Dum Laga Ke Haisha honestly was a quite surprising film. Did Bollywood can really make a film with a fat female in a lead without shaming her or using her for comic relief? Does this mean that fat women will finally find representation in Hindi films? Sandhya (Bhumi Pednekar), in Dum Laga Ke Haisha, is an educated girl who gets married to Prem (Ayushmann Khurrana). Prem just doesn’t like Sandhya at all because she is fat and he fat shames her but Sandhya doesn’t take any of his nonsense.
As compared to other fat shaming films, this one shows that fat women can build a career too and have a good family; their body weight doesn’t come in the way of them leading normal lives. Before this, Bollywood has cast fat women for comic relief, successfully shaming those females in the process. If you remember, you might have seen Tun Tun in many of the 70s or 80s film. She was a fat woman who used to get cast in the film only for comic relief and was shamed ruthlessly. Till date, people often refer fat women as Tun Tun in real life.
In 2003, KJO made Kal Ho Naa Ho, a film that openly shamed Sweetu (Delnaaz Irani), a fat young lady for wearing body-hugging clothes and going on for dates. Her friend Naina (Preity Zinta) tells her that if she is not going to lose weight she will never find a guy. The film may have shamed Delnaaz aka Sweetu for being who she is but the audience loved her for being fun-loving, kind and sweet.
There is no doubt that films influence the society and our attitude also towards each other. By making such kind of films where fat women are shamed, the makers of the film are convening the message to us that it’s alright to make fun of someone just because she is overweighted. We just hope that Bollywood starts making films that are including and accepting women of different sizes and shapes.
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