Bollywood Maternity Woes

When a woman is in the celebrity spotlight, we naturally tend to idealize her into an icon of beauty and youth. And when the star does something crazy like age or get pregnant, we’re forced to remember that they are human. Well, at least some of them are. Victoria Beckham obviously doesn’t count.

Before I continue, let me say that I am NOT anti-feminist; however, this post will probably make you think otherwise.

As Hollywood generations turn over, pregnancy becomes common among the stars we so lovingly watch. Since we’re (the public is) interested in seeing how celebrities evolve through motherhood, the media turns its attention accordingly to give us what we want. Some would argue that this exposure gets way out of hand – from tracking hospital stays to the sale of celeb baby’s first photo shoot – and denigrates the inherent beauty of motherhood itself.

The most recent buzz is on Bollywood’s own beauty queen, Aishwarya Rai. Known for being Miss World and subsequently the crown jewel of India, she’s been scrutinized by Indian media for the baby weight she has yet to lose in 7 months after giving birth. There is a belief circling the globe that it is her responsibility to get back to the shape she was before the baby and continue her reign as the ideal Indian woman. In case you haven’t seen any pictures, here’s the before and after:

On the one hand, I’m appalled by the fact that celebrities in the spotlight are expected to bounce back into shape after every single pregnancy. But on the other hand, I have to admit that I feel like… isn’t this what she signed up for? People don’t tend to become beauty icons overnight; not only does it take hard work, but it requires a willingness and acceptance of the cost that fame comes with. Even though she could use some leniency from the public eye, she also can’t expect not to be judged by her appearance if it’s the very thing that made her career in the first place.

So while I’m all for a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body free from judgment… I also want to see a new Bollywood routine with my girl Aishwarya front and center stat! Can you blame me?

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