Soon after the death of Sridevi, WhatsApp messages began doing the rounds about whether her death may be linked to the plastic surgeries she underwent to change her appearance. She was only 54 and seemingly fit.
While the choice to go under the knife is personal, the number of actresses who've opted for cosmetic surgery raises concern. Their perfect appearances, demanded by impossible standards set by the beauty industry, has made women underconfident about their body image and seeking solace in cosmetic products and procedures.
From Sridevi's nose job to the celebration of Kareena Kapoor's size-zero body to Anushka Sharma's plumped up lips, we've seen an increasingly tougher standard of beauty set by the media and the film and beauty industries.
Ordinary folk aspiring to look like tinsel town celebrities too take to crash diets and unnecessary cosmetic surgery, perhaps at great risk to their health.
Kareena Kapoor's much-celebrated 'size zero' figure in 2009 took the country by storm with several dedicated columns charting out the actress' diet plans over the years.
Speaking to Vogue in December last year, the actress revealed, “I don’t know how the size-zero thing started—but I was only 27 and I wanted to do it for a role. It looked amazing, but that was then.”
Lips Don't Lie
A victim of Twitter trolls, Anushka Sharma was forced to accept that she did get a lip job for a role in 'Bombay Velvet' directed by Anurag Kashyap. The actress, in an interview to Vogue, asserted that she had nothing to hide. It was no big deal to inject botox into her lips, as the role in 'Bombay Velvet' demanded it, she said.
Chiseled nose and facelifts
There are several actresses who have gone under the knife to achieve perfect facial structure. Though some of them have denied it, the internet is filled with 'Before and After' images. If reports are to be believed, Karishma Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Priyanka Chopra, Shilpa Shetty, Shruti Haasan are among some of these actresses who have undergone nose job and face-lifting surgeries.
The many facelifts of pop icon Michael Jackson
The King of Pop quite evidently had multiple surgeries in the form of nose jobs, cheek implants, cleft in his chin and so on. In fact, Jackson underwent these cosmetic enhancements when these surgeries were in their nascent stage, and might have been quite risky.
Dr. Wallace Goodstein, who worked beside Jackson’s surgeon in the 1990s told People Magazine in 2009, “He came in approximately every two months. It was about 10 to 12 surgeries in two years, while I was there.” The surgeon also opines that Jackson underwent operations he never should have had: “He had so many things that were inappropriate.”
Fair skin obsession
There are rumours that Bollywood 'dream girl' Hema Malini underwent beauty treatments for perfect fair skin. Even Kajol is rumoured to have had skin melanin treatment in a bid to lighten her complexion.
Are times finally changing?
In 2013, Nandita Das rallied against India's obsession with fair skin by expressing support to the `Dark is beautiful' campaign.
Only recently, however, has a mainstream Bollywood actress spoken against the growing obsession with flawlessness. Sonam Kapoor in a BuzzFeed India article said, “Flawlessness is a dangerous, high-budget myth, and it's time we shattered it."
“So, for every teen girl leaning into her bedroom mirror, wondering why she doesn’t look like a celebrity: Please know that nobody wakes up like this. Not me. Not any other actress. (Not even Beyoncé. I swear.),” says Sonam Kapoor.
India used Rs 4,000 crore worth fairness products last year. We are bombarded with advertisements about everything from 'magical' weight loss to skin lightening treatments. Everywhere flawless celebrities stare out at us from billboards and magazines endorsing not just cosmetic products but the idea that we must have perfect skin and slim, fit and shapely bodies.
While Sridevi's death may have no link with the cosmetic surgeries she has undergone, the sudden death of the star makes one ponder about the price we're willing to pay for transient beauty.