Elli AvrRam Opens About Her Struggles With Sexism, Body Shaming And The Casting Couch And It’s Horrifying
Look, I’m not saying any field of work is easy, every profession has its pros and cons and if you are a struggling actor in t Bollywood, for the most part, the cons outweigh the pros. We have heard numerous stories from Nora Fatehi, Sunny Leone, Zareen Khan and so many more that it’s more common than any of us think. It’s no secret that the casting couch phenomenon is highly prevalent in the industry but that’s not the only thing actresses coming to Bollywood must deal with. Elli AvrRam sure dealt with way more. From body-shaming and sexism to being kicked off projects for no apparent reason, her story makes us feel like Bollywood’s glamour is just a front to cover all the shit that goes on within. The fact that this has been going on for years means that the people participating in this kind of behaviour don’t really see the problem with it and that is truly worrying. But we are so happy that talented actresses like Elli Avrram are now speaking up. Better late than, never right? Her story left us a little shocked and agitated, I’m sure you won’t feel very differently.
Also Read: Zareen Khan Gets Candid About Body Shaming And The Horrors Of The Casting Couch. We Are So Enraged
Elli AvrRam came to India from her home-country Sweden to become a Bollywood star. She was completely prepared, confident and full of hope until she encountered multiple situations that filled her with self-doubt. In an interview with PinkVilla, she revealed that she was constantly bullied and picked on because of her looks. People with connections told her that she needed to lose more weight and that she would never make it because she was too short which made her doubt her own abilities. They told her, she looked like an aunty because of her long hair and she should just chop them off. She wasn’t offered roles because people assumed that she didn’t know any Hindi whereas she had learned Hindi before coming to India. Her story really shows us how tough it is for someone who really doesn’t know the inner workings of the industry and how they become easy targets for other people to pick on. This is one of the main reasons so many actors deal with grave mental health issues.
She said, “I was told I needed to lose weight. They said I’m short and I was told about my forehead and my teeth. One girl who was connected to Bollywood told me, ‘Oh, but sweetheart you can never become an actress because you’re too short. I choose not to listen to that. Within two months of me being in India, I felt I don’t have it. Some felt I looked old like an aunty because of my long hair.”
That’s not all, she also revealed that she too has encountered sexual advances from multiple directors and producers during her initial meetings and auditions. She said that she went for these meetings where two directors held out their hands to shake hers and then scratched it with one of their fingers. Being new to not only the industry but also the country she didn’t know what that meant but when she told a friend of hers, he told her that was a signal that they wanted to sleep with her. Imagine living in a world where all the men think they can get away with anything they do to you. It’s pretty scary and we can only guess how scarred Elli must’ve been.
In the same interview, the Mickey Virus actor also shared that she had been a victim to the rampant sexism in the industry too. There have been times where people would delete her videos from Youtube or cut her out of projects for no reason at all. She talked about this one time where she was offered a part in a big movie but close to the start date, the producer told her they have taken some other girl since the actor had an issue with Elli and god forbid, an actor is upset. This left her heartbroken and emotional because she felt like that movie would’ve been her big break.
The thing is, though everyone faces their own set of problems in life, this seems a little excessive. Why must women be treated like this? They come to Bollywood to work but they aren’t given any work because either they aren’t connected, or they refuse to sleep around. Bollywood refuses to be the inclusive place it pretends to be and that’s just sad.