We are seeing a lot of Bollywood star kids being launched in the coming months and one thing that I noticed amongst all this was the age of the female actresses making their debut.
Back in 2012, when Student of The Year came out, Alia Bhatt was just 18-19 at the time, and Chunky Pandey’s daughter is also just 19 when she is making her debut in SOTY 2.
The point is, considering the attitude that Bollywood has towards female actresses, isn’t it a bit creepy that such young kids are being launched so that they can be ogled at, judged and stared at by men (yes men) of all ages?
Wait, let me explain my point a bit before you start accusing me of stereotyping and encroaching on the freedom of almost adult girls who can do whatever they want.
Bollywood Has No Idea Of Teenage Audience
The thing is that, unlike Hollywood, Bollywood does not have any teenage audience for whom movies are made for.
Hollywood has a very strong teenage audience for whom rom-coms, coming of age and teenager centered movies are made around.
Movies like Mean Girls, Breakfast Club, 10 Things I Hate About You, Grease, Paper Towns, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Love Simon and more are specifically targeted at the school going 13-18-year-old bracket of the audience.
It shows the protagonists going to school and dealing with various issues that teenagers have to deal with during that part of their life.
But the thing is, such a thing does not exist in Bollywood at all.
There is no sector of Bollywood that focuses on this part of the audience, and even if teenagers are shown, they are usually 18 and above, falling in love and getting married.
So in such a scenario, it definitely gets creepy that young girls who are barely 18-19 year old, are in situations that are much above their age limit and romancing heroes practically their father’s age.
The Bollywood Approach
Chunky Pandey’s daughter, Ananya Pandey is making her debut into Bollywood with Student Of The Year 2 that also stars Tiger Shroff.
So Ananya is 19 and Tiger is 28 and considering they are 2 of the leads in the movie and seeing how its a Bollywood film, it is obvious they will be romancing each other.
Anybody see the problem here?
If it was in real life, people would have surely questioned if such a young girl who is technically college-aged, was to romance with a guy who was almost 30.
South Indian actress Tamannaah, apparently started her career at the young age of 15-16 when she starred in the Bollywood movie Chand Sa Roshan Chehra (it was a flop, no surprises there).
The plot of the movie was really convoluted and had a star-crossed lovers theme where eventually the hero wants to fulfill his dying mother’s wish and make Tamannaah’s character his wife. And yeah, she as a 15-16-year-old is playing such a mature role.
Another example of a really young actress having to play a really grown-up role as her first, because Bollywood is seemingly incapable of making movies targeted at the teenaged audience, would be Kangana Ranaut.
Apparently, Ranaut was only 17 years old when she shot for her first movie the 2006 hit Gangster made by Mahesh Bhatt.
In a 2017 interview with Filmfare, when asked if the many dark characters she’s done take a toll on her, she said that, “I was 17 when I did Gangster. So I had difficulty first in understanding and then unwinding from the character. The approach was raw and immature.”
The problem is not that Bollywood is launching such young actresses, the problem is the kind of roles they are being given and the light they are being shown in.
Bollywood still has this mentality that actresses should be something the world wants. And so those female actors are made to be desirable and across the world, they are fantasized about by many men and surely females too.
The problem is when you take away that platonic perception and put them in a certain kind of light that invokes not so clean feelings in men.
This was proven by an incident an acquaintance recited of how an uncle they know, were recently commenting on Janhavi Kapoor and her looks.
The issue here is that obviously the way Bollywood portrays them is almost always as the perfect girl, someone whom every man out there wants or would want.
And in doing so, the industry is making the audience not look at those actresses as kids or young girls for whom probably the perception should be more on the familial end.
Not denying that this has not been happening with younger male actors too, but it just feels a bit more creepy when a random uncle is talking about SRK’s daughter’s bikini picture that was recently trolled online.
The fact that an innocent picture, where the girl is just acting her age and wearing a stylish bathing suit as per her liking was trolled, shows you how the Indian mentality works.
I’m sure there will only be a minority crowd who will take the picture in a normal way and not blow it out of proportion by either calling it repulsive or something sexual.
That is exactly why it is just a bit disturbing and creepy how Bollywood keeps on launching young actresses but not putting them in age-appropriate roles or plots which does not make them sexually desirable by men of all age groups.
Image Credits: Google Images