The wave of body positivity continues to be on high tide, with common women, influencers and celebrities increasingly shutting up trolls and those who body shame. Shameless comments are being responded to with words that have gravitas! Actress Nimrat Kaur is the latest Bollywood celebrity to share a piece of her mind about facing “snide remarks” and “unsolicited advice” when she was in the process of gaining weight for a film.
The otherwise lean and tall Nimrat, who has shown her acting acumen in The Lunchbox and Airlift on the home turf, and in Homeland and Wayward Pines internationally, has recently featured in Hindi film Dasvi. Her role as Bimla Devi required her to put on weight, and like any dedicated actor would do today, Nimrat put her heart and soul into the body transformation.
But during the 10-month transformation process, she came face-to-face with the harsh reality of body shaming, which is something that most people who don’t fit the ‘societal norm’ of beauty, are subjected to almost every day.
Highlighting this problem area and urging people to be a bit more sensitive, Nimrat wrote a powerful note on Instagram, sharing some weighty words to not just people who face the shaming, but also to those who body shame.
“In the age of heightened expectations regarding what we ‘should’ look like, at all times – gender, age and profession no bar, I’m sharing a small chapter from my life that brought with its learnings that shall last a lifetime,” Nimrat wrote in the not-so-bite-sized post.
She went on to talk about how she was born with what is typically categorized a small to a medium body type. But it was her role in Dasvi which required her to “size up”. While there was no target weight in mind, she had to be as “physically dissimilar from ‘being Nimrat’ as possible”.
“By the end of trying to achieve the desired visual impact, I was a touch above 15 kilos from my usual body weight. Initially, I was rather petrified of an unseen reality I was going to have to own and embrace. But as I steadily and lovingly, along with the support and encouragement of my loved ones around me, began right conversations with myself, I began relishing the process of becoming Bimla,” she adds.
Gradually, Nimrat started noticing a changed perspective from people around her.
“Ever so often, watching me eat high calorie meals already being a few sizes bigger, some people around me felt they had the right to comment on what they thought I was doing wrong. It would be a snide remark, an uncalled for joke or simply an unsolicited piece of advice on what I should be eating instead of a dessert I was enjoying very much. This voyeuristic license and entitled permission is what came to the forefront,” recounts Nimrat.
While she would take the liberty to not reveal the reason why she was putting on weight, Nimrat started observing the ease with which people made her “‘larger than usual’ body and/or meal their business”. It opened up a window for her into the minds of people who are in the habit of developing judgments.
“I could’ve been unwell, under medication, hormonally battling something, or quite simply very happy to eat and be me whatever size that was,” she writes.
Read Nimrat’s full post on Instagram right here!
Now that Nimrat is back to being herself – her old self physically – she feels a newness in the way she views the world.
“Having completed the circle of this journey and back to physically being me, today in the truest sense I’ve learnt how not to let an outside perspective decide my relationship with me.”
Her aim to share this with her social media followers is to add to the larger dialogue of how we could all do with more mindfulness, sensitivity and empathy. “Especially towards those who don’t fit in the myopic, pigeonhole prototype of what the ‘norm’ expect them to be – whether it’s being too dark, too thin, too short, too fat or too any of these berating measuring scales from the lens of the conditioning they come from”.
“Recognize that everything they say and observe is a reflection of a mindset. Not who they’re beholding,” she says in her piece of advice to those who face body shaming.
And to those who shame, here are Nimrat’s weighty words: “Be kind. Be sensitive. Be graceful. Don’t make someone’s day worse if you can’t make it better. Be responsible. Make only your mind and body your business. No one else’s.”
Now these are definitely words we must weigh in on!