actress.
In an interview to Bollywood Buble, Ileana revealed that people from the film industry repeatedly suggested she undergo surgeries to enhance her appearance. The actor revealed how the comments made by people on her body scarred her. “I remember those days like it was yesterday. It’s weird because it’s a very deeply ingrained scar. I went through body-shaming right from the time I was 12. I had just hit puberty and growing up. You are hit with these weird comments.” The 34-year-old actress said that she was fine before people started sharing their observations on her body which led her to doubt herself. The actress revealed that it does take a lot of inner strength to convince herself that what others are saying does not matter. For Ileana, it is what she feels about herself that holds the most importance.
Qureshi has showcased her acting talent by taking up diverse roles in multilingual movies including Tamil and English. Despite being a talented actor, Qureshi had to face comments regarding her body weight. In an interview to Hindustan Times, the actress had said that she stopped reacting to body shaming comments online. The actress was also criticised for her fashion choices on top of her body weight. Responding to the criticism, Qureshi said, “I am not doing something to make them happy or to get friendly with them, so that they write good stuff about me. That is their opinion and I leave it up to them.”
Daughter of Bollywood veteran Shatrughan Sinha, Sonkashi made her debut starring opposite Salman Khan. Sonakshi, too, was not spared from the wrath of online trolls who commented on her body-weight. In a powerful Instagram post shared in 2019, Sonakshi had responded to trolls and said that she was bullied when she was an overweight child and the boys called her names. “When you’re that young, you don’t understand why you are not able to lose weight. You don’t know why you are made this way. And then you start blaming yourself for a lot of things. And that can really affect you… What matters is how quickly you can ignore it and bounce back.”
Vidya has been very vocal about her body-shaming and how glamour is defined in the cinema industry. The actress who starred in The Dirty Picture in 2011 showed how sensuality has nothing to do with body size. Speaking to The Times of India, Balan had said, “I have had hormonal issues all my life. For the longest time, I hated my body. I thought it had betrayed me. On the days I was under the pressure of looking my best, I would bloat up and I would be so angry and frustrated.” However, the actress said that she changed the way she saw herself and accepted herself.