Bollywood has a long history of making their female characters quite unidimensional. They’re mostly created to please or entertain the male gaze and unfortunately, that often leads to them becoming a target to a whole lot of misogyny. 

And then of course they’re more prone to destructive criticism from men or patriarchal people. 

So we’ve compiled a list of female characters who were criticized unfairly for… well, being human! Here take a look. 

1. Natasha Arora – ZNMD

Played by Kalki Koechlin, Natasha Arora was judged quite harshly and made out to be a controlling and annoying girlfriend. But was it that or was it the fact that we as a society love to hate on women for being interested in marriage. Natasha misunderstood the proposal, but was that her fault? Why was she painted in a negative light for something that anyone in her position could have thought?

It’s a double edged sword in patriarchy, if a woman wants to be single, she’s selfish, if she’s interested in marriage she’s desperate. We’re expected to float somewhere in the middle just to be liked by men. 

2. Meera Sahni – Cocktail

Meera Sahni (Diana Penty) was villainized for ‘stealing ,’ Gautam (Saif Ali Khan) from Veronica (Deepika Padukone). Which couldn’t be further from the truth. Rather, the complications between all three of them was a result of an entanglement of human emotions plus Gautam being confused and unclear AF. 

Bollywood Hungama

3. Alizeh – Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

From what I can recall, Alizeh (Anushka Sharma) did not lead Ayan (Ranbir Kapoor) on in any way. She was very clear and communicative about her intentions from the beginning so the hate she got was incredibly misplaced!


4. Zoya – Raanjhanaa

We’re not saying Zoya (Sonam Kapoor) did not have toxic traits or tendencies. What we’re saying is, if a male character is toxic, he has ‘layers’ to his personality but if a female character is toxic she’s not only toxic, but a vamp of a sort. 

Also, there was an unsaid expectation laid on Zoya’s shoulders to stay connected to her childhood crush/stalker which was totally unfair and low-key gaslighting the female audiences into thinking they have to put up with stalking themselves. 


5. Meghna – Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

Meghna (Manjari Fadnnis) was portrayed as the ‘childish,’ and ‘annoying,’ kind of girlfriend. Which is a whole other trope of women Bollywood likes to churn out once in a while to denounce a female character so that she’s less liked than the male lead or the other love interest. 

But the truth was that Jai and Meghna were simply incompatible, no one was at fault in their situation. So why were we so annoyed with her?


6. Tina Malhotra – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really seeing a pattern here. It seems Bollywood really likes to play the pitting-women-against-each-other card. 

Tina Malhotra (Rani Mukherji) was disliked for ‘stealing’ Rahul (Shahrukh Khan) from Anjali (Kajol). But did she really steal Rahul? Or was Rahul a sexist jerk who only liked women who adhered to the harsh beauty standards women are conditioned to adopt? 


7. Tina Kapoor – Mujhse Dosti Karoge!

Tina (Kareena Kapoor) was portrayed as the confident, popular girl who stole Raj (Hrithik Roshan) from Pooja (Rani Mukherji). It seems to me that the film played on how much society likes to hate on confident women. Tina was just a little too confident. She had just a little too much spring in her step, she was just too much for the audience to be liked. 


8. Sweety – Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety

Why was Sweety (Nushrratt Bharuccha) villainized for wanting to live out a wholesome relationship with her partner? To be honest, Sonu (Kartik Aaryan), was being quite immature for expecting his friend to never grow up and move onto the next stage of his life. Talk about being a codependent friend! 


This makes me wonder why we love to hate women so much? And it’s proof that women are judged much harsher than men for what seems like, simply existing.