Fat or not: Why I will cheer for Sonakshi Sinha
Editor's note: Sonakshi Sinha turns 27 today and as expected, social media is abuzz with fans wishing her, media houses putting out their choicest photo spreads with her and of course, the wisecracks of the self-proclaimed Twitter-wits who never run out of unflattering things to say about her weight, the circumference of her upper arm or her forehead. We chose to republish an article that originally came out in July 2013, which outlines what is wrong with the Sonakshi Sinha fat jokes that go viral on Facebook and Twitter.
No one recommends eavesdropping. It's an invasion of privacy and more importantly, what you end up overhearing has a tendency to make you feel a little crappier about yourself. But here's the thing: it can also be strangely life-affirming.
For example, this morning, I dawdled at a coffee shop because something about the aghast tone in which a young woman said, "Dude! Marie Claire has Sonakshi on the cover!" made me linger.
"That's because she's in pretty much in every movie that's coming out now," replied my eavesdropee's friend.
"So what? She's so not fashionable. I mean she wears aunty-ji saris and she's fat. Come. On."
My face, atop my sari-clad body, turned a distinct shade of purple, but the young women were far more focused on Sinha.
"She looks nice in Lootera though."
"Yeah, if you ignore how they've mummified her in those saris to hide her love handles."
"Her arms are chubby, it's true."
"I don't know how she's made it, dude. It's like a miracle."
While it's currently en vogue to speak for people you feel you can relate to because you're a writer of fiction, I'd like to buck the trend and cheer for Sonakshi Sinha because she's become a champion for my tribe. We overweight women finally have an ambassador in movies who is not Tuntun.
The jokes about Sinha's appearance have been aplenty since Dabangg. She has a forehead that could fit an eight-lane highway. When she dances, she and her tummy get jiggy with it. The reason why there are so many solo shots of Sinha in her movies is because if she's in the frame, no one else can fit. In an attempt to be polite, it was opined that her looks appealed to, as one drinker of skinny lattes informed me, "the rustic sort".
This is the sort of reaction that usually leads to actresses starving themselves, releasing stories through PR agencies about their diet and/or exercise regimes. They they'll do a photo shoot wearing an outfit that displays a flatter stomach and a waist of which Photoshop would be proud.
Sinha, however, did not lose weight. Instead, she starred in movies that went on to become hits and gathered a serious fan following. Her performance in Lootera has everyone gushing and no one has made any observations about how many extra hours co-star Ranveer Singh had to spend in the gym in order to be her equal. Karan Johar, who has had his own long-standing fight with fat, described Sinha as a "revelation".
"I am here to act and not be size zero," Sinha said in an interview, which may or may not be a dig at actresses like Kareena Kapoor who began their careers looking like regular women before acquiring new and reduced proportions. Considering the fact that her filmography includes films like Rowdy Rathore and Joker, Sinha's claims that she's focused on acting don't really hold water, but I'm reasonably certain I'm not alone in cheering every time I see a photo of Sinha. And for entirely superficial reasons.
The tag of beautiful has finally been attached to someone who is not extreme, but regular. Sinha looks ridiculous only when she doesn't choose her sari wisely and when an image of her is placed next to the thinspiring women of show business. Most of the time, she makes most of us do a double take and realise that we may be pretty and magazine cover-worthy just the way we are.
Ok, maybe not just the way we are. Maybe with some styling, a little plastic surgery and some weight loss, but let's not make this all about me.
The fact of the matter is Sinha is not your average girl next door. Her father is Shatrughan Sinha, for crying out loud. Even if you ignore that detail, genetics triumphed to give her a truly lovely face (despite the cracks made at her forehead). But unlike most Bollywood actresses, she doesn't come across as affected. She carries herself confidently, you can tell when she's genuinely smiling and when she's just posing, and she's neither obese nor skinny. The one thing average about Sinha is her figure. And the combination of all these physical factors is unexpectedly refreshing. Though perhaps the sweetest victory of all is the fact that thanks to Sinha's success, we now have writers who have survived on lettuce and tomatoes for most of the 21st century telling us to "love our curves". Take that, drinkers of skinny lattes, and go get yourself a cupcake.
Updated Date: Jun 02, 2014 16:10:12 IST