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Bollywood- one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world, is one such rare industry that has the power to influence the more than a billion strong population of India. And as the most prominent contemporary of Bollywood has once said, “with great power comes great responsibility.”, it must shoulder this responsibility with immense sensitivity. It must understand and realise that what it shows and present effect the life decision of millions in the country. Having said that, when it comes to portraying its women characters to its audience, one can surely that Bollywood has not fulfilled its responsibility that desirably. It has stereotyped women to be these weak and meek personalities that always need to be saved by someone. The lives of most of these women characters revolved around a male ‘Hero’.
Besides being shown weak and docile, women in Bollywood have often been the subject of lust for the male characters. The instances of objectification of women in cinema is as frequent as rains in monsoon, because why not, after all she’s “cheez badi hai mast”. This thing can further be exemplified in the fact that a dance performance by a female character is termed as “item” song and we all know quite well that this moniker is more of a transferred epithet than a direct adjective for a song.
One must agree that with changing times, more and more films are being delivered, that attempt to break these rigid stereotypes. The films where the central character of the film is a female is not such a rare instance nowadays. Many films today have shown that women mean much more to the story than a girl singing and dancing in white saree under a waterfall. They are shown to be strong physically, mentally and emotionally, who are just as much capable of taking tough decisions, challenge the atrocities done to them, take a stand, voice their concerns
So one can say that Bollywood is trying to break the mould in which its female characters were cast in till now. But it can also be said that it has just scratched the surface yet. Moreover, Bollywood being entirely responsible for such weak handling its female characters is also not true. We must not forget that Bollywood is the mirror to society. It only shows what the society already is. Filmmakers are business people too. They will surely make more of such content that we as consumers consume the most beautiful.