By Sonia Chopra
The world’s most beautiful woman has decided to gently aim her delicate middle finger at all those who spoke about her weight gain in the most undignified manner. And no, she didn’t go on a diet, not even for her prestigious Cannes appearance.
The sniggers at her weight are dying down. As she makes her appearance at the Cannes Film Festival in two distinct looks – the ultra-traditional one, and the younger one where she lets her hair down—her fans are ecstatic. And most critics are slowly and grudgingly, coming under the spell of Aishwarya Rai. For it takes a rare kind of inner confidence to not bow down to the incessant pressure to look a certain way.
Most celebrity moms do succumb though. They hit the gym faster than their bodies and minds are comfortable with. And then come the glowing news reports about how they’ve lost, what is always referred to as, “oodles of weight”.
No one’s denying that commitment to one’s health is a superlative notion. But wearing heels while pregnant (which is dangerous for both mother and baby), and then the desperation to “appear” in pre-pregnancy weight is seriously uncool.
This writer’s cousin stopped eating full meals as soon as her baby was born, as her young mind was completely taken in by the ‘yummy mummy’ culture. Sleepless nights with the baby coupled with a crash diet saw her being put on a drip. She finally coped, and threw out her old jeans, the ones she wanted to fit into desperately. But there are others, who continue to sacrifice their inner well-being, for a superficial approval.
It’s a highly misogynistic gaze, that allows women to be mothers, but without the natural side-effects. It’s similar to the pressure that doesn’t allow women to age gracefully. So you’ll have Bollywood heroines making their comeback, looking eerily the same as they did ten years ago. Why are we unable to tolerate a single wrinkle or weight gain on our female celebrities?
And so, when Ash gives a flying hoot to those obsessing over her weight, and accepts her new body as part and parcel of motherhood, it’s just so refreshing. The pressure is even more urgent for Rai, as she is doomed to carry the ‘World’s Most Beautiful Woman’ sash on her permanently.
But Aishwarya Rai has proven to be a game-changer. She has actually made it cool to revel in motherhood, with the extra curves and all. She has decided to gently aim her delicate middle finger at all those who spoke about her weight gain in the most undignified manner. And she has done this without media bytes, press releases, and most significantly without even reacting.
Not many people can do that. Her Cannes appearance is remarkable. Many were expecting to see her in a shrunken avatar, desperate to prove that she was back to her old weight. But sorry, Aishwarya didn’t go on a diet, not even for her prestigious Cannes appearance. She appears slightly slimmer than her post-mommy weight, looking even a little sleep-deprived as all new moms are. She’s giving the message that she’s going to let the pregnancy weight drop gradually and in its own time.
Her fans love her for this. And, what’s more, her critics are giving up and admire her unwavering commitment to herself and the baby. Hats off, I say!