When it comes to the world's double standards for women, there are definitely loads that exist in our film industry. For instance, how differently older female actors are treated here.
What truly helps is women opening up about this issue of ageism, because well, conversation creates a lot of change. So, here are some of our country's strongest female actors talking about how the world perceived them when they got older, take a look.
1. Neena Gupta
Neena Gupta rarely holds back on sharing her opinions, and TBH that's why she is so loved. The actor has spoken about there not being enough roles for women her age on her Twitter while responding to a follower, and we applaud her for her candid honesty. It's needed.
Yes i was just thinking about this hamari umar ke role toe kamsekam humse kara lo bhai https://t.co/6Fmrxn0HbE— Neena Gupta (@Neenagupta001) September 24, 2019
2. Somy Ali
Recently, Pakistani-American actor Somy Ali also pointed out the general perception Bollywood has towards older women.
Age is not just a number anymore because our society judges us by our age. I wish I knew what I know now about people and how judgmental they tend to be when I was a teenager. You can try every trick in the book to look younger, but age discrimination will never go away. That’s the reason why Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon set up her own production company – to give actresses over 40 a chance to pursue their craft.
- Somy Ali told TOI
3. Lara Dutta
While applauding her peers, Lara Dutta spoke about how she's received critical and judgmental comments on her appearance in the last couple of years.
You have credible actors like Kajol, Madhuri (Dixit), Rani (Mukerji), and in that matter, even me, yet when they come on screen, people pass comments like ‘ab buddhi lagne lagi hai (Now she has started looking old)’ or ‘yaar ab moti ho gai hai (She is fat now),’ and at the end of the day, you can’t help it. Like everyone else, even we are ageing. I feel even the audience does not allow the liberty for actors to age gracefully, but I genuinely believe that actors who have come before us are rewriting roles for us. Look at Neena Gupta, Ratna Pathak Shah, they just inspire us. They are doing incredible work.
- Lara Dutta told Hindustan Times
4. Soni Razdan
Around the time Netflix's Call My Agent released, Soni Razdan was incredibly honest about why she wasn't getting work for so many years. And honestly, we're high-key disappointed in Bollywood for treating their female actors this way.
I’m getting work today, but for many years, I didn’t get any work for obvious reasons (hinting at age). Also there were just too few roles available for mothers (back then). So yes, it (Bollywood) was completely skewed towards men. Men could be 40, 50 and 60 and getting really good roles but women just didn’t have those opportunities.
- Soni Razdan told The Indian Express
5. Shanthi Krishna
Malayalam and Tamil actor Shanthi Krishna has also spoken up about filmmakers not thinking about creating substantial roles for older female actors.
For women in movies, 20s is the peak time. After that, if you are good, you might get lead roles in your 30s, but it is not much. Men, however, become more popular, get better roles in their 30s and afterward. When we make a comeback, we are not expecting to be heroines of Mohanlal and Mammootty any more. But if women-oriented subjects come, why don’t the filmmakers think of us too? Can’t you write films for us too?
- Shanthi Krishna told The News Minute
6. Maala Parvathi
Like a true queen, Malayalam actor Maala Parvathi gave us all a dose of reality and said it how it really is. She spoke about how women are treated like commodities rather than the source of talent that they actually are.
It is true that it's disheartening when a senior actor or anyone who is passionate about acting is sidelined. Why it happens mostly to women actors is because they are most often presented as a commodity in cinema, and everyone wants to see a fresh face. There was a generation of talented actors that came in the times of directors like Shyam Benegal. Now, however, it is an amalgamation of art and commercial cinema.
- Mala Parvathhy told The News Minute
7. Soha Ali Khan
While discussing her new project Kaun Banegi Shikharwati, Soha Ali Khan talked about the prevalence of a lack of roles for older women in Bollywood, and how such roles were definitely non-existent a few years ago.
I don’t think that such work would have existed a generation ago. Even three years ago, if I had come back to just doing theatrical releases there would have been nothing for me.
- Soha Ali Khan told Gulf News
We are glad these women are finally opening up about gender based, age based hypocrisy, and that is something to really soak up and appreciate.