A 31-year-old woman writes: “Like every girl, I spent many nights through adolescence leaning into my bedroom mirror, wondering why my body looked nothing like it should.”
She talks about her battles with body shaming, and the toll they took on her health and concludes that the image of flawless beauty that we’re sold in our films and other media is a lie.
The 31-year-old is Sonam Kapoor, one of the leading ladies and fashionistas of Bollywood who is known equally for her giggling and her ability to speak her mind. Sonam’s revelations are not new. That celebrities go under the knife, take Botox injections, suffer from eating disorders and resort to Photoshop when all else fails is public knowledge.
Social media platforms abound with articles showing how celebrities have aged or look before and after make-up, surgery, and weight loss. Sonam’s piece is still worth a discussion, though, because the acknowledgement is coming from an insider who has lived the story and not merely witnessed it. And Sonam isn’t a has-been in the industry – she’s talking about her imperfections knowing we’ll watch out for them the next time we see her on the big screen.
It’s not just celebrities who are scrutinized for their looks, either. The attention extends to their families, whose famous-by-association members come under the scanner too. A few weeks ago, Tamil actor and politician, Khushbu Sundar’s daughter, Anandita, was trolled on her Instagram account.
Khushbu was quick to defend her daughter and confront the abuser. This is not the first time that the girl or her sister have faced body shaming or unfair comparisons to other celebrity children on social media.
What’s encouraging, though, is that the victims of such incidents are not shying away from calling out the abusers. Neither are they hiding from the media glare by deleting such offensive comments.
Considering that it’s celebrities who set the standards of beauty and style through popular media like films and advertisements, it’s important that they are vocal about such issues and take a stance. Some like Rajinikanth have been doing it for years now by hanging up the wig and wiping off the grease paint once their job is done. Others may hold on to theirs but still tell you the truth behind their flowing locks and glowing complexion. Whichever method they use, the acknowledgement and the conversation that follows it is a welcome alternative to the beauty obsession.