Double XL Review: Huma Qureshi, Sonakshi Sinha’s film will help plus-size women overcome anxiety and fear | The Financial Express

Double XL Review: Huma Qureshi, Sonakshi Sinha’s film will help plus-size women overcome anxiety and fear

Double XL explores the journey of fat women – Rajshree Trivedi from Meerut and Saira Khanna from New Delhi as they navigate society’s beauty standards.

Double XL Review: Huma Qureshi, Sonakshi Sinha’s film will help plus-size women overcome anxiety and fear
Huma Qureshi and Sonakshi Sinha in Double XL

When I watched , starring Huma Qureshi and Sonakshi Sinha, honestly, I was surprised, in a happy way. The Hindi film industry just made a film with plus-size actors without shaming them or using them for comic relief. Double XL has given hope to a chubby girl like me to finally find a representation in Bollywood movies.

Double XL explores the journey of fat women – Rajshree Trivedi from Meerut and Saira Khanna from New Delhi as they navigate society’s beauty standards.

Double XL has beautifully depicted how difficult it is for fat women to have a normal life. In one scene, we can see Huma and Sonakshi having a conversation about how society judges them because of their weight. Huma says, “Duniya over size kurte k peeche bhi charbi dhoondh lete hai… (The world fat shames you even if you are wearing oversized clothes).” Sonakshi, while talking about her struggle to find a partner says, “Laundo ki demands bhi alag hoti hai… bra bada chaiye par kamar itni choti si… (Men want women with big breasts but thin waist)”

Isn’t that what all plus-size women see and hear every day in their lives? People casually say, “Aree, you have gained weight…” or “Weight kamm kar lo shadi ni hogi (reduce weight else you won’t get married)”

Though Hindi films have always been my much-needed escapism, it has given me major anxiety. It made me question if I was good enough and fit for the society. The beauty standards Bollywood had set back in the ’90s were not normal. But this started way ahead.

The Hindi films have time and again used plus-sized female characters for comic relief, successfully shaming them in the process. If you’d go back a little, you would know Uma Devi Khatri, also known as Tun Tun by the industry. Directors would cast her in films only for comic relief as she was fat. She was shamed ruthlessly. Even today, people refer to fat women as Tun Tun in real life. Ask me, I have been there, and dealt with this name-calling.

Are you wondering if Bollywood progressed after that? The answer is NO! In Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta’s film Kal Ho Na Ho, we saw Naina (Preity Zinta) telling Sweetu (Delnaz Irani), that she was only worthy of being loved if she lost weight. That’s not all, Sweetu’s sister (Lillete Dubey) compared her to a double-decker bus. We saw how Sweetu’s weight was used as a source of comic relief throughout the film.

In Aamir Khan and Madhuri Dixit’s Dil – there was a scene that shows if the actor would lose a match, he would have to kiss an overweight woman. Like really? Brandishing a fat woman as a punishment was seriously flawed. Not to miss, these fat women were always shown to be unhygienic — to make the very idea of being around them disgusting.

Remember Ajay Devgn and Aamir Khan’s Ishq? The creators went on to insult a woman for her weight. I can go on and on and talk about the recent Kabir Singh, Ujda Chaman, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Hadh Kar Di Apne, or even the most popular chat show – The Kapil Sharma Show. In Judwaa 2, Varun Dhawan can be seen running away from a fat policewoman in London. She stumbles and finds it difficult to run. Why? As per Bollywood, fat women cannot run.

The only other film that depicted a fat woman as a strong and independent individual was Bhumi Pednekar and Ayushmann Khurrana’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha. In the film, Sandhya [Bhumi Pednekar], an educated girl gets married to Prem [Ayushmann Khurrana]. He does not like her as she is fat and doesn’t fit into his idea of a dream girl. Prem often fat-shames her. However, Sandhya does not take any of his bullsh*t. She calls him out every time and tells him that she is educated and capable enough to earn her own bread and butter.

There is no doubt that movies are a reflection of society and plays a major role in influencing how youngsters behave. By using plus-size women are comic relief, the actors and makers are telling society that it’s alright to make fun of someone just because they look a certain way.

I, personally, get offended when I see a wrong representation of women on screen. I hope Bollywood starts making more films Double XL and Dum Laga Ke Haisha — that are inclusive and accepting of women of different shapes and sizes.

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