Priyanka Chopra

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Bollywood: Dainty divas muscle up!

By HT

New Delhi, July 19 -- Move over the fragile, fair and jaw-dropping beautiful image of the Indian woman in Bollywood. She is now rough, rugged, muscular, and she doesn't shy away from the grim and dirt, for the sake of her character.

Actor Priyanka Copra who is flaunting a ripped, muscular body as she plays boxer MC Mary Kom in an upcoming film, has trained for over two-and- a-half-years to get the perfect bod. "Working on the film has been exhausting ... every part of my body aches whenever I come from the sets," PeeCee had said in an interview.

And it's not just her, actors Sonakshi Sinha in Holiday (2014), Katrina Kaif in Dhoom 3 (2013) have also been seen in action roles. Even Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has chosen an action film for her comeback, later this year.

Experts say that there is a new trend emerging in Bollywood, that is pegging the heroine beyond just glam roles. "A-list heroines playing such characters goes to show that women are no longer just required to look pretty. The audience's expectations of female actors has changed," says film critic Rajeev Masand. Agrees Adguru Prahlad Kakkar: "Times have changed and the audience wants to see strong women who also indulge in a fair bit of maar-dhaar."    

And, it's not just on screen, women in the city, too, are turning to weight training for that muscular, fit body. "Girls come to me saying they want to build muscles and try their hand at wrestling, just to feel safe. They don't want to look delicate and fragile," says Ritu Yadav, 26, a Delhi-based self-defence trainer.    

Interestingly, the focus of women registering in gyms has also shifted towards weight training, more than looking svelte. "A lot of women are coming to join my classes to build muscle. I have seen a 35-40% increase in that number in the last six months," says fitness expert and wrestler, Prince Aadvanshi.

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