Body image and body-shaming are part and parcel of being in the Bollywood spotlight. It can sound glamorous to many. Being adored by hundreds of thousands, attending chic events at the most prestigious venues in the most haute couture, and in general having the world at one’s feet. It’s a life surrounded by an abundance of wealth, prestige, and pleasure and in hindsight, it sounds incomparable.
However, the downside to highly public life is that everyone gets to weigh in on public figures’ decisions, choices of clothing, and behaviour, as well as extreme hypocrisy. The most profound impacts of such lives can be attributed to physicality, most specifically, body image. Here are three popular Bollywood actors who experienced body-shaming on social media:
One of the quintessential images a lot of Bollywood fans or anyone who has knowledge of Bollywood knows is that Salman Khan is one of the most built men in the industry. His chiseled torso has made headlines and the front pages of multiple magazines and film posters.
However, in 2017, the actor was snapped looking healthier than usual, leading to a nasty parade of trolls online, commenting on Khan’s bulkier appearance. While he did put down the trolling with dignity, the damage had been done and it did not stop either. On another occasion in 2022 while performing a dance routine his bulkier appearance attracted another slew of online hate and harassment.
The legendary star of Bahubali, Prabhas, was also not exempted from the trenches of online hate. After the release of the extremely successful Bahubali series, Prabhas was photographed, no longer donning the extremely built physique he had created for the series. He had relaxed his tedious workout regimen post the film series, rightfully so, and was then made the bear the brunt of the internet’s shock.
However, this did not phase the actor’s life as he made clear that he would focus on a relaxing lifestyle, as he should, post an extremely tenuous lifestyle for Bahubali.
The actor has taken a noticeable sabbatical from the spotlight after quite a successful tenure. He was spotted recently, looking healthier than he used to years ago, and was subjected to the netizens’ wrath. He was ruthlessly attacked online for his heavier appearance and it truly shows the sheer scale of the traumas of a spotlight-focused lifestyle.
The Dark Side of Bollywood
All individuals in the entertainment industry are forced to maintain meticulous control over their images. This extends to their appearance, their narratives, their relationships, and everything in between. The reason for this is the potential attack of netizens on some aspect of their personality and/or appearance. This needs to change because this promotes ideologies that entertainers are not human beings, but rather products of entertainment for the masses.