Bollywood actress Fatima Sana Shaikh, who made her debut with Aamir Khan's 'Dangal' film, recently opened up about the sexism she faced in the early days of her career and revealed that she was rejected for not looking like Deepika Padukone or Aishwarya Rai.
The actress, who received critical acclaim with the 2016 biographical sports drama, said that she has faced a lot of rejection before she bagged her debut film.
Fatima told Pinkvilla, "I was told many times that ‘you would never be a heroine’. You don’t look like Deepika, you don’t look like Aishwarya. How will you be a heroine?’ So there are people like them who will demotivate you. But now when I look back, I think, ‘fair enough’. That’s the standard of beauty they subscribe to. That one should look exactly like this or that to become a heroine. And I clearly don’t fall in that bracket, I fall into a different bracket. But there are opportunities now, there are films being made for people like me, who don’t look like supermodels, who look normal, average."
In the same interview, Fatima also spoke about the deep-rooted sexism and revealed that she was molested at the age of three.
"I have faced people telling me that the only way to get a job is through sex. So that has also happened to me. I have lost jobs to someone else for whatever reason. But I feel that there are a lot of struggles that a lot of people are facing apart from this industry and sexism is very much relevant and it exists in every industry. I was molested when I was five years old. No! I was three years old. So you understand how deep sexism goes. It’s a battle we fight on everyday basis. Every woman, every minority fights every day. And I hope our future is better," Shaikh said.
On the work front, Fatima is currently awaited the release of Anurag Basu's 'Ludo' and Dil Dosanjh, Manoj Bajpayee's 'Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari'.
'Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari' is a comedy drama where Fatima will be seen be seen in a drastically different avatar. It is set in 1995 Bombay and the actress plays a Marathi girl from, with a rebellious streak, whose family wants to see her settled.
Produced by Zee Studios, 'Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari' is slated to release on November 13.
Meanwhile, 'Ludo', directed by Anurag Basu, is a multi-starrer comedy drama featuring Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao, Aditya Roy Kapur, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Pankaj Tripathi and Pearle Maaney.