A woman gets pregnant, gives birth to a baby, breastfeeds him/her, enjoys her motherhood. And oh, in the process she gains weight – and her name is Aishwarya Rai, the famous indian actress and beauty queen. 7 months after her delivery of a baby girl, people are scandalized that Aishwarya hasn’t lost yet her pregnency overweight. A video of her in a her first public event since motherhood went viral (watched more than half a million times); she is slammed in India for not being back in shape. For example, here are some critics posted by viewers of the video:
She is a Bollywood actress and it is her duty to look good and fit.
She needs to learn from people like Victoria Beckham who are back to size zero weeks after their delivery.
I don’t know for you, but if I had to choose between the gentle, smiling face of Aishwarya and the severe, never-smiling one of Victoria…
Aishwarya doesn’t need me to ask for indulgence for her post-pregnency shape; she certainly has already many friends who spoke for her. What interests me is that, generally, standards for celebs end up, sooner or later, to be standards for societies and ‘normal women’. It is not by chance that big cosmetic and fashion brands pay celebs to wear their products: they are social influencers. And this is how African women end up straightening their hair, European women spend their lives dieting or feeling guilty for not dieting, Indian women bleaching their skin or Chinese women un-slanting their eyes, etc. Beauty ideals are different in each part of the world, the only constant thing is that these ideals exclude majority of women. Female celebs are avatars of the perfection of body, and in that sense, Aishwarya is no different than other celebs; after all she is the egeria of a cosmetic brand selling skin-bleaching products – we hope this weight-gain controversy will help her to reconsider the importance of not contributing in imposing to a population ideals to be fulfilled only with dangerous behaviors and chemical products. The unfulfillable ideals of brands and celebs act like a social pressure in our societies; a way to submit women and keep them confined in their own mental barriers. Worst part of this being we, women, are not only subjected to pressure, we are also taught to pressure and ostracize women who don’t follow the rules of the majority. In consequence, to reject this pressure is seen as a form of subversivity.
Just come to think of it: Aishwarya Rai is rich, she certainly has dozens of servants to help her with her baby, she could easily have a trainer, someone to cook fit meals, etc. If she didn’t lose weight already (if she is ever to lose it, in the first place), it is maybe not because she can’t, but maybe because at this stage of her life she doesn’t make of it a priority. Meaning that maybe, she is mentally sane enough to give her body the opportunity to be like Mother Nature designed it to be after a delivery, since beginning of times.
I wish to every single woman reading this article to enjoy their womanhood, motherhood, sisterhood – whaterverhood – as much as they can, without caring for people’s criticism on their looks.