"Extent to which actresses conform to or challenge beauty standards vary greatly," says Prerna Arora

In an interview with Subhash K Jha, Prerna Arora shares her brutally honest thoughts on the cosmetic fixations of our glamour world

Producer Prerna Arora (Photo: Instagram/ pprernaarora)
Producer Prerna Arora (Photo: Instagram/ pprernaarora)

Subhash K Jha

Producer Prerna Arora (Padman, Pari, Parmanu) who has the looks to become a movie star, chooses to stay behind the camera. However, she has very strong views on the obsession with glamour, fitness, slimming and size zero among the women in the entertainment industry. In an interview with Subhash K Jha, Arora shares her brutally honest thoughts on the cosmetic fixations of our glamour world.

Subhash K Jha: As a woman in glamour industry how important is it for you to look presentable all the time?

Prerna Arora: In the glamour industry, there is often a focus on physical appearance, and looking presentable can be considered important. The entertainment and fashion industries, in particular often emphasise on style, grooming, and overall aesthetics. However, it's important to note that opinions on the importance of looking presentable can vary widely among individuals and within the industry itself. Some people may place a high value on maintaining a certain image, while others may prioritise talent, skills, or personality over physical appearance.

SKJ: So how is a balance between talent and physical appearance  maintained?

PA: It can depend on various factors such as personal preferences, industry standards, specific roles or projects, and individual career goals. It's important for individuals to find a balance that aligns with their own values, comfort level, and professional aspirations.

SKJ: Do you feel too much importance is given to looks, especially among women in the entertainment industry?

PA: There has been a longstanding criticism of the entertainment industry, particularly when it comes to women, that places an excessive emphasis on physical appearance. Many argue that this emphasis on looks can create unrealistic beauty standards and contribute to body image issues, low self-esteem, and other negative effects. In the entertainment industry, including the glamour industry, physical appearance is often a significant factor in the success and opportunities available to individuals. There can be pressure to conform to certain beauty standards, maintain a specific body type, or look a certain way. This pressure can be particularly pronounced for women, leading to a culture that places unnecessary importance on looks.

SKJ: So should an aspiring actress just do what comes naturally to her or  go by the demands on her to look perfectly immaculate?

PA: It's important to recognize that everyone should have the freedom to express themselves and pursue their careers based on their talent, skills, and abilities rather than solely being judged on their appearance.

SKJ: Do you feel female actors today have lost their individuality as they aspire to follow standard guidelines of beauty?

PA: In the entertainment industry, particularly in mainstream media, there has been a historical trend of promoting a specific standard of beauty for female actors and performers. This standard often emphasises on certain physical attributes, body types, and appearances. As a result, there has been criticism that this focus on conforming to standardised beauty ideals may lead to a loss of individuality among actors and performers. Ultimately, the extent to which the female actors conform to or challenge beauty standards can vary greatly, and it is not accurate to generalise the experiences of all actresses. It is a complex and multifaceted issue that can differ from person to person and within different contexts of the entertainment industry.

SKJ: In the pursuit of slimness, women and girls often starve themselves. How dangerous is this for their health?

PA: Starving oneself or engaging in extreme dietary restrictions in the pursuit of slimness can be extremely dangerous for one's health, particularly for women and girls. This behaviour is commonly associated with disordered eating patterns, such as anorexia nervosa or restrictive eating disorders. When the body is deprived of essential nutrients and calories, it can lead to various health consequences, like malnutrition, weakened immune system, hormonal imbalances, impaired cognitive function, muscle wasting, cardiovascular problems, electrolyte imbalances, psychological impact. It is important to recognise that extreme dieting and starvation practices are not a healthy or sustainable approach to weight management. it is crucial to seek professional help from healthcare providers, therapists, or eating disorder specialists. They can provide appropriate guidance, and treatment and promote a healthier relationship with food and body.

SKJ: Can surgery and botox be considered safe de-ageing remedies?

PA: Surgery and botox can be considered as potential anti-aging remedies, but their safety and effectiveness depend on several factors, including the specific procedures, the individual's health, and the skill of the medical professional performing them. It's important to understand that they come with certain risks and considerations. The decision to pursue any de-aging remedies should be made based on informed discussions, with medical professionals and an understanding of your individual goals and expectations. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper skincare, can also contribute to aging gracefully.

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