Being in the limelight is not an easy job. Bollywood actresses have to deal with majorly a single perception of beauty to often put to body shaming. While many have largely stayed away from talking about it, Richa Chadha once brazenly spoke about the issue.
The Gangs of Wasseypur actress once appeared at TEDx Talk where she spoke about how almost everyone in the industry suffers from Bulimia and body shaming. She also opened up about the unreal pressures actresses get from filmmakers and directors, who have unrealistic expectations from them.
Richa Chadha said how every filmmaker she met with asked her to go under the knife which affected her confidence. She said, “I was told I should gain weight, then lose weight, fix my nose and inflate my lips, get a b**b job, lose the puppy fat, grow my hair out, or cut it, get highlights, or fake eyelash extensions, squat for a bigger b**ty, get fake gel nails, run in heels, wear Spanx, pout while talking, focus on dilating the pupils, and listen attentively. I crumbled under the pressure like a wrecking ball had hit me.”
During a conversation with NDTV, Richa Chadha said, “There is a changing concept of beauty, from being a voluptuous Indian beauty of the sculptures we have inherited and the heroines of the past, we have started aping the West very, very directly. That is not very healthy. I see 12-year-olds counting calories and talking about how somebody’s thin or someone’s lips are nice. It all comes from a body dysmorphic disorder when you start to see yourself in a particular way and, God knows, women go through it a lot.”
Richa Chadha further said, “When you become an actor, you stop eating. You stop eating roti, sabzi, dal. You start eating protein, good carbs, complex carbs, good fat, good cholesterol and everything becomes so mathematical. It began with me telling myself I’ve overeaten, maybe I won’t sleep well or I’ll have to work out right after and I’ll feel really heavy and bloated so let me just do it this one time. Then I noticed that it’s happening once a week, then twice and then thrice a week. Then it became a daily post-lunch ritual. I almost felt guilty for having to eat at all. I realized I was going a little bit crazy when one time I thought I’m so busy anyway, it would be easier to pop a pill or take a drip once in a while instead of having to sit down and eat.”