The faces are symmetrical, the colour flawless, the noses pert, and the bodies reed-thin. Our dolls, Huma Qureshi feels, have served as emblems of unrealistic and even toxic beauty. “They are not reflective of real bodies. The moment our kids look at those silhouettes, they feel something is wrong with them, and that's not a healthy mindset to foster. We need to shift away from these impossibly-articulated, perfect-appearing figurines that distort children's idea of beauty, skin tone and body shape, the actor says to me, elaborating her thoughts on how our dolls need to be as relatable and as diverse as the world we live in.
When it comes to bringing a change in the collective consciousness, a change in our choice of words is a great starting point. “We tend to focus on things like: 'You need to lose weight and get married. And it's not just the full-figured women bearing the brunt of it all I have a lot of skinny friends who also get shamed for their bodies. We should instead be harbouring a health-first attitude. That's the tectonic transformation we need to bring about. Size doesn't matter. You could be a small or a XXL; the idea is to start valuing people as individuals, regardless of their colour, shape and size. That is the way to empower young minds, she concedes.
But first, Huma knows that in order to save and serve the society, she has to save and serve herself. “I am very conscious about the way I present myself to the world. I think a solid way to continue the body positivity and body acceptance movement is to talk about it constantly. So, I will continue to push that conversation by advising women to love and honour themselves at every opportunity I get.” She also takes pains to stay fit, physically and mentally. “I like to sweat it out every day. A 30-minute workout is all I need to get the endorphin rush. My way of being happy otherwise is to simply be around my loved ones, she remarks.
It's evident that Huma feels a sense of responsibility, but she carries it with the same ease that she brings to her numerous professional ventures. She made an indelible debut with a role in the two-part 2012 crime drama Gangs of Wasseypur' , which earned her several nominations, including the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut and the Best Supporting Actress. She went on to play protagonists in a number of critically and commercially successfully films.
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