Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Manisha Koirala opens up about Bollywood’s sexism and double standards

Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala, renowned for her recent standout role in the Netflix series Heeramandi, has bravely opened up about the challenges she faced in the film industry during the 90s. In a candid interview with Filmfare, she revealed how she received pressure to conceal aspects of her personal life, including her alcohol consumption and relationships.
During her heyday, Manisha Koirala found herself navigating a double standard prevalent in Bollywood. While male actors were celebrated for their machismo and romantic exploits, actresses were expected to maintain a pristine and untouched image. “In those days,” Manisha recalled, “heroes could have many girlfriends and be ‘macho’, but actresses had to uphold this ‘untouched’ image. It was a warped value system that I couldn’t reconcile with.”
She recounted an incident during the filming of Saudagar when she received advice to disguise her vodka as coke. “I learnt that new thing,” she chuckled, “but my mother set me straight. She told me, ‘If you’re drinking vodka, say you’re drinking vodka. Don’t lie for such small things.’”
Manisha’s experiences highlight the deep-seated sexism that permeated the industry at the time. She expressed her dismay at the unfair expectations placed on actresses, emphasizing her commitment to professionalism despite her personal life choices. “Just because I have a boyfriend doesn’t mean I can’t excel in my career,” she asserted. “I lead my life on my own terms.”
Her reflections resonate with broader conversations about gender inequality in Bollywood and beyond. Manisha’s willingness to speak out underscores the need for change in how women in the entertainment industry receive treatment. “We had some very warped values for actresses,” she concluded, “and it didn’t sit well with me.”
Manisha Koirala’s journey from Bollywood icon to outspoken advocate for gender equality serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of authenticity and breaking stereotypes in the pursuit of one’s passion.
(Courtesy: TS)