Courtesy Divya Palat’s Times of India Celebrity Blog
You’re too fat, too skinny, too anorexic, too curvy. Your hair is too straight, too curly, too messy, too styled, too black, too red! You’re out of fashion, you’re too much of a wannabe! If you’re a celebrity, it seems nothing you do will ever be perfect and then you blame the celebrities for airbrushing photographs or for fighting for privacy! How are they to keep their sanity with the unending glare of the harshest of spotlights on them?
The week started with a photograph of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan leaving a party. A new mother, she had come to the party as a guest and to represent her family. Immediately her weight was front page news! Is she too fat? Is she retiring? Is she not planning to lose the baby weight? Give her a break! She was at a party! She wasn’t trying to romance you on screen or pretend to be an 18 year old college student in a new movie…she was at a party just having a good time! As an actress critique her work, her looks, her performance on screen. On the red carpet, talk about her fashion, her style, her makeup but when she’s at a party with friends and is not the ‘Actress Aishwarya’ or the ‘Miss World Aishwarya’ surely then we can reserve our comments. She must be critiqued, but critique her in her work. Personal lives for a celebrity may make for good gossip but surely we can give a new mother a few months or years off to just enjoy her new family? Surely we can be less harsh.
The end of the week was almost the same. Sachin Tendulkar’s photograph in a retro shirt went viral with people making fun of his hairstyle, his fashion sense and even him! Newspapers knew that this would once again sell and so he was front page news. And front page news for what? Because you didn’t like his hairstyle and didn’t like his shirt? So? He never claimed to be a fashionista or a model!! Critique him on his cricket, his career, his decisions but hitting out at someone because of how they look I believe is pathetic, weak ,spineless and thoughtless!
You hide behind the guise of a fan or a well wisher and you hit a person where it hurts most for no reason at all and tomorrow though your news is just yesterday’s news, the hurt is always remembered!
I get so angry about this because when I got sick I was on a very high dosage of steroids for months on end! I had lost use of my left side completely and had to re-learn everything from smiling, to walking , to even seeing properly. Steroids make you put on weight and that weight takes time to knock off and the effects of steroids cause many other scary side effects (many which I unfortunately went through). My first event post my illness was a the opening of my best friend’s restaurant. I went to support him with the extra weight and stayed for about 30 minutes. I wasn’t allowed to stay longer. The following day in the newspapers comments and jokes were made about my weight. These newspapers were hidden from me then by my family and Aditya, because I was in too fragile a state and any amount of stress could trigger a relapse. I did however read them when I opened a drawer by mistake looking for a stapler a few months later.
It hurt. You didn’t attack my shows or my work. You attacked me. You hid behind a paper, hid behind a curtain of words and fired a machine gun straight at me. It still hurts! Yes, maybe we should all get thicker skin, maybe we should all stop caring about what people say or what people write but honestly when a reporter asks me, as she did this week- ”after you put on weight, after your illness, and your beauty went, did your perception of beauty change?,”I had to take a moment to ease that painful lump in the throat and give an appropriate answer without losing my temper.
To all the faceless critics out there-:
Aishwarya won Miss World, did you?
Sachin Tendulkar is arguably the world’s greatest cricketer, are you?
I survived death, have you?
If you can’t, haven’t or aren’t maybe take a moment in someone else’s shoes and show a little more class, a little more respect and a little restraint when writing!
After all there would be a lot less news without them…so instead of looking at just selling a single day’s newspaper, start looking at the big picture!
P.s. (Palat says)-: If you have nothing nice to say about someone , do the world and yourself a favour , just SHUT UP!