On International Women’s Day, we list down 11 women from our film fraternity who crushed the age old stereotypes like a boss. From Tanushree Dutta starting the much needed MeToo movement in Bollywood, Neena Gupta proving that even elder couples have sexual desires through film Badhaai Ho, to Swara Bhaskar being the first actress to masturbate on screen, Bollywood definitely has a handful of women who don’t shy away to take the road which is not walked by all.
So while the world celebrates the accomplishment of women, let’s not forget that it’s because of these women rule breakers that the society has become a more relaxed place to live in.
Tanushree Dutta- The flag bearer of MeToo movement
In the year 2008 Tanushree was sexually harassed by senior actor Nana Patekar on the sets of the film Horn OK Pleassss, where the actress was supposed to do a dance number. However during the rehearsals, Tanushree stated that Nana was consonantly misbehaving with her verbally and physically. This misdeed act irked Dutta so much that she not only complained about it to the makers but also decided to leave the film when no one paid any heed to her plea.
After 10 years, Tanushree decided to speak up again on the same matter and made sure that it reached out to the right place. Soon after the actress spoke up against Nana on a channel, lot of women from the film fraternity came out and shared their ordeal of the sexual harassment. Famous names like Rajat Kapoor, Kailash Kher, Anu Malik, Alok Nath were named and shamed.
Neena Gupta- Having a child out of wedlock, marriage at 50 and more
When Neena Gupta starred in 2018 film Badhaai Ho, where she played the role of a woman who gets pregnant at the age of 50, many people applauded her for being a rebel. But let us tell you that the renowned actress has always been one, whether it was the choice of her films or the fact that she was one of the few females who chose to have daughter Masaba Gupta out of wedlock and did it with utmost integrity and pride. She again crushed the age old stereotype, when at the age of 50 where an individual thinks of spending time with their grandchildren, Neena decided to get hitched to New Delhi-based Vivek Mehra.
Pregnancy stereotype was broken by Kareena Kapoor Khan. During her prenatal stage in the year 2016, she not only did endorsements, shot for magazine cover but also became the first commercial actress to walk the ramp with a baby bump.
She also proved that even with that big bump one can look stylish and fashionable by sporting the right maternity looks. Few months after Taimur’s birth Kareena even began shooting of Veere Di wedding and flied overseas for her work commitments while Taimur who was just few months old, who was taken care by husband Saif Ali Khan.
Priyanka Chopra- Age is just a number
The Desi girl of Bollywood broke the most desi belief that women should marry men elder than them, when last year she tied the knot with Nick Jonas who is 10 years younger to her. She apparently received a lot of flak on social media for marrying someone so much younger but Peecee being Peecee didn’t paid any heed to the trolls. Let us not forget that Chopra is the first actress from Bollywood who has successfully managed to make her presence felt in Hollywood. Be it the Met Gala or the Oscars or any renowned talk show, Priyanka is a new wave in Hollywood.
Deepika Padukone- Creating awareness around mental health
In the year 2015, Deepika was the first actor from film fraternity who openly admitted that she was diagnosed with depression in the year 2014. Depression is often considered to be a subject which is attached with a lot of stigma and shame and hence forget about common people but even renowned personalities shy away from admitting that they are mentally disturbed.
The actress also now runs an NGO called Live Love Life which helps people to overcome with anxiety and depression. In one of her earlier interviews, Deepika stated while she was getting medical and families help to deal with it and was on the verge of recovering, it was one of her friends death who was also going through depression, which convinced her to let the world know that depression is just like any other illness that needs to be treated with care and right medication.
Sushmita Sen- You can do everything without getting married
Sushmita was not only the first woman from India to win the title of Miss Universe but also the first Bollywood actress who decided to be a single mother by adopting two daughters. The actress in the year 2000 adopted her first daughter Renee and later adopted Alisah in the year 2010. While 27 is the ultimate marriage age for most of the Indian women, Sushmita at the age of 43 is in a happy relationship with model Rohman and when asked about marriage she says that marriage can wait a bit more.
Swara who is known for her unconventional roles in films like Anaarkali of Aarah and Raanjhanaa, broke all in habitation when she performed a masturbation scene in Veere Di Wedding, something which till now was only been a male actors forte. While Swara received a lot of backlash in the film by the narrow mind who were unable to digest the fact that a woman can satisfy her own self just like men, Swara’s on screen act raised a growth in the sales of sex toys which are used by women to satisfy themselves.
Kangana Ranaut- The torch bearer of bashing Nepotism
We cannot deny the fact that it was Kangana that people are now openly talking about nepotism. The irony of the fact is that Ranaut talked about nepotism on Karan Johar’s chat show Koffee with Karan and openly stated that if ever a film is made on Bollywood she will want Karan Johar to play the role of flag bearer of nepotism. The actress has also openly admitted that she will not work with the Khan’s unless and until she doesn’t have a meaty role in it.
Sonali Bendre and Tahira Kashyap- Bald is beautiful
Both Sonali Bendre and Tahira Kashyap had nothing in common until the women were diagnosed with cancer last year. Apart from cancer, it was the journey of recovery that they chose, something which they were applauded and appreciated for. Sonali who lost her hair during the chemotherapy initially sported a wig, but latter chose to embrace baldness. In fact the actress recently did a photoshoot where she also showed her cancer surgery scar.
In fact, Tahira took the news of being cancer stricken with a pinch of salt and not valley of tears, something which was clearly seen in her post. The actress also walked the ramp with a bald head but with tons of ooze and confidence.
Ekta Kapoor- Being a single mother by all means
While a lot of Bollywood couples like Shah Rukh- Gauri, Aamir Khan- Kiran Rao and bachelors such as Karan Johar and Tusshar Kapoor embraced parenthood via surrogacy, Ekta is the first single female who opted for child via surrogacy. Initially Ekta tried for IVF, but after repeated failed attempts, she decided to go for the said route. The baby boy was born in January this year is named Ravie after Ekta’s father’s name.