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Journalism of Courage

Geeta Kapur recalls being body shamed during Dance India Dance days: ‘Terence Lewis was good looking, Remo D’Souza had a personality’

Geeta Kapur has judged various reality shows in the last decade and is known by contestants as 'Geeta Maa'. She recently opened about being body shamed by trolls during her early years on television.

geeta kapurGeeta Kapur first gained popularity among audience after she became a judge on Dance India Dance. (Photo: Geeta Kapur/Instagram)

Choreographer Geeta Kapur has been judging dance reality shows since 2009 and was on the panel of Dance India Dance with Terence Lewis and Remo D’Souza when Dance India Dance premiered back in the day. After Boogie Woogie, Dance India Dance was the first major dance reality show and gained instant popularity. While the show was doing well, Geeta faced her share of trolls and in a recent chat, she recalled how they got to her for her body shape.

In a chat with Maniesh Paul for his podcast, Geeta was asked about social media comments and people’s perceptions. She said that she does not get bothered with these things now, but during her initial days on television, she would get affected by these comments, even though there was no social media. She said, “Unn dino mein fan mail aata tha (We would get fan mails in those days).”

She further recalled, “Mujhe itne gande aur waahiyat kism ke cheezein aati thi. Toh ek din, main bahut maayus thi. Ki yeh kya ho raha hai? Mera kaam koi kyu nahi dekh raha? Main do mardon ke beech mein baithi hun, apni jagah banane ki koshish kar rahi hun lekin koi yeh nahi dekh raha hai. Koi yeh nahi dekh raha hai ki mehnat main bhi kar rahi hun. Sab yeh keh rahe hain ki tumhara vahan pe kya kaam hai? Moti. Bhains ho gayi ho. Obviously, Terrence was a good-looking guy and Remo had like a personality to look forward to and everybody was like ‘tum vahan pe kyu?’ (I would get such nasty comments. One day, I was really upset and wondering what was even happening? Why is no one looking at my work? I am sitting in the middle of two men, and trying to make my place but no one looking at that. No one is seeing the hard work that I am doing. Why is everyone asking why do I belong here? Fat. You look like a buffalo. Obviously, Terrence was a good-looking guy and Remo had like a personality to look forward to and everybody was like ‘why are you here?’)”

Geeta then said that this was “the only time when it hit me really hard.” She recalled that one of her team members asked her if a stranger’s opinion was even worthy of her time. “One of my team members came in and said ‘Is it affecting you to know their opinion? Is their opinion going to matter? Are they doing their job?’ She just asked the questions and went away.”

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In that moment, she said she realised that she does not care. “I was like I don’t care what they say. Who are these people who are hiding their faces and commenting? Are they in my place? Are they earning for me? No Are they running my household? No. So do they matter? No. And that was the day, and today,” she said.

Geeta said that even though social media has people commenting with way more hatred, she chooses to focus on the positive comments. She said, “Aaj toh itne khule aam log cheezein likhte hain. Aur boht gandi cheezein kabhi kabhi likhte hain. But I think mujhe jo achi cheezein likhi jati hain, main uspe zyada dhyan deti hun (People write what they want today and sometimes they write really dirty things. But I think I like to focus on the positive comments).”

First published on: 29-11-2022 at 16:26 IST
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