Parineeti Chopra
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Celebs embrace their body flaws, fans hope more will join them..

By HT

Mumbai, Feb. 8 -- When Bollywood actor Parineeti Chopra posted a picture on Instagram with stretch marks showing on her waist, they were lauded as stripes well earned. 
 
In an industry that relies heavily on photo editing software and "fixing one's appearance", this photo was considered a brave step. The photo fetched seven lakh likes.
 
And when American model Kendall Jenner attended Golden Globes 2018, she was criticised for her acne, but Kendall tweeted to a fan, saying: "Never let that shit stop you!" Two weeks ago, actor Vidya Balan also posted a picture on Instagram, captioning it: "You're going to be in your skin until you die.. That's a while... So you might as well get comfortable in it!"
 
With celebrities embracing their flaws, can this make the body image issue take a positive turn? Actor Aahana Kumra says, "In our industry, everything is about being plastered and looking like a Barbie doll. The world won't let you be yourself."
 
Unfair criticism does sting, she says. "When people spoke rubbish about me after I had posted pictures, it affected me. I've been a sportsperson all my life, but did that matter?" On the impact of Parineeti's photo, Aahana says, "I'd like to say that yes, Parineeti has done a very cool thing, but people are not going to like it. It's very nice that she's doing this, but that's one example."
 
Asked if this move by stars will make fans happy, Rita Gangwani, image consultant, says, "Whenever a famous person posts a picture or talks about embracing their own imperfections, it's a boost for common people to accept themselves as they are."
 
People need to realise that what is a casual remark for them, may cut deeper for the person at the receiving end. Filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava says, "We need to get past [body-shaming], as it harms people. [The photo in question] should not be a big deal; but in these times of Photoshopping, it is."
 
The impact of celebs owning their flaws is manifold. "It's a positive message. If someone of that profession accepts their imperfection, then it's human to have some imperfections, as people will see," says Dr Pulkit Sharma, psychologist.
 
Fans appreciate this, too. Aniesha Chaana, 29, a marketing professional, says, "When celebs show comfort and openness in discussing their insecurities, it helps fans to acknowledge and accept, if not overcome, body issues."
 
Research scholar Isha Yadav, 26, says, "It's high time we unlearn the standards we've been taught to stick to and accept our bodies the way they are. A celebrity calling out market-driven necessities does have a lot of influence. I hope more celebrities join the bandwagon."
 
Shinjini Amitabh Chawla, lifestyle blogger, says, "With celebrities showing us what truly lies behind the scenes, and even more importantly, accepting themselves as they are, the average person starts to feel better about themselves." Shinjini, who was uneasy about her postnatal stretch marks, now feels more confident after seeing pictures shared online. "Celebrities," she says, "have a big hand in making us feel more comfortable in our skin."