Aishwarya’s figure is cause for global distress. The querry “Aishwarya figure”throws up over 4 million results on google.
Childbirth for any woman is life-transforming, game-changing event. From the richest and most famous and glamorous to the most ordinary, humble creatures of a lesser god, the one thing these women have in common remains: a unique, freeze-frame moment, programmed and embedded for life, deep into the recesses of the heart, mind and soul.
In today’s world of consumerism, however, nothing is enjoyed, appreciated, watched, viewed, listened, discussed, introspected or considered at leisure, but consumed. Aided and abetted by a hungry, sensationalistic, dumbed-down media forever seeking — or creating — news-that-sell, nothing is sacrosanct, private, secure, precious or personal any more. In this crazy environment, the first and biggest casualties are celebrities.
Problem is, despite their celeb-hood, fame and aura, stars are made of flesh and blood, human beings created by the same god, with the same frailties, faculties and responses — mind and body — as lesser mortals. This takes on insane dimension when glam heroines get married, have babies and lose their earlier beauty, youth, sensuality, freshness, charm and … figure! The latest to be a victim of this ‘E-Moti!’ club is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
In the last couple of months, the dazzling and fab “First Bahu of B-town” has come in for scathing remarks from the fourth estate for her post-delivery frame. Along with a trillion tweets across Cyberville and snide remarks across the E-sections of electronic media (dedicated to titillate the movie-mad junta with trivia) the print media too has been unsparing. Double-chinned and chubby-skinned, this once stunning diva was reported to have recently shocked the high-society crowd at a high society event hosted by Mukesh Ambani at his Mumbai dream residence. TV Cameras and Blackberry’s immediately zoomed into action and, bingo, Ash’s figure became the subject of social media debate. The collective eye-popping led to rebukes and reprimands at her indifference and laziness in not being sharp, smart and swift in getting back to shape even after five months of delivery. Learn from the likes of Victoria Beckham, Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman, they instructed and sternly warned her that it was her job to look fit and fab if she wanted to retain her aura and space as divine diva in showbiz.
Aishwarya’s figure is cause for global distress. The querry “Aishwarya figure” throws up over 4 million results on google. Journalist Seema Goswami reported about a video uploaded on You Tube with before-and-after pix of Ash, with the after (plump) images accompanied by the sound of an elephant trumpeting with a solid female voice-over thundering “Isn’t it time she hired a trainer to sweat it out in a gym?” International publications have jumped into the fray. The British tabloid Daily Mail ran a long story on her weight gain and how it sparked outrage in India. Even the relatively staid Guardian published a bizarre piece titled “Aishwarya Rai’s post-baby body forces India to confront its attitude to women.”
What’s going on? Haven’t heroines in the past, married, had kids and returned to the screen. Remember Sharmila Tagore, Hema Malini, Kajol, anyone? Why this crazed and obsessive critique of a celeb heroine–turned-mom? What’s so special — or awful — about Ash putting on the flab, post-delivery?
London-based Fashion design student Naina Sahu insists that Ash has a responsibility to her fans and her profession. “Hey, c’mon, Ash Rai Bachchan is not just another B-town, sexy, bimbo known for her body and dare-bare bravado. She is the face of India’s and Bollywood’s beauty, admired and raved about by everyone, everywhere. Fine, she’s had a kid, but should she have come to a hi-ticket event like Cannes as their favorite Brand Ambassador — Loreal — looking nice n’ moti? It was both, hugely disappointing and embarrassing, yaar! She should step on it and get back to shape, f-a-s-t ! Total let down for a lot of us who adore her .…”
Sahu urges her to look to other new moms, Lara Dutta and Shilpa Shetty, who are hot n’ heavy on the comeback trail and getting ready to produce Fitness Videos. Mumbai-based fan Preeti Vyas, 34, a working mother, demurs: “At the end of the day, it is an individual call. Ash is not an illiterate, dumb and brainless bimbo to not know what she is doing. She has been in the industry long enough to understand its working and is fully conscious about both her actions and its implications. Sure, she is not getting younger and now with motherhood, a part of her aura will have disappeared forever, but that comes with the territory.
“She has been the most beautiful face in the world for some time now, but maybe she wants to move into another space. Regarding her obligation to her fans, profession and industry – it’s bull crap! All sane Ash-watchers will understand and only a celebrated idiot or mentally challenged moron can expect her to look as youthful, gorgeous and sexy as before. She seems to be enjoying her post-delivery time — and pounds! — and so be it! She’s a woman, wife and mother before she’s an actress or star and her agenda is her own and needs to be respected. Period.”
Nutrition and Wellness experts are not surprised by this insane furor and put it down to the diva’s unique stature in B-town and global space. Says wellness expert Kalpana Nandi: “Ash Rai Bachchan is a brand bigger than any other from India and Bollywood in the Showbiz space. From the time she hit the headlines as Beauty Queen, she’s been in the public eye and dominated the global mind n’ heart-space more than any other Miss India/Miss World. She’s the only star from B-town who’s recognized and drooled over, at every major film fest across the globe. She’s truly a Role-Model to millions at home and abroad.
“Now, putting on a bit is okay but in her case it’s a lot and considering she’s such a big star, the focus will be on her. She’s not another Mrs. Khanna, Sen, Iyer or Patel … She’s the gorgeous Ash Rai Bachchan! The image will always precede the person and the star will always come before the human being ... the price you pay for fame, I guess.”
Others point to flab-free moms like. Beckham, Jolie and Kidman as well as trim, smart, savvy women at their favorite neighborhood school. Explains a dietician: “The age of the Yummy-mommy has arrived and unlike our mom and grandmom’s time, young women today are extremely self-conscious about their bodies and that includes young moms in the Indian middle-class segment as well! So when someone like Ash continues to be roly-poly even after six months of delivery, there will be shock and disappointment because she is special and unique — the definitive glam, starry beauty!”
The last words must be reserved for a behavioral scientist specializing in Showbiz. “Once upon a time Nutan, Waheeda and Jaya got married, had babies and returned without inviting any media attention or comment. Today, in this air-brushed age of brand-building, where the calorie-chiseled rules and size-zero rocks — Sonakshi and Vidya are exceptions and can be excused — contour-craze is a sign of the times. Every mini metro of India insists not on paani or bijli, but gyms and beauty parlours, with their role-models Salman Khan and Ash Rai Bachchan, blazing across lit posters. In this scenario, in the eyes of the diva’s devotes, Ash will appear to be a goddess with clay feet. However, in the larger context, she must be applauded for snooking a nook at this absurd and anarchic body fascism. She is a person with a mind of her own and nobody but she can decide how she wants her body to look, by when and why, because, hey-baby, it’s her life, remember.”
Screen grab of top search results for “fat Aishwarya Rai” photos.