Juhi Chawla feels there is a lot of pressure on the girls on-screen today, and wonders if baring it and aiming for a “size-zero” frame is really an “expression of freedom”.
The actor says that while a lot has changed for women in the entertainment industry, some aspects continue to remain the same.
“I am not exactly sure what’s going on about any debate on gender, equality and stuff in the world right now. Some things have changed for the better and some… I am not sure if we are headed in the right direction. As in, 15 years ago there used to be one or two women on the sets of a film with 100 men. Today, there would be maybe 35 women and 65 men in a film unit, which is great,” Juhi said.
“So, yes, the opportunity to go out and be working and the freedom has increased for women. But on the other hand, films are still hero-centric… In a majority of the films, the hero is the hero,” she added.
The actor also feels that pressure on female actors is also increasing.
“I feel we are putting a lot of pressure on the girls on-screen. They are wearing tinier clothes, they are becoming size-zero, they have to look very cool and comfortable with live-in relationships…. Why is there so much pressure on women? Is this truly an expression of freedom?”
“I don’t even see why it is a question that women should prove their equality. I feel they were anyway superior. I mean women are one half of society and are responsible for creating the other half. So why do they have to prove anything?”
A former Miss India Universe, Juhi made her cinematic debut with the 1986 film Sultanat. But she came into the spotlight in 1988 with the success of romantic drama Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, which also featured Aamir Khan.
She carved a niche with hits like Darr, Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke, Mr & Mrs Khiladi, Ishq and Duplicate.
She experimented with her craft after her marriage to businessman Jai Mehta in 1998, by taking up films like 3 Deewarein, My Brother Nikhil and Jhankaar Beats. In the past few years, Juhi was seen in Gulaab Gang and Chalk N Duster.
There are also rumours that she might get back together with superstar Shah Rukh Khan for a cameo in Aanand L Rai’s project and might star with Anil Kapoor in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.