Human mind can be influenced by anything – from a simple conversation to expectations of peers to diktats of the society – that plays an important role in shaping our beliefs and views. But, most importantly, films have the strongest influence on society and people, especially the young minds.
While influence isn’t a bad thing per se, provided one is positively impacted by something, someone or some idea, certain influences can change the perception of people in a negative way.
When it comes to films, one always talks about how women are objectified and how the industry has, over the years, set an unrealistic body image making women feel insecure and inadequate.
But, sadly, this body image issue is not just confined to women. It can be observed that even men are objectified which mostly goes unnoticed, because people’s focus is generally on women.
Of course, not all male actors have toned and chiselled bodies or perfect abs. In the field of Telugu cinema, heroes like Nagarjuna and Pawan Kalyan sported a six-pack in the senior league, but the current generation actors like Ram Charan, Allu Arjun, Jr NTR and Naga Chaitanya have always been a part of this club. Along with the six-pack heroes, Telugu industry is also home to actors like Nani, Raj Tharun, and Naga Shourya who have a very normal body physique and a boy-next-door image. So, in a way, the situation doesn’t seem to be too bad for men in Telugu industry.
However, in Bollywood, every actor is busy sporting the six packs. Earlier, it was only Salman Khan, but now the numbers have increased. It was during Om Shanti Om, King Khan also joined the club, and the rest is history. Now, any hero one sees in Bollywood sports a six-pack toned body. But, how far is it setting a standard is a question answer to which is best left to individual choice.
Rahul Ravindran, a well-known actor in Telugu and Tamil industries, says that ‘size zero’ and ‘toned body’ are generally confined to women in the south industry. “South Indian film industry maintains a perfect balance when it comes to setting body standards for men,” he adds. Rahul feels that the body type depends on the role of the actor as well. “One cannot show a weak man as an Army officer, as it does not go with the image,” he adds.
The actor shares that if the industry is only promoting one body type, it is definitely wrong and that is not the case in the south Indian industry. “When it comes to Bollywood, yes, every actor is sporting a six-pack look, irrespective of the roladds. What the actor says is absolutely true. Remember Village lo Vinyakudu, where Krishnudu played the lead role? The movie was not a superhit, but it did quite well in garnering audience’s attention. Likewise, can you recollect any movie in Bollywood, where the hero does not have a toned body? Anot Navdeep says that some films are unrealistic and set unrealistic expectations and standards.
“I believe an actor should, of course, look better than an average person because that gives them the extra charm,” he adds. Navdeep says if an actor wants to be worshipped, then, they should have bodies like Greek Gods. “But, then again, just having a body would do no good; the physical attributes only complement the character while acting is the soul,” he concludes.