Actor Bipasha Basu recently opened up about the many prejudices and double standards she had to face when she joined the industry. From colourism to being judged for the clothes she chose to wear, Bipasha spilt the beans on the intricacies of Bollywood.
According to Hindustan Times, Bipasha revealed that when she started off, she was made aware of the many “rules” of being a “heroin”.
“It was back then when I met my first hairstylist, Kaushal, who basically taught me what were the rules of being a heroine at that point of time. And they were quite funny and hilarious to me.”
She said that she was regarded differently as she wasn’t fair or timid.
“As an actress, you apparently had to hide in those days. My presence was very different. I did not look like the quintessential fair, petite, timid girl. I looked quite feisty, fiery, and sexy.”
Which is why she was soon perceived as a “bohemian”, just for speaking her mind and having a non-conforming presence.
“Today, sexy has become a very easy adjective. But back then, when people used to call me sexy, there’d be questions, how do I feel about it. But I don’t know why they thought I’m bohemian. Maybe it’s just because I didn’t hide and used to speak my mind.”
She revealed how she was told that actors can wear backless blouses or shorts on screen but not in real life.
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“I remember I was having iced tea in a glass while shooting in Switzerland. My hairstylist came and told me, ‘Everyone is thinking that you are drinking whiskey’. She asked me to drink it in a cup to avoid this perception. Then this other time, I was wearing a backless blouse, and she told me, ‘Actresses don’t dress up like this’ and that I’m only supposed to wear it on-screen.”
“I used to ask, if you can’t wear something in your normal life, how can you wear it on screen. In fact, I’ve had experiences where big actresses would comment on other girls wearing tiny shorts off-screen, and when they were the ones who’d wear it on screen.”
Regarding facing colourism, Bipasha claimed that she was told not to sunbathe as it would make her darker.
“I used to love sunbathing all the time, even though I’m dusky. But I was told, ‘You’ve to walk with an umbrella all the time’. I understand now why umbrellas are required. Back then, in my me-time, I was told that you shouldn’t tan because you’re already dusky. But none of these things really stopped me.”
Despite being made aware of the “rules” again and again, Bipasha was strong enough to never follow them.
“These are some rules that I was told to follow right from my first film, which I never followed.”
When one woman decides to follow her heart instead of complying with the rules that are set for her and stand against her true being, several other women gain the courage to do the same. Kudos to Bipasha Basu for setting such a remarkable example!