International Women's Day 2024: Daisy Shah, Avika Gor & Other Actresses Open Up About Challenges They Face In The Industry

International Women's Day 2024: Daisy Shah, Avika Gor & Other Actresses Open Up About Challenges They Face In The Industry

Several popular actresses like Daisy Shah, Avika Gor, Deepika Singh, Sunayana Fozdar, Riddhima Pandit, Sreejita De, and others, revealed the challenges they face in the industry

Ria Sharma Sagarika Choudhary Updated: Friday, March 08, 2024, 03:13 PM IST
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On the occasion of International Women's Day, actresses open up about the challenges they've faced in the entertainment industry and how they overcame them

Daisy Shah

I've encountered challenges that have tested my resilience and determination. From battling stereotypes to fighting for equal opportunities, the journey hasn't been easy, but it's been rewarding. One of the biggest challenges I've faced is the pressure to conform to narrow standards of beauty and talent. There's often a tendency to typecast women based on their appearance or background, which can be limiting and frustrating. However, I've learned to embrace my uniqueness and refuse to be boxed in by others' expectations. Instead of conforming to stereotypes, I've focused on honing my skills and showcasing my versatility as an actress. By constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone and taking on diverse roles, I've been able to prove that women are capable of so much more than what society dictates.

Avika Gor

The biggest challenge actresses face is that filmmakers make them feel that they are replaceable. There are many projects where I have been made to feel that way, but I've let it go. I've made my peace with it. I feel if a person is making me feel that way, then I should let go of the project myself, and I have done that very consciously. I've not been a part of a project where I've been made to feel less important and so far, it has always worked in my favour. That is how I have held my ground. In our industry, the portrayal of women has unfortunately been on the negative side. They are often objectified and portrayed in a certain way. But at the same time, I cannot negate the fact that whatever projects I've been a part of, I have always been very lucky. The scripts that come to me are often female-oriented. The subjects don't make me feel like I am not justifying the talent I have. In my experience, my portrayal has always been the best that it can be as an actor.

Anushka Ranjan

The challenge I feel is that the women are always easily replaceable. There are categories and if someone fits the category they can be cast in a role. For me, it felt like some castings didn’t work out due to lack of experience but that’s a catch 22. To have a body of work you need to start somewhere. I feel I’m still overcoming this issue as there’s always going to be someone out there who’s done more work. The portrayal of women as of now is still not at its full potential. If it’s a woman centric movie it’s usually on a smaller scale or given very little attention. People are happy to see their favourite actresses when they’re alongside a man. So I hope in the coming times women centric movies aren’t niche but mainstream.

Sunayana Fozdar

There have been challenges. I was told that I look too glamorous so I'll be given only those kinds of roles. In a way, I was objectified when I joined the industry. I had to look for roles that were meaty and which challenged me as an actor because if you are a good looking girl, you are stereotyped and are given glam roles which don't really have any meaning. That's something I had to deal with. But I made sure that I do diverse roles. I did cameos which I thought were interesting characters. I constantly had to prove my point.

Dalljiet Kaur

I was stereotyped after I became a mother. But I waited for the right roles. I did not accept what I was offered at that time because I didn't deserve those kinds of roles. I pushed myself and worked out. I felt that it was my duty to be fit so that I could demand roles that I used to do before I gave birth. I wanted to play the same kinds of characters but for that, I had to wait for a very long time. I was playing a 26-year-old before pregnancy and when I resumed work after maternity break, I was offered the role of a 40-year-old woman. So at that time, that was a big challenge for me.

Deepika Singh

I think women by and large are always assumed to be the weaker lot. They are always looked upon as "Yeh nahin kar paayegi" but today women have evolved to not just multitask but also take on challenges head on. Also, women have realised it is not a gender war but we are here to compliment each other, not compete. When I started off, I was shown a lot of bias in terms of being considered the weaker one or someone who cannot hold a scene but, with time, they realised I could outshine everyone beside or opposite me

Sreejita De

I came into the industry when I was only 17. I am from a very small town called Haldia in West Bengal. My mother was always my support system but despite her being beside me, I came across mean-minded and filthy people, maybe lesser than other actresses because my mom was always there with me. But honestly, it never bothered me. I met people who were extremely stupid, who had no projects to offer but just wanted meetings. They used to say 'I have a film for this big director but there's a casting couch involved in between'. Once or twice it also happened to me. I met these kinds of people but I did not hide anything from my mom. I never felt ashamed or embarrassed. When I was 19, I was offered a Bengali film, remake of a Hindi film. I was called for a meeting. My mother was in Kolkata and I went to the director's office alone. I didn't like the way he held my shoulder and the way he spoke to me. He was an old man and I was just 18. Even if you are very young, you know that this touch is not right. The way he was looking at me was very disgusting. I literally picked up my purse and ran out of the office. These encounters affected me and made me feel very disgusted. I used to wonder how people could have such a mentality. But I never got carried away. I was strong enough and I got to know that where there's good work, people will never approach you in a wrong way. I always believe that there's no casting couch where there's real work.

Riddhima Pandit

My journey in the entertainment industry has been no walk in the park. I've faced some major setbacks, from dealing with stereotypes to struggling to make a name for myself in the industry. But my unwavering determination and belief in myself kept me going and held me strong at all times. I've never backed down from a challenge and I've always found a way to overcome any obstacle that comes my way. It's this never-give-up attitude that has helped me rise above the difficulties I've faced. Also, now, the entertainment industry has evolved and women have taken over. The only female on sets is no longer a hairdresser but they are EPs, writers, directors and producers. But we still have a long way to go.

Shanthi Priya

Women face a myriad of challenges, from gender-based stereotypes to a lack of equal opportunities. Personally, I've encountered instances where I felt pigeonholed into traditional female roles, limiting my ability to showcase the full range of my talents. Breaking through these barriers required persistence and a strategic approach. One major hurdle has been the prevalence of gender biases, with some industry professionals holding onto outdated notions about what women can or cannot do. Overcoming this involved actively challenging stereotypes and pushing for roles that showcased my abilities beyond conventional expectations. Networking played a crucial role in this process, allowing me to connect with like-minded individuals who valued talent over gender. Another challenge has been the unequal distribution of opportunities, where male counterparts often enjoy more substantial roles and screen time. To overcome this, I focused on honing my skills and building a strong portfolio that spoke for itself.

Pratibha Ranta

What I have noticed is that women are not taken seriously in the film industry. However, I made sure to understand how I should stand up for myself. Of course this came to me with time. Initially, I was not that confident in taking a stand for myself, but I have learned that now. Also, I feel that with time, the portrayal of women in the entertainment industry has changed in a very beautiful way. I see so many opportunities around me. I also see so many of them picking up the right kind of work. The audience is also accepting different and new faces now and I hope this continues.

Sneha Wagh

Times have changed. I believe that women are clearly celebrated in every way in the television industry. Most of the shows that gain popularity are women-centric. I think that's the best. As a woman I have faced a few challenges in my early years. But once your talent is proved, no one questions you. I feel it's not just for women but goes for both the genders.

Malvi Malhotra

The challenge I faced is pay parity and more screen space is given to male actors. We've been seeing this for years now. So I try to choose roles which are equally important as the hero and this is the only way to solve this issue.

Raashii Khanna

“I have always been a very emotional person, and for some reason, I have always viewed it to be a flaw,” she admits. However, her perspective underwent a transformative shift over time. With maturity came the realisation that being emotional isn’t a weakness but rather a strength. In a world that often encourages detachment, Raashii recognises the power of her emotions in fostering genuine connections and empathy. “Once I grew up, I understood that being emotional is a strength because in this world that we live in, a lot of us get detached very quickly,” she reflects. “So I think being emotional makes me imperfectly perfect,” she adds.

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