EXCLUSIVE: Farhan Akhtar on pressures of body image: Not everybody comes with six-pack abs or bikini-bod

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Farhan Akhtar underwent a massive physical transformation for his latest release Toofan. In an exclusive interview with Bollywood Bubble, The actor opened up on the pressures of body image that an actor has to battle in today’s times and explains why it’s mentally draining to always try and be a perfect body type.

Being fit is important but when a certain body image is bombarded as the desirable or the perfect one it has ripple effects. Over the years, the image of a hero having six-pack abs has been propagated endlessly. Speaking about this pressure of ideal body image, Farhan said, “When we grew up watching films, at no point did we ever stop to think about the body type of the actor or the actress. We had actors and actresses of all shapes and sizes. Talking about leading men, we had somebody as lanky as Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, we had the macho man Dharmendra, we had Sanjeev Kumar ji , who was a different shape and size of his own. And they were considered as the regular male body. And it never felt like ohh these people are not fit because they would still beat people up at the end of the film. And they would still be romancing women and they would still be doing whatever they did. And women would also just be completely comfortable in their skin. There was no size zero, size one, size two. None of that was going on and it was absolutely wonderful because that’s how life is. Not everybody comes with six pack or bikini-bod.”

You can watch our entire conversation with Farhan Akhtar below:

When social media and imaging has become a go to thing, as an actor to normalize the image of lead actor on screen takes guts and Farhan has done it in Toofan. Commenting on same, the actor said, “ So given that when you see this guy(his character Aziz), what we consider is out of shape, okay he is out of shape because he is an athlete. But you have to be comfortable in your skin. And the fact that there is a relatability to that and at the end of the day, he is this way and if he decides he wants to lose weight and can do it. So if someone is watching him and thinking of losing weight even they should be able to do it because this guy has not done it with prosthetics. He has actually gone and done it. So that aspect is normal. I feel there is too much emphasis paid on body. That’s not how life is. This kind of creating the poster of the ultimate man or woman is not a healthy thing. It immediately creates a lot of mental stress issues for people who don’t fit that body type. So we should not be driven by it and especially as an industry that again has such an impact on what is popular.”

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