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EXCLUSIVE! Malaal actor Sharmin Segal talks about being a victim of body shaming as a child

Sharmin Segal is gearing up for the release of her acting debut with Malaal that is set to hit the theatres on July 5, 2019. Not many people know this, but Sharmin who used to assist uncle, Sanjay Leela Bhansali in his films, was a victim of body shaming when she was a student. We exclusively spoke to the newbie who opened up about being mocked and bullied for being ‘chubby’ by other children around her.

“In the 11th grade, I went up on the stage for a performance and I just had this feeling that this is something I want to pursue. Actually, I was really fat, really chubby back then and at some point, I just looked at the audience from the stage and there were kids who used to make fun of me. Those were the same kids who were laughing at me at that time too.”

It was at that moment when something in her changed. She added, “Somehow, I felt from the inside that they were not laughing at the fat Sharmin but at the character that I was playing. At that moment, something changed and I felt that acting is a really interesting thing. It can make you feel like multiple people in one lifetime. At that time, I wanted to be anything other than fat Sharmin because there was so much body shaming and bullying.”

She revealed that it was her mother who motivated her to some weight. “I was not putting in the extra effort to lose the weight but when I went to my mother and told her that I wanted to be an actor, she looked at me and said that I have to lose some weight, otherwise I would get stereotyped and would only get one kind of a role,” Sharmin said.

In a similar vein, she continued, “At the end of the day, you have to admit that our industry does stereotype women. And the fact that I am Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s niece is another factor. People will know that Sanjay Leela Bhansali ki moti bhaanji actress ban rahi hai. That kind of emotional and mental pressure is something that I was not ready to deal with so then I said, ‘Fine, let’s lose weight.’”

“Today, I am very happy with who I am, I can be multiple different kinds of people and then come back to being Sharmin,” she smiled.

Malaal is presented by Gulshan Kumar and Bhansali. It is produced by Bhansali, Bhushan Kumar, Mahaveer Jain and Krishan Kumar. The Mangesh Hadawale directorial also stars Meezaan.

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