Actress Celina Jaitly, who has been flaunting her baby bump on social media and garnering praises for it, recently found herself at the receiving end of abusive and hurtful trolls. On September 1, the actress had reposted a picture of herself in a bathtub shot by her husband Peter Haag for Miss Malini. Though the picture was accompanied by a powerful message and spoke about the stereotypes associated with pregnant women and their bodies, all of it was ignored and Jaitly was relentlessly slut-shamed for posing the way she did.
The actress has now – on her official Instagram page – posted a befitting reply to those negative comments. The actress wrote that she was disturbed by the “regressive mentality” displayed today and “how some people driven by this ideology are willing to intimidate a woman ( even a pregnant woman) using a considerable amount of verbal violence along with intentions of sexual violence just because the picture did not meet the traditional and cultural expectations of a few self proclaimed theckedars of our society.”
Making a strong statement against the trolls, Jaitly wrote that though in the picture she showed less skin “than most of the outfits that me and many of my colleagues have worn for several of our films”, it was what was “not visible” in the picture — perceived sexuality — rather than what was visible that disturbed people on social media. “In my case despite only a bit of the tummy shoulders & knee showing I realised smilingly that what bothered the Shamers was what was “not” that was visible in the bathtub picture but what was “perceived “ to be visible through their demented imagination,” she wrote. The actress also wrote that it is often women who tend to shame other women and that “they have to start changing the way they view themselves, and other women too.”
“GOOD GOD IS THAT Shoulders, arms AND TUMMY?! Oh wait even a peeking knee cap…. MY EYES ARE BURNING WITH THE SLUTINESS.!!! ????
Upon posting a recent pregnancy picture in a bathtub with a message condemning the stereotype s associated with pregnant women and their bodies in our culture, clicked by my beloved Peter Haag for @missmalini I was surprised to see what followed next. While I did receive a lot of love, my social media feeds on my Instagram, Twitter & FB Fan Page turned into a battle ground of trolls vs like minded followers & well wishers. Having been perceived to violate traditional expectations for behaviour & dress code during pregnancy it was not surprising to see trolling/ slut shaming on my post and honestly to me they truly are laughable and don’t affect me personally……..However, what disturbed me was the aspect that even in today’s times an immense growth is being seen in this kind of regressive mentality and how some people driven by this ideology are willing to intimidate a woman ( even a pregnant woman) using a considerable amount of verbal violence along with intentions of sexual violence just because the picture did not meet the traditional and cultural expectations of a few self proclaimed theckedars of our society. Funnily enough the bathtub picture actually shows less skin than most of the outfits that me and many of my colleagues have worn for several of our films.
While men do slut shame, often women are the strongest cultural enforcers of slut-shaming., you will see that when you go to my Instagram account. It’s amazing that slut shaming is rarely about actual sexual activity, but rather perceived sexuality through clothes or attitudes. In my case despite only a bit of the tummy shoulders & knee showing I realised smilingly that what bothered the Shamers was what was “not” that was visible in the bathtub picture but what was “perceived “ to be visible through their demented imagination. My observation is that, the Shamers were immensely uncomfortable “more” from the parts of my body that were “covered” by the water, and were apparently definitely nude, making their imaginations run in all directions which of course were against all social norms. Hence in our culture with such an assumption one automatically gains the rights to call a woman a slut, a bitch a whore, and of course it is also shockingly ok to even punish her by rape and sexually torment such a woman as per many comments on my picture on Instagram, twitter, FB and Ms Malini and many other websites. Ironically enough most of the perpetrators of such verbal violence are also women themselves & Unfortunately many Women fail to realise that to make progressive attempts for their own evolution , they have to start changing the way they view themselves, and other women too.
In Our culture one thing is for sure the only way one expresses disapproval is through verbal or physical violence ,there is no scope for resolution, solution or general discussion or using civilised language to express disapproval. I fail to understand why does something (like my so called against the Indian social norms bathtub picture ) which does not agree to ones taste or liking have to become a candidate for any kind of violence…Both physical and verbal sexual violence is not only criminally an offence in the real world but what really worries me is the fact that in our culture so many people ( both men & women) tend to have the intention to resort to sexual, verbal & physical violence to punish one for something makes them uncomfortable. Specially to think that there are so many people people who feel it’s ok to harm a pregnant woman or for that matter any woman with physical, sexual & verbal abuse. No wonder violence against women has increased in our country because such narcissistic people are actually allowed to have a voice and practice their regressive and delinquent thought processes and ideologies.
Slut-shaming is not funny, it is dangerous, hurtful, disrespectful and harmful to women. It’s important to question society when they expect women to behave in ways that men are not expected to.
While many of my colleagues for their own reasons may have chosen to keep quiet when they too went through the same, I take it as my social responsibility to speak up against it. My intention as an actor, a beauty queen a human rights activist and most of all as a a mother has always been to empower , encourage & break social stigmas through my blessed platform. As the post which supported my picture clearly said on [Miss Malini]
All I can say is that If you are being slut-shamed remember that it is not your fault. The problem is with the way in which many people are socially conditioned to think about women.
However, ending on a positive note .. a big thank you to my many followers who stood up to all the abuse. I am overwhelmed by their support and love and most of all I am so proud to see that my beloved followers have a voice that is right and that their values and hearts are in the right place.”