Vidya Balan discusses ‘Witch Hunt’ in Bollywood

Vidya Balan opened up on the ‘witch hunt’ she had faced in the film industry as well as discussing weight issues.

Vidya Balan opens up about being the ‘Fat Girl’ f

"It came from a personal issue."

Vidya Balan discussed being the victim of a “witch hunt” during her career.

The actress made her film debut in Parineeta (2005) and is one of Bollywood’s most influential stars.

Detailing her days of struggle, Vidya said:

“Yes, there was a witch hunt, if I have to be honest.

“It came from a personal issue that someone was having with me. But it’s okay. I am better for it today.”

The star also spoke about body shaming and weight issues. She continued:

“You had to see my mother. Every time I stepped out for an appearance, I would be at the door and she would look at me from top to toe and she would ask if it was okay for me to go dressed like that.

“Suddenly I would lose my confidence because I would see her nervous.

“Honestly, it was disproportionate because it was weight on my body, clothes that I wore, what does anyone else have to lose?

“The Page 3 culture had started and I was appearing in it for all the wrong reasons.

“People would just mention me in articles not related to me also.

“That was the time when it was barely two years of being an actor and in films, and I thought I just could not deal with such toxicity.

“But guess what? I could! Today, I do exactly what I want and wear exactly what I want and don’t care about what anyone has to say.

“Therefore, everyone has begun to say, ‘Oh wow’.

“I come from a non-film family, so if there was a costume designer on a film I would not second guess what he was giving me to wear.

“I would think there were HODs for a reason and I am not going to stand and tell the DOP how they should light the frame.

“Similarly, I would wear what the costume designer picked for me but obviously, they didn’t know their job.

“In retrospect, I feel I was sticking out like a sore thumb because it wasn’t challenging me or fulfilling me. I was not okay playing second fiddle.

“That phase was very crucial for me because that led me to choose an Ishqiya and do a Paa, The Dirty Picture, Kahaani, No One Killed Jessica, and so on.”

Vidya Balan also shared that her filmmakers would request her to lose weight.

She added: “Before every film, I would get asked by the producers and directors if I could shed some weight.

“And I have been going through some health challenges for a long long time. So it was next to impossible.”

“Finally four to five years ago, when the director said this to me, I said, ‘Please, I am not going to be the body you need me to be. You need to go to the body you need’.

“I find this absolutely ridiculous. Because the part was written with me in mind. So why this insistence?

“What is this obsession with only thin being desirable and acceptable?”

In her illustrious career, Vidya has won the Filmfare awards for ‘Best Actress’ for Paa, The Dirty Picture, Kahaani and Tumhari Sulu. 

On the work front, Vidya Balan will next be seen in Do Aur Do Pyaar and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 3.

Manav is a creative writing graduate and a die-hard optimist. His passions include reading, writing and helping others. His motto is: “Never hang on to your sorrows. Always be positive."

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