Actor Saranya Mohan, who gave birth to a baby boy in August last year, has committed a grave crime: She has put on weight despite being a celebrity who owes it to the public to remain in the ideal BMI. What are we all paying tax for, HAAN?
Following in the evil footsteps of actors like Aishwarya Rai who dared to pile on the kilos while they were in the process of creating a whole new human being, Saranya Mohan's post childbirth photographs have led to much angst on social media. Because clearly, the issue is of national importance and there's nothing else remotely shocking that's happening in the country.
From sorrowful headlines like 'Actress Saranya Mohan's current situation' (one would think the lady has contracted a deadly disease) to creative videos that juxtapose Saranya's pictures along with pregnancy and post childbirth photographs of other women celebrities who went through the same tragedy, the nation has expressed its disdain in no uncertain terms.
That's another woman we've happily fat shamed. Hurrah.
Unlike Bollywood and those covering Bollywood news, south India has not really obsessed with weight gain photographs. But that has changed in recent times with social media's increasing role in disseminating information and news.
The ideal body standards that Bollywood goes by have also permeated to the south where actors feel compelled to show off their toned bodies, even indulging in unhealthy methods to get there. The talented Anushka Shetty has been under the scanner ever since her weight gain for Inji Iduppazhagi - from critics calling her "too mature" in Singam 3 to articles on how much Rajamouli spent to make her look "slim" for Devasena's role in Baahubali 2.
When it comes to pregnancy weight gain, it's almost a competition to see which female celebrity lost the kilos the fastest. Or looked completely unaffected by childbirth. Although it is normal for a woman to gain weight during pregnancy, anywhere from 8 to 15 kilos, there's immense pressure on new mothers to regain their pre-pregnancy bodies instantly.
And it's worse when the woman in question happens to be in the public eye.
The expectation is that she should look like she never spent the last nine months growing a new life, bringing it into the world through immense pain and effort. She is not allowed to have a loose tummy or stretchmarks on her body which has just been through enormous biological changes. The expectation is, of course, rooted in the revulsion that a misogynistic society breeds - one where women are seen as mainly machines for reproduction but simultaneously the playthings of men who should always look attractive to them.
Saranya, who is currently taking a break from films, has not shied away from sharing her photographs on Facebook. She's also told people commenting on her weight gain that it is normal for women to do so during this phase and that she had a C section surgery to deliver the baby (which means the recovery period is longer).
A message that this video clearly missed: