Mona Singh Says Female Actors Aren’t Asked To Dress Provocatively Anymore As Characters Are Getting More Realistic
For the longest time, the entertainment industry has been setting unrealistic standards by casting supremely beautiful people and dressing them in either extravagantly glamourous clothing. We have all grown up watching women being objectified for wearing minimal clothes in Bollywood movies. However, the shift of content from television to streaming websites and emergence of realistic web series and movies, the fashion also moulded to accommodate the realistic approach. The portrayal of women onscreen now is more simplistic and normal in terms of dressing rather than being super glamourous which isn’t so in real life. As OTT platforms are producing relatable content, the characters too are relevant and dress like real people do, especially the women characters.
Mona Singh who we know as Jassi from her first television role in Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin has embarked on the OTT paradigm and has appeared in web series like TVF’s Yeh Meri Family and Zee5’s M.O.M. – Mission Over Mars and recently a Zee5 Original Black Widows. In an interview with Free Press Journal, she talked about how female actors are not asked to dress provocatively or put heavy makeup for a role anymore since the content is genuine and sensible. The characters are not made to dress in skimpy clothes, leaving no ground for objectification of women. “The no make-up look is in! We are wearing house clothes on set. Women are not objectified and asked to show their bodies and wear sexy clothes. That, in fact, is just a man’s idea of a woman, not the way women are in reality. And I’m glad that is changing!” she said.
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She also mentioned how women are now portrayed on the OTT platforms as opposed to needlessly glamorous avatar earlier. She said, “Everything cannot be over the top or larger than life. OTT is popular because it will show you normal things. You cannot be decked up in make-up and sport designer wear at all times. That is not how a regular person would go about his/her life. You have to be someone the audience can relate to, which is exactly what is happening with OTT.”
The entertainment industry is notorious for using a women’s clothing and sex appeal to attract male gaze and lure audience to the theatres. However, the audiences of these OTT content are smarter than that and more evolved. They want to consume impactful and realistic content and don’t want the characters to appear too far from the reality. And the production and costume designers oblige. They don’t make the characters display unnecessary glamour through revealing outfits, unless the storyline demands. They keep things as real as possible and it shows. Think about the top web series from the largest OTT platforms like Panchayat, Rasbhari and Aarya. The characters in these web series were written organically and hailed from small towns and cities. Their clothes perfectly reflect the lives of real people which is relevant for the character to stay true to the story and more importantly, connect with the audience. Gone are the days with close up shots of heaving bosoms and I think we are all thankful for that.
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Fashion is a prominent element to bring any character to life as it not only demonstrates the personality but also reflects the geographical and social standing of the character. Since these movies and web series tell relatable stories, often true events, the fashion is also practical and representational of the real-life people. The characters are therefore dressed in rational clothing to maintain authenticity of the content, contrary to the notion that actors must be clad in designer wear and revealing clothes to bring glamour to the screen. This change was long overdue and we have the mindful and smart viewers to thank for this, who want to relate to the characters rather than idolising the superficiality.