Once lauded for her transition into fitness,actor Parineeti Chopra received flak on Twitter recently, for a birthday message she had posted for a friend. In the video, also featuring Alia Bhatt, Parineeti concluded her wishes with the advice: ‘Eat less please... become thin’, and got trolled for body shaming. “Weight doesn’t really matter, being fit is important,” read one tweet.
eat less...become thin— CoffeeWithBollywood (@BollyArabfan) August 16, 2016
my esteem for Parineeti Chopra is ZERO!
nice Birthday wish for a friend....NOT -_-
Parineeti was unavailable for a comment, but the friend that the wish was intended for came to her rescue. Shahzaib Ali, who hails from Pakistan, slammed the trolls in an open letter. “The baseless hatred I’ve seen is quite hurtful. It makes me feel guilty — not for my body, but for drawing Parineeti into a hurtful conversation,” wrote Shahzaib, the actor’s friend from her university days in Manchester, UK.
He added that he and Pari are both big foodies, and trying to stay fit while indulging cravings hasn’t been easy. “Parineeti has wonderfully transformed, and I admire her for that. She inspired me to make a change and I lost 8kg. I was pleased, and my mother and family doctor were in tears of joy,” wrote Shahzaib, adding that he was touched by Parineeti’s special effort to wish him on his birthday.
“She got Alia Bhatt to wish me too and totally made my day. She didn’t let her stardom colour the way we conduct our friendship, lame jokes and all,” he wrote.
Shahzaib Ali’s views in an open letter he wrote to defend Parineeti
I’d tried to stay silent after this so-called body shaming made its way into the news, but I feel I have to speak out now. And what I’d like to say is, I’m irked on a lot of fronts. First, the fact that someone used a personal video to attack an individual disgusts me. Second, I feel it abhorrent that people would choose to accuse Parineeti of body shaming when she herself has been so vocal about the issue (which is real and important). She has worked incredibly hard to achieve a certain level of fitness, and she of all people knows what it’s like to be teased about her weight. She would never do that to me. Third, I find it hard to believe that people think friendship should be policed. I mean, if people hold such rigid views about what friendship should and shouldn’t look like... well, you should hear some of the jokes Parineeti and I share!
You’d probably want to jail us both! I feel guilty for drawing my best friend into a hurtful conversation! Such a strong negative response inhibits the openness of people on social media and deters sensibility and normalcy from existing. I’m big on self-deprecation which allows my close friends to banter while maintaining appropriate respect and understanding. Therefore, the baseless hatred I’ve seen, directed at something that was just a joke, is quite hurtful. It also makes me feel guilty â€” not for my body, but for drawing Parineeti into a hurtful conversation.
So to all those who are still not happy: since this video generated a lot of hype and some people definitely want more, I will now reveal all the dirty, rude things my best friend has done or said to me in the past, and I am adding appropriate hashtags for your convenience:
1) She once called me dinosaur #DinosaurShaming
2) She snatched my last piece of chocolate #FoodShaming
3) Once she said I looked constipated #PottyShaming
4) She once said I’m toxic #BritneyBlaming
5) We went for 9-pin balling #UnnecessaryGaming
6) She visited a zoo with me #LionTaming
7) She told me lame jokes #ConstantLaming
8) She repeated what I just said #Saming
9) We both sucked at archery #UselessAiming
10) We sent each other video messages #FriendlyMemeing
And while you go ahead and share the above, maybe you’ll also find it in your heart to remember the positive side of her now-controversial video message to me. At a time when technology and instant fame can cut us off from our friends, Parineeti made a special effort to wish me on my birthday. She got Alia Bhatt to wish me too and totally made my day. She showed me what good friendship is all about, and didn’t let her stardom colour the way we conduct our friendship, lame jokes and all. I hope by now, the point is clear. Life should not always be taken so seriously, and sometimes it is appropriate and necessary to see things as they are, not what we would like them to be.