Celebs em­brace their body flaws, fans hope more will join them

HT Cafe - - Front Page - Etti Bali and San­chita Kalra etti.bali@htlive.com; san­chita.kalra@htlive.com

WWhen peo­ple spoke rub­bish about me af­ter I had posted pic­tures, it af­fected me. I’ve been a sportsper­son all my life, but did that mat­ter? AAHANA KUMRA AC­TOR

hen Bol­ly­wood ac­tor Pari­neeti Chopra posted a pic­ture on In­sta­gram with stretch marks show­ing on her waist, they were lauded as stripes well earned. In an in­dus­try that re­lies heav­ily on photo edit­ing soft­ware and “fix­ing one’s ap­pear­ance”, this photo was con­sid­ered a brave step. The photo fetched seven lakh likes.

And when Amer­i­can model Ken­dall Jen­ner at­tended Golden Globes 2018, she was crit­i­cised for her acne, but Ken­dall tweeted to a fan, say­ing: “Never let that shit stop you!” Two weeks ago, ac­tor Vidya Balan also posted a pic­ture on In­sta­gram, cap­tion­ing it: “You’re go­ing to be in your skin un­til you die.. That’s a while... So you might as well get com­fort­able in it!”

With celebri­ties em­brac­ing their flaws, can this make the body im­age is­sue take a pos­i­tive turn? Ac­tor Aahana Kumra says, “In our in­dus­try, ev­ery­thing is about be­ing plas­tered and look­ing like a Bar­bie doll. The world won’t let you be your­self.”

Un­fair crit­i­cism does st­ing, she says. “When peo­ple spoke rub­bish about me af­ter I had posted pic­tures, it af­fected me. I’ve been a sportsper­son all my life, but did that mat­ter?” On the im­pact of Pari­neeti’s photo, Aahana says, “I’d like to say that yes, Pari­neeti has done a very cool thing, but peo­ple are not go­ing to like it. It’s very nice that she’s do­ing this, but that’s one ex­am­ple.”

Asked if this move by stars will make fans happy, Rita Gang­wani, im­age con­sul­tant, says, “When­ever a fa­mous per­son posts a pic­ture or talks about em­brac­ing their own im­per­fec­tions, it’s a boost for com­mon peo­ple to ac­cept them­selves as they are.”

Peo­ple need to re­alise that what is a ca­sual re­mark for them, may cut deeper for the per­son at the re­ceiv­ing end. Film­maker Alankrita Shri­vas­tava says, “We need to get past [body-sham­ing], as it harms peo­ple. [The photo in ques­tion] should not be a big deal; but in these times of Pho­to­shop­ping, it is.”

The im­pact of celebs own­ing their flaws is man­i­fold. “It’s a pos­i­tive mes­sage. If some­one of that pro­fes­sion ac­cepts their im­per­fec­tion, then it’s hu­man to have some im­per­fec­tions, as peo­ple will see,” says Dr Pulkit Sharma, psy­chol­o­gist.

Fans ap­pre­ci­ate this, too. Aniesha Chaana, 29, a mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sional, says, “When celebs show com­fort and open­ness in dis­cussing their in­se­cu­ri­ties, it helps fans to ac­knowl­edge and ac­cept, if not over­come, body is­sues.”

Re­search scholar Isha Yadav, 26, says, “It’s high time we un­learn the stan­dards we’ve been taught to stick to and ac­cept our bod­ies the way they are. A celebrity call­ing out mar­ket-driven ne­ces­si­ties does have a lot of in­flu­ence. I hope more celebri­ties join the band­wagon.”

Shin­jini Amitabh Chawla, life­style blog­ger, says, “With celebri­ties show­ing us what truly lies be­hind the scenes, and even more im­por­tantly, ac­cept­ing them­selves as they are, the av­er­age per­son starts to feel bet­ter about them­selves.” Shin­jini, who was un­easy about her post­na­tal stretch marks, now feels more con­fi­dent af­ter see­ing pic­tures shared on­line. “Celebri­ties,” she says, “have a big hand in mak­ing us feel more com­fort­able in our skin.”

PHOTO: IN­STA­GRAM/PARINEETICHOPRA

Pari­neeti Chopra re­veals stretch marks

PHOTO: IN­STA­GRAM/BALANVIDYA

Vidya Balan on stay­ing ‘real’

PHOTO: IN­STA­GRAM/ AAHANAKUMRA

Ac­tor Aahana Kumra faced neg­a­tive com­ments

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