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Why social media users coming up with theories on what caused Sridevi's death is disturbing

Had the actress been suffering from any illness, her death would not become any less tragic.

 |  5-minute read |   25-02-2018
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The demise of Bollywood actor Sridevi following a heart attack has shocked the country. The facts that she was only 54 and didn't have a history of heart problems have triggered thousands of speculations about her death, which are beyond shocking. A WhatsApp message, which started doing the rounds on Sunday morning, blamed the "beauty standards" of showbiz for the actor's death, which allegedly forced the deceased actor to go under the knife several times. Soon, the probable reason of Sridevi's death became a topic of discussion across social media platforms, bordering on insensitivity.

Sridevi was in Dubai to attend the wedding of her nephew Mohit Marwah. She was accompanied by husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi. Her family members have also confirmed that she never had any heart-related problems. Recent videos of Sridevi at the wedding function are being shared on social media to hammer home the fact that she was in the pink of health. Any death is sad. Had she been suffering from any illness, her death would not become any less tragic.

What is the viral post all about?

The original post was shared by a person named Piyali Ganguly, who claimed to have met Sridevi five years ago. She said the actor was under pressure to keep her weight in check and to look young. Calling the actor as a “clothes horse”, the post said that Sridevi did not trust her natural beauty and also launched an attack on “patriarchal implants”.

And there were way too many people to fall for this WhatsApp forward.

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Why social media is being so insensitive

The beauty standards of the industry, for both men and women, have been a debatable issue. It does not need to cling onto a death to be discussed. Also, there has been no medical opinion on her death so far. Speculations that her “restless efforts” to fit into the standards through various means like a crash diet, or a lip-job might have resulted into the cardiac arrest, which otherwise remains unattributed, have little regards for the deceased actor as well as her grieving family.  

'Zip your mouth'

It's ironic that Sridevi, who is hailed as the first female superstar of Bollywood, was subjected to sharp criticism about her appearance throughout her career, and now even after her death. Starting her career as a child artist, she was under public scrutiny for a long time. Earlier, it was alleged that she underwent skin lightening treatment as the change of skin tone was "visible". 

In an interview before her comeback in English Vinglish (2012), she dismissed the rumours that she took help of cosmetic surgery to look young.

"I want to tell these people that instead of whining and criticising, why don’t you move out of your comfort zone, zip your mouth and slog it out? Then let’s talk! There will be a visible change not just in your appearance, but also in your attitude," she had said. "But if you’re a lazy bum, hooked to TV, and cannot give up your food because you know you can undergo cosmetic surgery, you’re damned! It doesn’t work like that. Anything that is plastic melts in no time. You have to understand that there’s a regime for everything and you benefit by associating yourself with it. To look and feel good, you have to slog it out," she added.

Also read: India must reach out to all neighbours, including Pakistan, to counter China

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