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Women have changed, in Bollywood and India: Waheeda Rehman

Yesteryear actor Waheeda Rehman chronicles the evolution of the Indian woman.
Hindustan Times | By Shalvi Mangaokar, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2013 06:15 PM IST

Since the time I started working 55 years ago, many things have changed with regard to women. And the change isn’t just in films; it’s across the nation. Earlier, when we would shoot in places like Rajasthan, women on the streets would hide their faces and shy away whenever the camera faced them. But today, take a camera anywhere and they are ready to speak.

More women in the industry now

Before me, only a few other women joined Bollywood. People were hesitant about letting their kids, especially girls, enter the industry. But today, there are so many of them. People look at acting as a profession. It’s not about fame alone now. It’s the money too that’s an attraction for many to pursue this career.

Over the last several decades, the way women dress, speak and carry themselves has changed immensely. We dress up because our profession demands it, but look at women in the society these days. Today, women are looked at and treated as individuals. Earlier, they were suppressed, but now they can stand up for themselves.

Overexposure isn’t sexy

At the same time I think, many women are a little too bold. But I believe that comes as part of the change. I feel that a balance is required. I’m old-fashioned and it is my personal opinion that exposure on screen should be within limits. Women are curvy. They can look sexy even if they cover up and expose only a little. But if you show everything, then where’s the mystery?

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