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Actress Soha Ali Khan Talks About Bollywood’s Lame Beauty Standards

  • IWB Post
  •  November 21, 2015


“The Beauty Debate” presented by Dove at the Women in the World Summit saw women talking openly about ‘beauty standards’ that the industry has created over the time.

The panel included an international model, a fashion editor, and a filmmaker, who discussed how this ‘standard’ has limited the work opportunities and restricted freedom of the women who work within it.

International fashion model Lakshmi Menon told that the plum contracts in Bollywood are only given to a “very select group of women.” She said,  “For me to work in India was not viable. Abroad, there is a lot more acceptability of diversity. And that’s how I made my mark in the fashion world. It is all the same people. You see Deepika Padukone in five different things in one magazine. Is she the only beautiful person in the country? In a population of millions of women who are absolutely exquisite.”

Soha Ali Khan said, “If you look at the women who are succeeding in the film industry today, they are of all shapes, sizes, colours and hairstyles. In the ‘60s, there was a more certain sense of what a conventional heroine should be. Now, on the other hand, it is very important to be fit. Earlier, for instance, no one went to the gym and didn’t need to look sculpted. Today, it is about manufacturing beauty. It is becoming complicated. There is a lot of image building. Now, everyone has a stylist. My mother laughs at me because it takes three people to get dressed. That ‘just got out of bed’ look? That takes an hour.”

See these video of them interacting with the audience:

We discard these beliefs and think that women must embrace their natural beauty without becoming a victim of body-shaming. Aging is just a natural phenomenon. Just like Lakshmi said, “Beauty is being controlled by an exclusive bunch of people who decide how you should look, what you should wear, how your hair should be, what color your contact lenses should be. It’s not allowing beauty to be celebrated in its true spirit, which is in diversity, and uniqueness.”

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