Not too long ago, erstwhile actor Pooja Bedi’s daughter Aaliyah Ebrahim was slut-shamed for posting bikini-clad images of herself on her official Instagram account. While both the mother and daughter took to social media to lash out at the haters, looks like the fad is very unlikely to die down anytime soon. The latest star kid to have gotten the shorter end of the stick happens to be Sridevi’s younger daughter, Khushi Kapoor — who was fat-shamed for revealing a bit of a tummy bulge in her recent pictures. Even Amitabh Bachchan’s grandaughter Navya Nanda was not spared her mother expressed her outrage at this alarming trend, where her daughter was ridiculed for being skinny.
Gayathri Naveen, a 23-year-old associate project manager opines that this trend has got to do with the conventional standards of beauty and external appearance. “I haven't experienced anything explicitly online. But there are these daft comments by people telling me that I could be really pretty if I just lost some weight. Which is not very nice because I'm fine the way I am,” she says.
Implying how the current obsession with name-calling and criticising young public figures on their body type or dress-sense reflects upon the underlying shallow mentality; she adds how girls in their teenage years are generally very insecure about their bodies. “A lot of changes happen to the best of us, right? So why is it that we aren’t willing to spare celebrities and star kids? The Internet makes it seem like if you're a fat person you don't deserve to be happy. They slam you for putting up photos of you dressing up in trendy clothes, partying etc because fat people should just shut themselves up in their houses and stay there till they lose weight. This thought process is backward, mean and evil,” she says.
Probing the matter from an expert’s viewpoint, Gayatri Rao, a city-based counsellor admits that several women face criticism online, eventually causing body image issues and depression. “The reason fat shaming has risen to such unprecedented levels is mainly due to two factors — a basic conditioning that labels a particular body type as ideal and desirable and the other as something that’s awkward and off-putting. So it’s more of a reflex to pass snide remarks when a popular name falls in the latter. Moreover, fat-shaming online or even calling somebody a ‘slut’ or names on social media is a lot easier than doing it face to face, owing to a certain level of anonymity that the medium offers. This makes a certain set of sadistic people to revel in the opportunity to make fun of people, and get away with it as well,” she opines.
Terming the trend as downright outrageous, Sara Anand, make-up artiste says how it's almost brutal at what the image of the ‘perfect’ body is doing to our minds. “I haven’t really had anything as such happen to me, not because I’m a size zero, I’m far from it. But it’s simply because I have never succumbed to these nonsensical ideas of how one should look. Self confidence and self-worth are the two most important armours against haters. I’ve seen mothers put down their daughters over their weight and other things. I always advice my clients to be fit for themselves, never because that is what the ‘society’ expects. The only way to get away with this is by stronger media laws and a basic awareness of how beauty can come in different sizes,” she concludes.