Shraddha Kapoor
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From Shraddha to Bhumi Pednekar: Actors lose weight, gain too


Female-fronted films have become a trend in Bollywood with scriptwriters penning compelling characters for women. 
Female actors, too, are willing to do everything that it takes to give a flawless performance. And this includes extreme body transformation to fit into a role. While Shraddha Kapoor put on 9 kg for her film Haseena Parkar, Swara Bhaskar lost 10 kg for Veerey Di Wedding after gaining 8 kg for Nil Battey Sannata. Bhumi Pednekar who weighed 92 kg for her debut film, lost 27 kg for Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.
Bhumi says that it was high time that female actors started experimenting with their looks. “In the West, when actors transform themselves, it doesn’t mean that they are not glamorous. Audience expect acting and not just glamour in films and if they get both, it’s a bonus. But sadly, in Bollywood, if you do content driven roles, you fear getting typecast.”
Swara says that things are surely changing for women. “Over the last decade, female actors have become conscious of different forms of preparations for their roles. They work hard and it’s reflecting in great performances,” she says.
Earlier, female actors would be conscious of how they will look after gaining weight, but today’s generation is flexible about it. Experts say that female actors have set a high benchmark for themselves, and are least bothered about body shaming on social media.
Apoorva Lakhia, director of Haseena Parkar, says that women in Bollywood are fast raising the bar. “I don’t know if it’s competition or self belief but they want to be counted for their talent and not just for being pretty,” says Lakhia. “As directors, we are lucky to have female actors who are willing to challenge themselves to take greater risks,” he adds.
Film critic Omar Qureshi agrees. “Hats off to these women, who wear layers of prosthetics or undergo physical changes to essay characters. Their devotion shows in their performance.”