Bollywood has always been a mirror of society. The big screen always portrayed an element of the reality of society – how it thinks, what it wears, how it lives. In the same way, it’s also always gone on to represent the status of women. We say society has undergone plenty transformation over the years. Have the women on screen come a long way as well?

Definitely.  All our leading ladies back then were draped in sarees and the ones who dared to expose were playing the “bad girl”. The way you dressed somehow always served as an indicator of your character. A saree always said virtuous while mini’s said notorious. This has definitely changed today. Today’s  actresses try and come a little closer to the real girl of this century where there is no complete black or white but each of whom represents different shades of grey. Today’s leading lady can flaunt a bikini without playing the stereotypical role of the bad girl and drape a saree despite being the girl who is cheating on her husband.

Another striking change is the type of role these women depict. Earlier most of them were very coy and docile but today’s girls have raised the bar and taken up bold roles like Kangana Ranaut in Revolver Rani and Parineeti Chopra in Ishaqzaade. The actresses are no more shown as these sensitive creatures who need to hide behind a veil or whose sole purpose is to find the man of their dreams and dance around the trees once they have. They are bold, out there and ready to take on the world.  Vidya Balan in Kahaani plays the wife taking revenge for her husband’s death all by herself, Kangana Ranaut in Queen goes and explores the world on having her fiancé walk off on her. They no more sit and shed those glycerine tears until the knight in shining armor comes to save the day. Today’s leading ladies represent how today in life, sometimes you have to be your own hero.

We haven’t quite reached equality as yet but then again it’s always been a man’s world and that’s not going to change overnight. Our leading ladies still don’t get pay cheques anywhere close to the big daddies of Bollywood and as Kareena Kapoor said in a recent article sometimes they are still just the pretty faces who have to dance with the Khans to make them appear even more larger than life. The good news is our actresses now seem to be in complete rhythm for change. We have more women-centric films and women are playing more versatile and bolder roles. From where we can see it, the women are going to be crossing the two syllable difference between  ‘men’ and ‘women’ in the blink of an eye.

By Krusha Sahjwani

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