8 Things We Don’t Like About How Female Friendships Are Portrayed In Film. Do Better!

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8 Things We Don’t Like About How Female Friendships Are Portrayed In Film. Do Better!

Lights, camera, stereotypes! Female friendships have long been a staple in Hollywood and Bollywood films, but how accurately are they portrayed? Bollywood has had its fair share of hits and misses when it comes to portraying female friendships on the silver screen. This Women’s Day, let’s shatter the celluloid ceiling and celebrate the real essence of women’s bonds, far removed from the silver screen fantasies. Here are 10 things wrong with how female friendships are depicted in movies.

1. Lacks Real Conversations

Unlike their male counterparts in movies like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, female characters in films like Veere Di Wedding and 4 More Shots Please often revolve their conversations around men and relationships. This lack of depth undermines the authenticity of their friendships and reinforces gender stereotypes.

2. Always Undefined Careers

Male characters in movies often have well-defined careers that play a central role in the narrative. However, female characters like Kalindi in Veere Di Wedding are often relegated to the sidelines, with little focus on their professional lives. This imbalance reflects a broader trend of sidelining women’s achievements and aspirations in mainstream cinema.

3. Rivalry Above Everything Else

Films like the Student Of The Year series fail to explore the potential of female friendships, opting instead for tired tropes of rivalry and animosity. Imagine the untapped potential of a storyline centred around three women navigating the challenges of education together, akin to 3 Idiots.

4. Screen Time Disparities

Even when female friendships are highlighted, they often receive significantly less screen time compared to their male counterparts. In Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, the friendship between Aditi and Naina is reduced to just one scene, while the male friendships take precedence throughout the film.

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5. Competitive Catfights

Hollywood often depicts women’s friendships as competitive, as seen in films like Mean Girls and Gossip Girl. These portrayals perpetuate stereotypes of women as catty and competitive, diverging from the reality of most female friendships.

7. Nurturing To A Fault

On the flip side, chick flicks often depict female friendships as overly nurturing and codependent. Think The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, where the girls’ lives revolve entirely around each other, neglecting individual growth. With that being said, male friendships on the other hand are shown much more independent and free of any such obligations of being the only guiding forces in each other’s lives.

8. Romantic Melodrama

Bollywood often reduces female friendships to mere accessories in romantic storylines. Female characters serve as plot devices to further the love interests of the male protagonists, perpetuating the notion that women’s lives revolve around men. Pitting women against each other through their friendships to win the romance has to stop!

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8. Shallow Sisterhood

Superficiality reigns supreme in Bollywood’s portrayal of female friendships. Women are often depicted as mere adornments, judged solely on their physical appearance rather than their intellect or character. The issue is showing so-called sanskaari girls with laid-back girls to give a glimpse into their superficial traits rather than their intellectual traits.

So, where does the problem lie? The dominance of the male gaze in mainstream cinema plays a significant role. Films are often crafted to cater to male audiences, resulting in narratives that prioritize male perspectives and fantasies. This skewed portrayal perpetuates stereotypes and undermines the depth of female relationships.

While some films have made strides in portraying female friendships authentically, there’s still much work to be done. By challenging the influence of the male gaze and amplifying female voices both on and off-screen, cinema can pave the way for more nuanced and empowering representations of women’s bonds. This Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the real women in our lives—flawed, fierce, and unapologetically authentic. Here’s to celebrating all the incredible women and their unwavering female friendships!

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