From ‘Heropanti’ in 2014 to ‘Baaghi 2’ in 2018, Tiger Shroff’s journey as Bollywood actor has been phenomenal. He got heaps of appreciation for ‘Heropanti’, besides getting nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Debut Male. Most of the roles Tiger Shroff has done so far involved lots and lots of action. And there is no doubt that he has done them all with sheer perfection. Apart from being a good actor, Tiger Shroff has also proved himself as a supremely talented dancer.
However, despite his impeccable dancing skills, extremely fit body and supremely grounded demeanour, during the initial days of his career, Tiger Shroff got trolled for his chocolate looks and name. Most of the trolling came immediately after his debut in ‘Heropanti’.
Trolls crossed all their limits and even compared him with Kareena Kapoor for his looks. While things changed to some extent after Tiger Shroff showed his rough side on screen in ‘Baaghi’, this did not mean a total full stop for trolls. And this did affect him deeply and badly.
In an old interview to the Times of India, before the release of ‘A Flying Jatt’, amidst a number of other things, Tiger Shroff got candid about how trolls affected him and his life. On being asked about if he follows what is written about him on the social media, Tiger Shroff said:
“I do. Initially, it affected me a lot. I remember when the trailer of my first film released, people found me “gora chikna” and made fun of my strange hairstyle, dance, and even my unusual name. I don’t look like an ordinary Indian boy. I entered the industry with the notion that I would enjoy the same glory and appreciation like my father. But that wasn’t the case.”
Talking further about how sad and disappointed he was to face all the hatred on the social media, Tiger Shroff said:
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“I can’t tell you how much I cried. However, I was happy when the film worked. I realized that even huge stars have their fans who slam each other. Who am I to complain? The fact they are talking about me is enough. A lot of stuff still comes up on social media, but I prefer to focus on my work and learn from all the criticisms leveled at me. I understand the difference between hatred and genuine criticism.”
Isn’t the kind of hatred and trolling that Tiger Shroff had to face, from being called a “gora-chikna” to being made the subject of memes calling him Kareena Kapoor’s twin shocking and extremely derogatory? Take a look at the following meme:
Isn’t it extremely insulting for a man to be compared to a woman with regards to his looks only because he is fair complexioned? But kudos to the young man who said that for him, being compared to Kareena Kapoor is a compliment.
However, all the trolling and meme-ing of Tiger Shroff indicates nothing but the stereotypical mentality of the Indian audience who have created a sort of benchmark with regards to the looks of actors and actresses. And all thanks to this mentality that on one hand, a super-fit actor and a great dancer like Tiger Shroff gets trolled for his fair complexion and on the other hand, those with unmatched acting skills like Rajkummar Rao too get trolled for not being “fit enough”.
Considering both, isn’t it next to impossible to understand that what kind of expectations people have with Bollywood actors? As the times are changing, so is the audience’s taste for films. But the stereotyping of looks of actors and actresses certainly indicates that the same audience who expects variation in films isn’t ready to let go of their notion about how actors should look! Don’t you think so?