Are Indians now obsessed with weight issues and slowly but surely causing an epidemic of negative body image among our young girls?

Are Indians now obsessed with weight issues and slowly but surely causing an epidemic of negative body image among our young girls? A journalist asked Parineeti Chopra an actress admired for her acting skills and great comic timing if she has succeeded despite being “fat”!

Parineeti Chopra dark makeup Are We Now Obsessed With Weight and Causing an Epidemic of Bad Body Image?

A stunned and very offended Parineeti reprimanded the journalist for her rude and misplaced question and the audience present was in agreement. However obsession over celebrities loosing or gaining weight has captured the imagination of the media and weight success and failure stories have become mainstream headlines and trending topics in social media. 

  1. Dietition and therapist Kalpana Shah says, “Women are not even sleeping enough and have relationship issues with their partners fretting over their weight. They are so obsessed that even if they splurge on ice-cream or pizza, they start thinking of puking it out in some time or taking laxatives. They feel that they can remove such food from their system by consuming laxatives. This is totally wrong. This only spoils the system further.” Many times the reason for looking good is often blamed by the women on their partners, they feel that men can never accept fat women.  source
  2. An advertisement for a gymnasium in Pune has become viral on both, and Twitter. The gym, the print ad depicted a slightly healthier looking woman in a wedding outfit, with the words, ‘Please Marry Me’, below the picture. Mocking the weight-related issues of the lady, and in an attempt to portray how desperate she was, the ad went to mention how there would be no pregnancy fat and high restaurant bills if one married her. This was since she was already fat and perennially on a diet. Though it drew sharp criticism on social media, it was a depiction of the Indian attitude and perceptions with respect to the term ‘beautiful’. source
  3. About  80 percent of urban Indian working women in the 25-45 age group are fat because of sedentary lifestyle and changing food habits, a survey by a health organisation has revealed. Women in India are facing a severe problem of weight extremes with the obese getting fatter and the undernourished thinner,”Obese and overweight people are gaining weight rapidly in low-and middle-income countries, including India, while those who are severely undernourished are not experiencing similar weight gains,” source 
  4. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,  is getting slammed for taking too long to lose her post-pregnancy baby weight. “SHOCKING! Fat Aishwarya Rai!” and “Aishwarya’s Baby Fat Woes!” are just two examples of the headlines that have triggered an international debate over India’s perception of women and fame. Professor Rachel Dwyer, the professor of Indian Culture and Cinema at SOAS, University of London, sees the criticism as a western import.“I think this baby weight thing is a western obsession with pulling stars down”. source
  5. Bollywood Actresses with fat legs! Articles targeting specific body parts of actresses and screaming headlines with sharp negative tones are common place. The ones targeted on this list include Amisha Patel, Sonakshi Sinha and Vidya Balan. The writers assessment of this leading actress may make some cringe -“While Sonakshi has had a keen interest in fashion and walked the ramp on many occasions, short dresses don’t really suit her frame. Her thighs are looking huge! Her legs have never been her strong asset. Instead of flaunting  she should cover them up! The others on the list have not been spared from similar scathing comments. source
  6. Media thoughts on some of our actresses – “Konkona Sen Sharma is short but  talented actress and never really had a good body”. “Petite Rani Mukherjee has put on so much weight of late . She needs to get rid of the fat after all age is no excuse”. “Alia Bhatt the Bollywood newbie need s to loose the baby fat and flabby arms”. There is severe criticism for being thin as well –  “Kalki Kochelin could do with a little weight gain she looks rather lanky with a boyish frame.” Anushka Sharma looks to  thin anorexic according to several media reports; Kareena Kapoor is slim but has very chubby arms and the list goes on. Bollywood Actors Weight Objectified Are We Now Obsessed With Weight and Causing an Epidemic of Bad Body Image?
  7. There is a greater possibility now like never before that young adolescents in India may start developing feelings of  negative body image leading to dangerous behavior  documented in Western cultures.  Namely, anorexia, bulimia, depression, anxiety, drug addiction and even suicide.  source

Image Source: Parineeti Chopra

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