“I’ll admit that the industry is not kind to you and it doesn’t allow women to age gracefully.”
Veteran actor Sharat Saxena had also said that it’s a crime to be an old man in Bollywood highlighting that ageism in Bollywood is a menace that’s plaguing it for ages.
Recently, a Twitter user dug up a magazine cover from 1984 that questioned ace actor Rekha’s career in the film industry after she turned 30.
SPEAKING OF REKHA (as we should always be): the gall of this cover text from 1984. Fortunately her expression says exactly where they can all go. pic.twitter.com/NgebiCoNrB
— Beth Loves Bollywood (@bethlovesbolly) March 18, 2021
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Clearly, people back in the day (and still) didn’t acknowledge the fact that ageing is a natural process and definitely doesn’t define a person’s calibre and capabilities. The Indian film industry thought a woman’s career was nearing its end the moment she goes beyond 30.
Reacting to the tweet, people commented that older women weren’t given opportunities and were quickly replaced by younger actresses.
I saw a magazine article from the late 90s that said “desperately trying to look young” and there was a picture of Madhuri Dixit. These people are the worst. I still can’t believe that Rakhee played AB’s love interest in Kaala Patthar and his mother in Shakti.
— Rajat Dikshit (@rajatistheman) March 18, 2021
Waheeda Rehman played Amitabh Bachchan’s love interest and mother too! Two years apart. The ageism is frustrating.
— Maanvi (@Maanvi2501) March 18, 2021
The Indian film industry used to be and still is, ageist and sexist. The scripts were written with that in mind. It’s only after Amitabh started visibly ageing that a shift came in story writing, for the better.
I think Rekha did her best work after her 30s, tbh
— GirlOfFire (@GirlOfFire01) March 18, 2021
And I am sure even today women fear of becoming 30 in the industry as they see girls in early 20s coming on the scene. Thankfully, things have changed as we now see actresses even in mid-30s getting lead roles. But it surely tells us as why most actresses lie about their age too.
— Mitra Joshi (@mitrajo) March 18, 2021
But as someone rightly highlighted, things are changing for good. However, with 24-year-old actresses being cast beside 54-year-old actors, we still have a long way to go.