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Don't let size matter: Bollywood celebs, designers speak out

Slim, slimmer and slimmest. With toned bodies being  objects of pride, diets and workouts have become more important than ever. The desire for a fit body is now bordering on obsession. We try to know how much is just too much

The editor of the British edition of a leading fashion glossy, Alexandra Shulman, has spoken out against health crazes, especially when it involves food. She has further talked about how people who are obsessed with diets and looking slim make life difficult for those around them.

Lisa Haydon's hot body is the envy of manyLisa Haydon's hot body is the envy of many

In the past few years, fitness has become a buzzword in B-Town and our actors spare no efforts to get into shape. Actresses such as Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Huma Qureshi, Parineeti Chopra and others have faced flak for not meeting the standards.

Sonakshi Sinha is on a weight loss spree
Sonakshi Sinha is on a weight loss spree

Diet dilemma
Most Indians can’t imagine living on a liquid diet or surviving only on cabbage soup. Actress Sonakshi Sinha whose weight was quite talked about, says, “Weight should never be a criteria to describe beauty. Beautiful people come in all shapes and sizes and it’s time people realise and accept that.” Commenting on diets, fashion designer Pria Kataaria Puri says, “A starved body is an unhealthy one because it leads to many problems. Starving yourself for the perfect shape is just not worth it. You don’t need to be fat but you also shouldn’t be skinny.”

Models on the runway at a fashion week
Models on the runway at a fashion week. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Actress Zarine Khan, who shed 10 kilos after facing a lot of flak from the media, too, doesn’t endorse diets. She says, “Today, I am leaner and fitter than what I was when I entered Bollywood. I achieved that through exercise. I have never followed a diet. However, I have heard of many who follow the a liquid diet or juice diet. We need to understand that our body needs a proper amount of food, including carbohydrates. Surviving on liquids for days on end and calling it ‘detox’ is not right.” Actor Parineeti Chopra, who too struggled with the ‘chubby’ tag, feels she does not need to be super-slim. “As long as I look the part I am portraying on screen, it’s just fine,” she quoted earlier in an interview. She is a total foodie and loves her pizzas.

Huma Qureshi

Likewise with Huma Qureshi. The Gangs Of Wasseypur actress is appreciated for her acting talent but her weight is talked about more often. Huma states, “I believe in staying fit. A lot of people like real women with realistic sizes so there’s no need to be skinny.” The fact that the industry is changing with people accepting real actors who look like the character has come as a blessing. “A healthy body image is important because actors need to look good and act well. However, you don’t need to be skinny or anorexic,” stresses Zarine.

Actress Parineeti Chopra has trimmed down a bit
Actress Parineeti Chopra has trimmed down a bit

Media malaise
In the past, head honchos of fashion glossies have spoken about how it’s unfair to equate slimness with beauty. However, the media obsession with weight has led to an impression that being slim means looking beautiful. Pria says, “I agree that the fashion critics are obsessed with being skinny. Media all over the world promotes the notion that fashionable clothes look better on slim/thin girls.

Bollywood star Vidya Balan too faced a lot of flak for her bulk
Bollywood star Vidya Balan too faced a lot of flak for her bulk

I often read about fashion critics making fun of a woman’s body being too fat or chunky rather than reviewing what they’re wearing. The moment an actress or socialite puts on a few kilos, people talk about how awful she looked in an outfit. That’s terrible. A perfect case in example was Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who had to the bear the brunt for her post-pregnancy weight. She’s a lovely woman, weight or no weight.”

Actress Zarine Khan lost a lot of weight
Actress Zarine Khan lost a lot of weight

On the verge of mania
Fashion designer Farah Sanjana has myriad views on this issue. She opines, “The fashion industry is always portrayed as this world where people are obsessed with staying in shape. However, the fact is fitness has become a way of life for many. But obsession of any kind even if it’s with fitness is not good. I don’t think it’s wrong to aspire to be of a certain size. At the same time, people need to understand that girls in modelling have a certain kind of frame. It is not right to club models and average women in the same bracket. I feel that Indian designers do go out and embrace all body types. I find it challenging to dress women of all sizes and make them look gorgeous. The word ‘fat’ needs to be regulated. It’s used too casually.”

A negative body image is an issue with many. It plagues not only actresses and starlets but also young girls and women. Sonakshi states, “A bad body image can impact anyone. I have seen my friends suffering from that. I feel it’s unhealthy to obsess over anything, especially weight unless it’s affecting your health. I feel sad for young girls who starve themselves.” Surveys also talk about modern moms putting their daughters on diet. Zarine signs off saying, “Forcing your kids to avoid food that they love is like taking away a part of their childhood. Healthy eating is good but making them starve to look skinny is terrible.”

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