Why news of Harman Baweja's 'transformation' is fodder for clickbait and body-shaming

Devansh Sharma

Jun,13 2017 15:44 22 IST

Fardeen Khan then. Harman Baweja now.

Both Twitterati and media organisations cannot help but body-shame actors who have not been active for a few years. Harman was last seen in Sanamjit Singh Talwar's crime drama Dishkiyaoon three years ago. And apparently, seeing an (unwarranted) image of him has sparked "shock" online.

This is the kind of "shock" that is reserved for weight gain, wardrobe malfunctions, and other such superficial situations.

As per several media organisations, the actor has undergone 'drastic transformation' and looks 'completely unrecognisable' now.

Well, as per our dictionary, the 'drastic transformation' can be dubbed as organic growth.

And as far as our eyes are concerned, Harman is easily recognisable.

Yes, he has put on weight and also sports a salt and pepper look but he is still pretty much a fit/healthy looking 36 year old man.

And isn't that all that matters?

While several of our fellow members of the media fraternity may not hold the same view, it can be argued that they have never really looked at the man close enough to be able to recognise him years down the lane.

For example, a certain publication never went beyond seeing him as a Hrithik Roshan doppleganger.

harman 2

Or for that instance, another publication which had their eyes set only on Priyanka Chopra while watching the duo in Harman's debut film, Harry Baweja's 2008 science fiction film Love Story 2050.

His identity has been reduced to Priyanka's ex beau, and nobody likes being robbed of their identity in this manner.

harman 1

Priyanka is still very much a star while Harman is not. Agreed. But that does not take away from his right to live his life the way he wants to or look the way he wants to.

He does not have any announced film in the pipeline so he is not obligated to stick to the cosmetic diktats of the Hindi film industry.

Also, if we were to give him the benefit of doubt, he may have been asked to put on weight for a role. Case in point - Aamir Khan in Dangal. 

Why are we so quick to brand everyone into superficial categories?

Irrespective of whether there is an intent or not behind his current look, nobody should have the license to body shame him.

If he does not look his part in a future film, then they certainly have the right to point that out and even seek a justification. But the same can not be applied for his personal life, when he is walking out of a Mumbai restaurant.

His work is a subject of observation, scrutiny and comment. But his personal life is certainly not.