For a decade, we have been watching our favourite celebrities play different roles in different stories. It is astonishing to witness the transformation of the cinematic universe and how realistic it has become. Gone is the time when movies were called larger-than-life. Changes are constant in the content, scripts, and stories being delivered to us. However, the one theme that hasn’t yet completely disappeared from the cinema is irrational beauty standards. Stereotypes such as toxic masculinity, stalker behaviour, and brutal violence are all still prevailing. One such stereotype is fat girls not being beautiful. In shorter, “Fat Shaming.”
There are plenty of moments in Bollywood where weight was used as a topic to insult men and women blatantly. A particular section of individuals had to constantly battle the rude and insensitive comments on their appearance and body weight. The only progress that Bollywood has done in this field is that heavy characters are being included in the stories but only serve laughter for the audience and create gags by using them. One of the most talented and experienced actors, Mr Rishi Kapoor being the courageous person he is, spoke about he should be awarded for gaining weight if Parineeti Chopra could be awarded for losing some. The statement was made referencing the moment of a Stardust Style Icon Awards.
Unfortunately, our perspectives are still from the eras where beauty was limited to certain standards, and acceptance for every body type was only a thought. Or maybe not a thought either. Bollywood has indeed brought in revolutionary positive thoughts for the improvement of our society. But if the individuals are acting on-screen hold the power to influence the youth and the masses, then maybe the writers, directors, actors should treat such issues with better sensibility.
Movies That Promoted Fat Shaming
Here are the seven times where ‘fat shaming’ was normalized, and we couldn’t discourage or oppose it.
Kabir Singh was indeed one of the most controversial movies of its time. Both the movie and the character itself received a major backlash and extreme criticism from the masses, with a bunch of issues such as toxic masculinity, misogyny, women objectification, and last but not the least, fat-shaming. Perhaps between all this chaos, fat-shaming was neglected and didn’t quite get the attention it deserved.
A particular scene where Kabir can be explicitly heard making an offensive remark on a girl’s weight. He says something along the lines of, “Fat chicks are like teddy bears. They are soft and loyal. Fat chicks and good-looking chicks are a good combination.” However, it is a shame that the movie was a blockbuster hit and earned beyond 300 crores on the box office despite all these issues. It only displays that the audiences and our society is still not as serious as it should be.
When it comes to the superstar of Bollywood, Salman Khan, it is usual for him to star in movies that promote practices that are toxic and harmful for society. But Bodyguard takes the habit to a whole other level by introducing a character called Tsunami Singh in the movie. Abusing him by the nickname of ‘fatso’ is very easily normalized, and no-one utters a word. Throughout the movie, it is blatantly obvious that the role is only written for the sake of serving humour. Moments where he is shown to be lethargic are some of the worst and completely senseless stereotypes inserted in the movie.
Judwaa 2 was a line-by-line remake, or should we say just a copy-and-paste decorated with a new star cast version of the previous ‘Judwaa’. Being a movie of the new era, the star cast and the setting was changed. But the stereotype that a fat policewoman can’t catch the active Varun Dhawan remained the same.
The utterly talented Nawazuddin Siddiqui delivered us a film that strung all the stereotypes together to make a story. His character Ghoomketu accidentally gets married to a lady named Janaki Devi. Since Janaki is “fat”, Ghoomketu refuses to even look at her face after the marriage. He is disheartened and goes on further to leave the house. However, the ending is very happy. Why? Because Ghoomketu returns to find that Janaki has lost weight, and wow! Suddenly she is very beautiful to everyone. Feel free to notice the sarcasm.
This movie has seriously left all the other instances mentioned in this article behind. If you want to check the truth of our facts, then go check out this song called ‘ho Nahi Sakta. While other stories have a few scenes or side characters occasionally getting trolled for their weights, this film has a whole five minutes song based on the concept of fat-shaming. The video of the song shows Ajay Devgn requesting his friends to save him from a fat girl.
Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham
The K3G phrase can be applied to the life of Rohan, aka childhood Hritik Roshan in the movie. He has a ‘game in his life that he is being trolled for his weight until he grows up and loses it. Once he is slim and all tall-dark, handsome, he has ‘Khushi’. His childhood character has contributed to the movie is nothing but consuming food and throwing tantrums on not getting what he wants. It is ridiculous how he is conveniently named Ladoo.
Kal Ho Na Ho
This movie taught us to live in the moment and love life as it is. Sharukh Khan taught a major philosophy in the movie. But he forgot to teach the directors and writer to not fat-shame the character Sweetu (Delnaaz Irani). There are plenty of instances where Naina (Preity Zinta) easily comments on how Sweetu should control her diet. She faces criticism for dressing up in tight-fitted clothes. She is also warned frequently that she shouldn’t expect to find a guy for her if she keeps up her practices.