Parvathy Thiruvothu has never been one to shy away from speaking her mind. She has started conversations around sexual harassment in the industry, toxic masculinity in films and the importance of mental health, including her own journey with depression.
1. When at the roundtable discussion on Film Companion, she voiced her opinion against misogynistic films like Arjun Reddy and Kabir Singh normalising abusive relationships.
2. She also added that these portrayals normalise abusive relationships in real life.
3. When she crushed unrealistic beauty standards and spoke about how she is trying to change how women are 'seen' in the industry.
When I was in school, I never had anybody to look up to onscreen who looked like me, so I always wanted to look like them. Which is what they’re doing to everybody. So I’m somebody who’ll try and prefer and keep my little moustache, and not have cut eyebrows and have my double chin, have a little bit of unmanicured (nails), so that women you have that will watch that will think, ‘Ye meri kahani hai.’
4. When she spoke about depression during the pandemic and getting help online in an interview. In the process, normalising conversations around mental health.
This period has been a deep dive into how I am dealing with my deep-seated depression. I’ve had regular bouts of it that I have been taking care of, without medication at this point, with all the help I can get from online therapy and also being connected to my closest friends.
5. She further clarified that she wasn't throwing the term around and in fact has been diagnosed with clinical depression.
I only use it to mean clinical depression. Sadness and depression are different. I am still learning what all it entails but I understand what it feels and looks like when somebody says they have anxiety and panic attacks, because I struggle with it myself. I have been clinically diagnosed in the last 5 years. Unfortunately, some people I was close with used to say, "Oh my god, you’re addicted to self-pity. Snap out of it." I sought medical help. I figured ways to write down my feelings and tell people.
6. She added that she speaks about it, despite knowing how people would view her.
And while I do suffer from depression, I’m proud of myself. I’m everything I am today, right now speaking to you in this moment, because of how I’ve survived. And continue to. At some point I switched to the mentality of a survivor rather than someone who is suffering every day.
7. When she spoke up about ONV Cultural Academy's decision to honour lyricist, poet, and novelist Vairamuthu, despite him being accused of sexual assault and harassment by multiple women.
The least you can do to show respect to the 17 women who are not connected to each other in any way, who are coming out and calling somebody out for the same act, is to actually stay back and not celebrate that person. Nobody has lost their career or life by not getting an award.
8. When she spoke of sexual harassment, slut-shaming and how it is often overlooked by society.
Even though we have government support, unions and associations, we’re denying sexual harassment. ‘It doesn’t happen.’ We have to teach them that it’s actually happening. There are women in denial and supporting that statement as well. On a daily basis, people like me are on news channels being slut-shamed by directors, producers coming and saying, ‘Oh we know she’s a loose woman.’
9. Parvathy also shed light on how 'hero-worship' imminently puts famous superstars out of harm's way, especially when voices are raised against them.
There is such hero-worshipping down south. There are some people who are handling everyone, and there is such blatant support for the accused. They’re trying to utilise this hero-worshipping and trying to influence the audience and loyal fans through emotions.
10. When she opened up about casting couch in the industry and how these propositions are considered 'normal'.
How sad must be that life when a man thinks that his manliness comes with asking sexual favours from a woman. That's the saddest way of being a man. We should just realise that women have the right to say no.
Parvathy Thiruvothu destroying stereotypes and shattering the glass ceiling is now my favourite thing.