Sunday 9 May 2021
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Sayantani Ghosh: I’ve been rejected for looking too Bengali

Sayantani Ghosh rues social media toxicity and has spoken out against body shaming. Recently, the Tera Yaar Hoon Main actress did not mince words while calling out a troll who questioned her cup size. She maintains it was not an isolated instance and that she has been asked such questions on public platforms before. This time around, she decided to clap back at the hater to set the right example.

Sayantani says that faceless trolls are best ignored, but not always. “This is not the first time someone has commented on my body. When it comes to trolls, it is best not to engage with them because they have the advantage of anonymity. They can end up saying a lot of nasty stuff and get away with it. You can ignore them or block them. I’m quite active in the virtual world and keep sharing what comes to my heart. After this incident, I thought of speaking out because there is so much more about body positivity that people should be talking about.”

Sayantani not alone

With a lot of audacious commentary going around on social media, how can one avoid getting affected by negativity? Sayantani shares, “The society is conditioned around set notions of beauty and we are trapped in such beliefs. The first step towards change is that you have got to be very aware. As an individual, I have to be alert that I should not be making people even slightly uncomfortable about their bodies. Secondly, accepting yourself is very important. A lot of the times, we give into what society expects of us. We should be avoiding the vicious cycle of what’s in-trend. We can aspire towards a goal, but it has to be realistic. We should be at peace with ourselves. Doubt always plagues us but nothing should come at the cost of self love.”

Sayantani talks of a time when she was made uncomfortable about her body by another woman. “In 2003-04, I was at a modelling assignment. Back then, the concept of plus-size models was not there. We were expected to be super skinny. I found a woman gazing at my chest and I felt very conscious about myself. At this time and age, we have all the tools necessary to speak up, so I feel women especially should not keep quiet. No one should make you question your self-worth.”

Body scrutiny not limited to showbiz, happens everywhere

Are entertainment industry celebs more prone to scrutiny of their body type? Sayantani shares, “Showbiz is not an alien industry. I believe if body-shaming is happening to someone, it is happening across industries. Due to the nature of our work, it seems a bit more highlighted but how one should look is a perception that pervades all levels and professions.”

In Tera Yaar Hoon Main, Sayantani plays the role of a Punjabi woman. Previously, a top show turned her down saying she doesn’t fit the bill as a North Indian. “I have been rejected on the virtue that I look too Bengali, that I look like a South Indian. It was because of my wheat-ish complexion. This kind of stereotyping exists which is sad because the parameter is not your versatility as an actor. I have a very ‘Indian’ body-type and I have been getting roles in mythos and supernatural shows. By my career graph, I have been fortunate that despite a stereotype being attached to me, I have also been respected for my talent. If I have lost one role, I have landed five others from people who have trusted me. And I am proud that I have justified them,” she says.

Feeling healthy is important. Virtual life is not what it is made out to be

Sayantani shares valuable tips for youngsters struggling to feel comfortable in their skin. “You have got to aim for good health. Instagram is not real life. Even the fittest of people have bad days. Perfection is a myth. Goals you set for yourself should be realistic. Youngsters need to understand that they need to keep working on themselves. Don’t ape trends. Honestly, there are many important issues we need to talk about rather than how slim we look or how fair we are. This just goes on to prove how shallow we have become. No wonder nature is having such a backlash at us.”

Publishing partner: Uprising

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