On October 27, TV actress Rytasha Rathore, who essays the lead role in Badho Bahu shared an important story on sexual harassment, consent, and body shaming. In her story shared on Humans of Bombay‘s Facebook page, Rytasha narrated how women are led to believe that they are the inferior sex and how people fail to understand that body shaming is hurtful and just not funny. While Rytasha’s entire post is an eye-opener, what she revealed about the functioning of TV industry and the patriarchy is shocking and disgusting.
Speaking about one particular incident, Rytasha recalls how one of the hairstylists on the sets had to quit her job because a man relentlessly stalked her and refused to take no for an answer. The worst part: this was happening for days and the authorities failed to take any action before the 21-year-old quit. It’s disheartening to know how a show which is supposed to be based on women’s rights, can’t even protect their own female staff! She said,
He kept professing his love for her, she kept declining but he didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. He thought it was ‘romantic’ to burn his hand for her — and then went upto her and said, ‘for every burn mark I have, I will stab you those many times for rejecting me’. We complained to our show authorities, but before any action was taken, she quit out of fear while her stalker is going about his job as though nothing happened.
Another incident which Rytasha spoke about was a conversation between an actor and the director. At the end of a shot, the actor complained about a female colleague being too chatty to the director, who was apparently trying to be funny, said, “Ek chamaat maar de — chup ho jayegi! (Give her a tight slap and she’ll stay quiet).”
Appalled by the director’s behaviour, Rytasha said,
He thought he was being funny…but today’s joke becomes tomorrow’s reality. Women have been considered the weaker sex and I realise that the only way to change that is to start with me.
The actress also said men and women are made to believe they are equals since childhood, but the reality is far from it. Rytasha spoke about her struggle and explained the kind of body-shaming she went through. The actress also revealed that she was told that she got the lead role in Badho Bahu because of her weight. In the post, Rytasha shared,
A journalist actually once said, ‘I only got the role of Badho because of my size’ and I was like, ‘spent years in drama school, but that don’t count for shit, eh?’
Here is her the Facebook post:
The biggest advice which Rytasha had for all women is to accept themselves the way they are and take steps towards body positivity.
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