Actress Charrul Malik, who was a TV journalist earlier, says that even anchors have to face body shaming. She adds that there needs to be a way to stop this evil.
“It’s very sad that body shaming is a reality. Every person who is very thin or very fat gets comments on their body. I think this should not be done. We must not comment on someone’s body. If we are well-wishers of a person, we can make them understand the health benefits they would get if they lose weight. There’s a way to show your concern for someone that doesn’t make them feel bad. I think nobody likes to look a certain way. There are some hereditary issues, or health issues, low metabolism, or sometimes people are medically unfit too, all that makes their body like that. So, I want to say that people don’t want to look fat or be fat, but they have certain health issues which affect their body. Everyone has a personal perspective on this and nobody has the right to comment on anyone,” she says.
However, she feels that things are improving. “Things have started to change now. I have noticed that in films, serials or even OTT, many new people are coming who are not so attractive when it comes to their appearance, but they are very strong performers and are so flawless in their art and skills. I think time is changing and these things will fade soon. But if someone is having a poor mindset then they are to be shamed. I feel pity for those who judge someone based on their looks or appearance,” she says.
Talking about her own experiences, she says, “I have seen this happening in my arena also. When I was a news anchor, the moment we used to put on weight even two to three kilograms, we were told that we have gained weight and are looking fat on screen. We have been told to maintain our weight even if it’s around 50 kilograms. I don’t know what perspective people have about anchors. I have been watching international news channels like Al-Jazeera, CNN, there are anchors who are not so slim, are chubby and look cute on screen. Even male anchors who are healthy and look good. I won’t call them fat, they are healthy people, who look good. So, this should not happen. I understand that we look different on camera when it comes to our weight. I totally agree that there are certain requirements of the screen and we have to be in a weight category. It is a prerequisite but the webseries or serials have started featuring people with different body types and that is something good.”
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She adds, “I do remember when I was a news anchor, that time another anchor was offended when she was asked to lose weight and told that only then she’ll be allowed to go on air. I won’t mention the name of that anchor or channel. At some places, they used to weigh anchors’ weight as well. I feel it might be good in a way but again there should not be any criteria, it’s all made by the people. If the audience likes to watch you, they’ll still watch even after you gain weight. It doesn’t really matter unless and until you stop caring about yourself and become lethargic. If you put on weight on your own and it’s affecting your health, then I think it’s wrong somewhere. But if someone is healthy by birth due to any health issue or disorder then I think we should accept them like that and stop commenting on their issue or their body.”
Talking about how victims must react in these situations, she says, “In all professional sectors, people react in the same way. If people pass comments on your body or appearance then you must ignore it and don’t give a damn. I think that’s the only solution. There should be more shows that support people of different body types as there will be more opportunities for people to connect and change their mindset for the good of the society.”