When she forayed her way to Bollywood, she was skilfully fierce, uninhibited and effortlessly beautiful. She won hearts with her first film Ladies vs Ricky Bahl and I remember being in awe of her. Parineeti Chopra’s sincere escapade was laudable. She defied the conventional outlook and stole our hearts with her stellar performance. On the big screen, was an average-looking girl-next-door, who was winning us over with her impeccable acting.
This ordinary girl did the extraordinary. Despite being bound by blood by the more-famous Priyanka Chopra, Parineeti carved her own niche. She has always appeared comfortable in her own skin, which is why we could not stop ourselves from revering her.
Bollywood, as we know it, is an elite kingdom that has always set neat rules about women and their bodies. There has always been a certain aphorism about the way women should look. The detestable rules of physical beauty are the only tangible things in the world of unfathomable shallowness.
Which is why, when Parineeti Chopra launched her fitness programme Built That Way, I was heartened – encouraged by the powerful message that I presumed it would convey. But it was a dud (at least I’d tell myself that) and I am disappointed by this Instagram post the now-petite actress put up a few days ago:
BEFORE .. All my life, I have struggled with how I look, how I feel, and how people looked at me. I was constantly made fun of, but the person I was, I generously laughed with them. Today, many people ask me what triggered the weight loss, did I give in to the “bollywood pressure”? To that I say – thank god I became an actor and had that pressure! I am able to achieve what I couldn’t achieve otherwise. I feel more confident, I feel at peace, and I feel proud! Girls and women meet me all around the world, at airports, events, on the street; they hold my hand, hug me, and tell me their struggles and how I changed their lives. They show me their wallpapers, their wallets, and its all pictures of me!! They look at those pictures and want to make that change in their own lives. They look at my Built That Way campaign and have stuck it to their walls. I have seen women tear up and tell me I changed their life. Post delivery weight, teenage obesity, they are fighting it, and I am their inspiration. As an actor, There is no bigger achievement for me. I am glad to be a part of your life in this way. So thank you everyone. Thank You for making me feel loved. Like I always say – if I could do it. So can you. And I am always there for all of you …. Lots of love….
Chopra has confessed of succumbing to the outrageous pressure of the world of glamour. Her post is discouraging, to begin with, and she has set a dangerous example by going on the perilous path of superficiality.
She talks about teenage obesity, which is a disease, and not a lifestyle choice-gone-wrong. Being “overweight” is not synonymous with being “obese”. A person is obese when there is excessive accumulation of body fat, and they are more than 20 per cent heavier than their ideal body weight. What Chopra has failed to grasp is that obesity is a painful condition, and when extreme, a person may require a weight-loss surgery. Every obese person is fighting a battle that an overweight person does not necessarily have to fight.
The actor’s campaign has been inappropriately named “Built That Way”. She does nothing to encourage women to understand their bodies, accept their flaws, ignore the world and take up challenges head-on. Instead, Chopra toys with the very idea that most of us battle against- the societal stigma attached with physical beauty, or the lack of it.
Through this campaign, she has set a treacherous standard for women, by trying to instil the thought that they too, like her, can achieve a flawless/well-toned body. That if Parineeti Chopra battled all odds to get in shape, they can too!
But here is the deal – I do not want to twist my muscles and achieve that impossible posture. And this is what I would tell my friends too. Women do not have to heed such pseudo advices on how to shape their bodies and not become a laughing stock.
What on earth is wrong with people? Good for you, Parineeti that you achieved what you wanted to. You set a goal for yourself, reeling under some kind of ludicrous pressure, and accomplished what you have always wanted to. But stop propagating such dangerous ideas.
My curve or the lack of it, is mine. My body, those blemishes, the wriggly thigh, the post-pregnancy stretches, the C-section scars, the sagging breasts, the greying hair, et al are mine. And I refuse to succumb to a stupid societal notion about what makes a woman beautiful.
You are in shape, congratulations. Please do not project yourself as a muse. This one was not inspiring, nope.