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Good Lord - Please Leave These Women Alone

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by Melissa Silverstein
May 17, 2012 11:56 AM
17 Comments
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In the last couple days I have seen several disturbing stories about two actresses being harrassed for their post partum appearances.  Both Bryce Dallas Howard and Aishwarya Rai have given birth in the last couple of months.  Rai is one of the most famous women in India, and has been called by some the most beautiful woman in the world and Dallas Howard is American who recently appeared in The Help. 

These photographs and the accompanying comments made me sick to my stomach.  Not only do the women have to struggle with having to take care of their newborns, now they have to struggle with an unforgiving press and public decrying their weight gains extolling them to look to Victoria Beckham and Beyonce as role models for a post pregnancy body.

This is so unbelievably ridiculous and shameful.  I am appalled by the comments from the public who when looking at the pictures say the most horrible and hateful things.  The asses at TMZ (which I will not link to) started off on Bryce Dallas Howard photographing her on Mother's Day no less and picked the headline "It Takes a Village" (she was in the film The Village).  They of course, egged on the disgusting comments -- there were 290 of them as of yesterday -- with many people calling her names just because she has gained weight because she had a baby.  Imagine what someone would be called if she gained weight and didn't have a baby.  Jezebel pointed out the important fact that she has gained 80 pounds with her first pregnancy 5 years ago and that she suffered severe post partum depression.  Post Partum depression is is no laughing matter.  

Aishwarya Rai is one of the most famous women in India, and the media has been even harsher on her because she is not only known as a actress, but because she also represents many products.  She is about to be seen at the Cannes Film Festival and the reports are that she is not back to her pre pregnancy weight.  You would think that she committed treason the way she is being treated.  It's like a personal affront to the country.  There are even You Tube videos highlighting her weight gain.

Ms. Rai has created a package of herself basedon her looks -- which is exactly what the public wants -- and now as she struggles to regain her figure, the Indian public is confronted with the fact that she is a real person who has real struggles just like everyone else.   She is no longer the perfect brand.

The unrealistic expectations placed on women are so brutal.   I understand wanting to see your favorite star at an event or a film opening where it is their job to present themselves to the world.  But there has to be some limit.  People need some semblance of privacy and just because you are in the public eye should not mean that you should be afraid to leave your house if you don't look perfect. 

I just wish that the men and the women making these horrible comments would think about what it would be like if someone photographed them or their partner walking down the street to get a cup of coffee or go to the doctor soon after they had given birth. 

'It is her duty to look good and fit': Bollywood star and former Miss World targeted over failure to lose post-pregnancy weight (Sydney Morning Herald)

Aishwarya Rai's post-baby body forces India to confront its attitude to women (The Guardian)

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17 Comments

  • Bitch Pack | June 4, 2012 2:22 PMReply

    People sure seem to support it when Kelly Oxford puts down the way people look: https://www.facebook.com/HollywoodBiatchPack

  • jenny | May 24, 2012 2:35 AMReply

    Atleast women should not comments like this
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  • JennyHudson | May 24, 2012 2:34 AMReply

    I don't understand why can't this people understand that celebrities are also human begin.
    women suits

  • Mel | May 22, 2012 10:32 AMReply

    Hands down, Ms. Rai is *still* one of the most beautiful women in the world. She was gorgeous as a (size really tiny) and still is as a (size not incredibly tiny). If she had emerged as this size (though, good luck with that), she would have still been gorgeous in the lines of Marilyn Monroe, but because she is a slightly larger version of some past idealized Objectified Woman, people freak out. 'Different' and 'larger' do not equate with ugly. Ye gods and little fishes, people!

  • Mel | May 24, 2012 9:55 AM

    Of course you're right; gorgeous is besides the point. She's not 'fat' at all, and *even if she was* just having a baby is more than enough 'excuse.' But she shouldn't need an excuse to be a perfectly normal size of woman.

  • what?! | May 23, 2012 2:05 AM

    Surely her being georgeous or not is besides the point. She just had a baby! I dont see this lebel of crap aimed at men, who quite frankly dont have the same excuse to be fat!

  • loveberry | May 20, 2012 6:23 AMReply

    its stars who walk in branded clothes,receive lots of praise for their perfect looks and body and think of themselves very high,displaying a conscious sense of being better or above than a common looking woman.and setting a bad example to young girls and their perfect image and body destroyed minds of young men.and now they want to be alone,now they've become normal human,normal mothers like us!! no its not fair with us...its time to bring them into reality that they are no superior than us,just richer!!

  • Linn | May 20, 2012 6:57 PM

    @Loveberry - with all due respect, you're ASSUMING they "think of themselves very high, displaying a conscious sense of being better and above than a common looking woman." That's purely speculation, and frankly, I don't think very accurate based on the amount of self-destructive behavior you see from these "perfect" actors. People who truly love themselves do not become addicts to stealing (ex. Wynona Ryder), alcoholism, (many examples), etc. You're blaming the victim of publicity for being responsible for someone else's actions. That does not make sense, similar to blaming a female rape victim for wearing the wrong clothing that "got her raped." Now, if you're talking about women who sell clothing lines, perfume, etc., for having ads that celebrate unhealthy bodies, that was not made clear in your post... Thank you.

  • AmeilaJ. | May 20, 2012 12:31 AMReply

    It's Mrs.Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. It's strange that people get so upset when the media make comments on actress weight gain and everyone will come to their defense but nobody will when thin actress is called anorexic which is awful more so then this.

  • Micah | May 19, 2012 12:17 PMReply

    Good job standing up for these ladies. Society is so schizophrenic when dealing with women and their bodies. I find it hard to to think of anything lower than attacking a women for her appearance and weight after just bringing life into the world. What about showing concern for their health and well being?

  • Flow555 | May 18, 2012 11:09 AMReply

    Thanks Melissa for standing up for these women. These kinds of attacks are insidious and brutal, and can catch people off guard, and thus speechless.

    We cannot sit back, silently, and let the "gossip industrial complex" (as I have started calling it) take shots at our female peers. Mysogeny is big business these days, and it wears many masks, but if we can raise awareness and shine the light on it, perhaps we can at least cut off the demand.

  • Alex | May 18, 2012 9:33 AMReply

    Wait - there are reports from people living in India who are horrified for being blamed. I think it's the press who is responsible for this vitriolic statments.

  • Sky | May 18, 2012 8:57 AMReply

    the comments that made me most disgusted was the ones that compared Aishwarya to Victoria Beckham and Angelina Jolie, then berated her and seriously said that 'it's her (Rai's) *job* to be perfect all the time'.
    Seriously people, WHAT THE FUCK??

  • jingmei | May 18, 2012 8:31 AMReply

    Completely support this cool post. Those moron idiot commenters and people who are like them should go to hell.

  • Miller | May 18, 2012 3:18 AMReply

    The weight/look fascism at play is simply disgusting. I would like to go Dirty Harry berserk with my verbal Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum on those pathetic commenters...

  • Louise | May 18, 2012 2:01 AMReply

    Shameful. We all come from mothers, whose work raising us is among the most important tasks in the world. Shame on the people who look at their appearance and disregard how well they may be contributing to these precious new lives.

  • LostPevensie | May 17, 2012 4:40 PMReply

    Funny thing is that some of those comments come from women. I am not surprised at all. Women in films are not measure by their talents but by their bodies. It's disgusting and unfair. However, I doubt it will ever changed.

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