Malishka Mendonsa aka RJ Malishka played a victim of body shaming in the latest released short, Parde Mein Rehne Do.
Popular radio jockey turned actress Malishka Mendonsa played the central character in the recently released short film titled Parde Mein Rehne Do. She recently opened up about why it is important to call out the casual ways of bullying and body shaming women face in everyday life.
In conversation with OTTplay, the actress said, " Considering the fact that we women are dealing with much bigger issues in life, be it the equal opportunity, work-life balance, the constant struggle of walking extra miles to prove our worth to be a leader in a men's world, many times we tend to ignore the small comments and casual bullying. It is time to call that out otherwise it gets normalised."
Citing an example from the film, she elaborates, " One of the scenes in the film, it shows, how when Kuhu, who is an over-weight woman, asked for extra cream from the vendor, a man standing next to her commented, 'haan, extra cream kha kha kha ke ek din phat jayegi!' taunting her body weight. Who has given him the right to body shame her like that? It's not funny at all, it is bullying. We really ignore such comments. It becomes a normal practice then, but only a person with body image issues would understand how humiliating it feels every time to hear such comment."
"If we really want to see a change, we have to call it out every day when we hear it, it can't be just an occasional conversation and overnight change. It is a gradual process," she added.
The story of the film revolves around a 32-year-old woman, who is divorced and trying to redefine her life professionally and personally. Since she is overweight and has a birthmark on her face, since her adulthood, she is bullied for her appearance which damages her self-esteem badly.
Malishka also mentioned that it is important for the family to be the most supportive in such a situation. However, most of the time, the first criticism comes from the family itself.
She said, " More than often we get the first object from our parents and relatives to practice any choices. If you as a girl who does not fit the beauty standard, your mother would say, 'Shaadi kaise hogi?' We also find it difficult to stay independently in a different rented house, in the same city where your parents live. Society judges you assuming there's something wrong between parents and children behind such a setup."
Being an outspoken person who lent her voice for multiple social issues including - complaining against BMC in Mumbai for the pothole and water log during the monsoon, rights of LGBTQ+ community etc - she said that unless the mindset of our parents and elders in home change, the bigger change will not be visible in the society.
The film Parde Mein Rehne Do is directed by Heena D’Souza and written by Garima Pura Patiyaalvi and Pranjali Dubey. It is streaming on Amazon miniTV.