Singer Sithara Krishnakumar has recently posted a video addressing cyber bullying on social media. The singer, who is simply dressed in a black kurti with a zari border and has make up on, has a red bindi on her forehead and chunky jhumkas dangling from her ears in the video. Her long hair is styled into a single braided plait.
The two time Kerala State Film Award winner for Best Singer soon adopts a ‘nude’ look in the video, as she removes her false lashes, the bindi, her make-up, and the jhumkas. “This is the colour I was born with,” says Sithara in the video without an ounce of makeup on her face.
She goes on to undo her braid. “Many commented on my hair saying that I looked ‘decent’ with long hair and criticised me for chopping it off,” she says, holding up a hair extension.
According to Sithara a reason why she made the video is because of the string of comments for a picture she had posted of herself with blue-eye makeup on. In the comments, the singer’s look was compared to that of a transgender, to that of a Bengali woman, and to a scavenger.
“Someone commented that I look like a transgender person. When did transgender become a bad word? Another person said I look like a Bengali woman. How is that bad? How does begging or collecting scrap on the road become bad? These are all people in different situations. It takes all types of people to make the world,” she says.
The singer, who wonders what “aishwaryam” means as it seems to be often associated with an “artificial” look, says she is not against the use of make-up though. “It is often required when one attends events and functions like I did just now,” says Sithara, who begins the video saying she has just returned from a shoot and decided to do the video because she has noticed that whenever she dresses up for events and posts pictures, she gets appreciation, but while posting photographs of herself in regular clothes or without make-up, she tends to face a barrage of negativity from some.
The 34-year-old, who says she is comfortable in her skin apologizes in a note for the video which is more than 10 minutes long.
Cyber bullying is not new in Mollywood. Actress Anaswara Rajan was slut-shamed and bullied online after she posted a picture of her wearing shorts recently.
The 18-year-old however, posted another photograph of hers in the same outfit, with the caption, "Don't worry about what I'm doing. Worry about why you're worried about what I'm doing", as retort. Her colleagues in the industry in a show of solidarity posted pictures of themselves with the hashtag #YesWeHaveLegs.