Actor Anushka Sharma got our undivided attention last week, with an unusual press statement issued by her publicist. Surprisingly, it was not about any forthcoming films, her much talked about link-up with cricketer Virat Kohli or professional decisions to turn producer. Stung by the reaction to her bee-stung fuller lips that were on display during an episode of Koffee With Karan, (KWK) the actor sent out a clarification denying having undergone any invasive surgical procedure to enhance her lips.
Excerpts from her statement went something like this:
“For a short while now I have been using a temporary lip enhancing tool and that along with make up techniques (I have learnt over the years) is the reason why there might be a change in the appearance of my lips. Having stated this fact let me very vehemently assure everyone that I have by no means gone ‘under the knife ‘ or done any kind of ‘plastic surgery’ or undergone any intrusive procedure. This was my decision and was done for the sake of my look in my upcoming film Bombay Velvet, a period drama where I play a jazz singer from the ’60s – ’70s. The drastic change in my appearance on KWK is due to lot of factors put together and not just my lips. Everyone goes through good and bad days. Did I think I looked good on the KWK episode? NO. I do feel I could have done things differently. To put the current conjectures and reportage straight once and for all from my end — I have said this before and am saying it again. I do not believe in plastic surgery or any other means of unnatural permanent changes to the body. I do not support it or stand for it or recommend it.”
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Anushka’s non-surgical enhancement of her lips — presumably collagen — is hardly new. A bevy of Bollywood beauties — Kangana Ranaut, Katrina Kaif, Shruti Haasan among others have been known to develop fuller lips missing in their earlier selves. Predictably, any such transformation immediately draws immediate attention and flak.
Let’s face it, cosmetic surgery and artificial enhancement of facial/ physical features is Bollywood’s worst kept secret. Since time immemorial, there have been whispers of plastic surgery particularly in the context of female actors. In more innocent times, artificial beautification was usually restricted to weight loss through liposuction, nose-job, facelift, for the wrinkle removal and breast enhancement. Over time, the roster of body parts that can be improved and saved from the vagaries of nature, has only increased. Once upon a time, all of the above were spoken of in hushed whispers. No longer. In the age of tweets, the grapevine buzzes a lot louder and almost instantly. For a celebrity planning to undergo any such sudden physical transformation, it would certainly be wise to prepare for the barrage of sharp reactions that follow. Their presence on social media only ensures that the outpouring reaches them in record time. To be fair to the twitterati, they are scathing in their criticism and overwhelming with their praise. And they certainly don’t spare anyone.
For those wondering why a filmstar’s sudden physical metamorphosis invites the ridicule that it does, even though these are standard operating procedures in the lives of socialites, professionals and increasingly even housewives, the answer is simple. Film stars, for one are beauty and fashion icons who decide and define the way lesser mortals should look. And then there is the whole fuss about being naturally beautiful. Truth be told, quite like the rest of humanity, these beautiful people would rather be considered naturally beautiful, not works of some medical genius. No wonder then that nips and tucks, even though they are a routine affair in the world of forever-young, remain a clandestine affair. A socialite once told me that the smarter of their lot had an elaborate cover-up plan worked out well in advance. Usually, on their return from a ‘visit abroad’ they would come back with a new haircut, a wardrobe overhaul or some such distraction to draw attention away from their little ‘beauty secret’.
A simpler route of course, is the humble press release that simply puts the facts out there for those that are consumed with curiosity about such matters. Director Farah Khan put news of her tummy tuck (for her film Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi) out there and long before, Shilpa Shetty admitted to her nose-job. Of course, no one summed it quite as succinctly as Rakhi Sawant’s “Jo Bhagwan nahi deta woh doctor de
Surprisingly, the candid confessions worked in their favour, pushing their popularity further north.
Evidently, in present times a tell-all account is the best way to ensure a speedy image recovery.