Masaba Gupta Wanted To Be An Actor But Was Told She Didn’t Have The Look For It. Is Bollywood Ever Going To Be More Inclusive?
According to Bollywood, you cannot get the douchy handsome guy you are swooning over unless you have spotless, fair skin and an hourglass body. I can’t remember a single movie in which the hero falls for a tomboyish, average-looking girl unless of course she gets a serious makeover that turns her into a supermodel or an ideal desi girl, with her dupatta flying in the air and all.
God forbid if the girl has short hair, braces, a few extra kilos or even wears glasses (she is just trying to see wtf!), she is hopeless and needs to doll up, like before the intermission. Bollywood is singlehandedly responsible for setting unrealistic beauty standards and making the young girls succumb to lifelong insecurities and the false idea of being beautiful.
Obviously then, if you want to work in the film industry, you have to be Bollywood-perfect. Masaba Gupta can vouch for that. The designer recently opened up about body shaming and how this bizarre definition of beauty standards still prevails in Bollywood. She wanted to become an actor just like her mother Neena Gupta but was body shamed and told she needed to have a certain body type.
In an interview with a fashion magazine, Masaba said, “No matter how many conversations we have about inclusivity and body positivity, I know for a fact that even in Bollywood, top roles are still reserved for only some and not the others.”
Talking about how she deals with these casual and annoying remarks, she said “I just don’t pay any heed! All of us have our own defence mechanisms, and mine is to not mull over things that are not important. So even at that time, I just moved on, and was like, ‘It’s okay, I’ll pursue something else.”
She went on to become one of the biggest fashion designers but that’s not because how she was treated by Bollywood. She said, “Although I only made peace with it after I became successful as a fashion designer. But I hadn’t ‘decided’ to get into another career to prove a point, like ‘Oh I’m going to show these people’. Also, ‘courage’ sometimes can be highly overrated…accepting yourself can take years, even decades!”
It’s interesting for her to say this because she’s such a celebrated designer right now, often a favourite with Bollywood celebrities. But we guess she wasn’t meant for the screen because she has fabulously curly hair, a body she loves but one that doesn’t fit into the strait-jacket ways of Bollywood.
Her Instagram feed is a self-love diary where she often puts positive posts about her body. When asked how she started to love her body, she said, “Frankly, I am not fully there, yet. But one of the ways I started being okay with it was by training hard…harder… Our body needs to be loved, and that love, for me, comes through exercise. I went to a yogashala once, where they told us that a person’s body and mind work in sync. So, if you have any sort of stress or are stuck in a certain thinking pattern, or when your mind doesn’t love your body, it starts reflecting in different parts of your body. So it’s not just a body-type thing, it is also your mindset.”
We agree with Masaba and really, it’s sick how Bollywood is obsessed with the unrealistic beauty standards. I mean, It’s 2020. Can we move on from these disgusting perceptions of beauty and the idea of looking a certain way, already?