Body Image perceptions in today’s generation are largely influenced by the media, our culture, Norms, etc. And by that Bollywood is one of the major chunk of what consists of the Visual Media In the Indian Society. From the very beginning, Bollywood serves as an ever-evolving guide to the ideal Body type in India.
Body Image & Bollywood
Things started to drastically change after the 2000’s for Men and Women Both with Regard to Body Image. Where female leads became skinnier, and fairer drastically, the men started bulking up for their roles. With the standards getting even tougher and tougher day by day. Debutantes have now been touted “bollywood material” even before they have a chance to display their acting skills, on the basis of their body fat ratios, the color of their skin, and whether they have a set of six pack abs or not.
However, Media and Movies play a key role in the socialization of Individuals and Youngsters. Such unrealistic ideals of Body Image have lead to a significant rise in body image issues. Body Image Issues are most of the time deeply linked to Self-Perception, Low Self Esteem, Low Sense of Self & Efficacy, Depression, etc.
A lot of Mainstream Bollywood Actresses have spoken about the Body Image Issues that they have dealt with. Vidya Balan, Huma Quereshi, Ileana D’Cruz have all spoken about this in various perspectives about how they struggled to accept their bodies. Recently Sonam Kapoor Expressed her struggle with Body Image Issues. In an Open Letter she wrote”We’ve been taught that women need to be flawless even when our flawlessness is wildly implausible, sexy even when our sexiness is a break from plot. We’re sprinting through Jurassic Park in heels, fighting supervillains in strapless corsets, being stranded on deserted islands for days without a hint of stubble. Real female bodies are so taboo that hair-removal-cream ads show hairless legs even before the cream is applied.”
Image Source: theidealindian.com
Because of these Sky High Ideal Body Types. These Unrealistic Ideals are now spilling over to the lay man as well. How often have you heard Aunties Commenting on “Haven’t you become healthy haa?” or a “Do something for your skin, you have become so tanned!”