Fat Actress: Bollywood Edition

17 May

Well, folks, looks like we have shared out fear and distaste of fat people to the rest of the world.  Bollywood Queen Aishwarya Rai is currently being slammed by fans for her failure to return to her pre pregnancy body.  Message boards and blogs in the actress’s native India have been inundated with disgruntled fans who say that the star has a “duty” to her fans to keep up her image.  Several sites have actually posted video of the actress and overlaying sound clips of an elephant trumping drawing in thousands of views.  Some are even suggesting that she needs to learn from the likes of former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham who, just weeks after the birth of her daughter, was back to her size zero self.

Professor of Indian Culture and Cinema at the University of London, Rachel Dwyer, points the finger of blame to us,

“I think this baby weight thing is a western obsession with pulling stars down,” she wrote in an email exchange on the topic. “Women who lose weight are congratulated and those who don’t are seen as letting themselves go. I’ve not heard of it in India before.”

This obsession that we have with weight and what our perception of beauty is has been so a skewed over the past 30 years or so.  Women now are trying harder than ever to maintain their looks well into their 40’s and 50’s and 60’s.  Have you ever just taken a moment to consider that it’s just not healthy to force yourself back to the way your body was before you had a child?

Take Victoria Beckham for example.  Yahoo search “Victoria Beckham looses weight” and you find article after article for the “5 hands diet”.  The diet consists of having just five handfuls of food a day and it was reported that Beckham was snacking on tiny portions of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.  All of that so she could be in shape in time for New York Fashion Week which was just about a month away.  Instead of embracing her curves she locked herself away from the world until she was “presentable.”  Really! I hope she wasn’t breastfeeding subsisting off of just 5 handfuls of food a day.  There is a reason your body responds the way it does to certain situations.  The irony of this, I find, is that during a Yahoo search (can you tell I am not yet a Google convert yet?) of “Victoria Beckham” the top story was an article on the business wire that Beckham had banned size 0 models from the catwalk at her show.

I, for one, happen to think the former Miss World is still beautiful, only infinitely more so since now she has the glow of a mother.   We should be ashamed of ourselves for spreading this horrible message of self loathing and body hate to any other country in the world.  Its bad enough that we have to deal with it but now we have introduced an entirely new group of impressionable girls to wonderful world of fat shaming.  I liked the way that ABC news reported the story,

“Pictures show a woman who has clearly gained weight, but does not appear unhealthy or abnormal for a new mother.”

I applaud ABC news for an unbiased observation, now if only the rest of the world could follow suite.


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