Criticising Sridevi’s Lifestyle After Her Death is Unfair to her Legacy

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao
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Barely hours after her death the social media was abuzz with posts criticising Sridevi’s lifestyle, questioning whether it led to her death. While for most of us, are still in shock from her untimely demise, there are many who are already sharing and debating what kind of legacy has the departed actor left behind. Frankly, it’s up to us, which legacy we choose to hold on to. That of a diva, who worked tirelessly since the age of four, and gave us numerous performances which made us smile, laugh or cry or of the rumours, of which there is no concrete proof.


Criticism for lifestyle choices, instead of reverence for professional contribution

Barely was the news of her death confirmed by media, when a post citing quotes from someone who was allegedly close to her, began doing rounds on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.

The said post questions what led to the actor’s untimely demise. It claimed that the actor underwent numerous surgeries and treatments for weight loss and aesthetics.

The post also questioned why her husband, who claimed to love her dearly, didn’t try to stop her. It further went on to call the deceased actor ‘clothes horse’ and accused her of leaving a terrible legacy of self-loathing for all women including her daughters.

Over the course of the day, I watched as tributes to her by her co-actors and fans were side-lined to question the nature of her death. A news channel even went ahead to telecast a prime time show titled ‘Kya hai Sridevi ki Maut ka Raaz’. Overnight people have turned into health experts, debating the harmful effects of anti-ageing treatment, weight loss surgeries and crash diets. The cruel part is that Sridevi doesn’t have a chance of defending herself. People want to make an example out of her departure and scoff at the shallow lives of these megastars. But isn’t it shallow of us, to so criticising her even in her death, instead of mourning it.

The rising concerns over the side effects of aesthetic procedures and treatments is not misplaced.


Especially for women who work in an industry where their shelf life is cut short by the first wrinkle on their skin. Sridevi, like all her predecessors, contemporaries and juniors knew that Indian film industry only celebrated youth and beauty of its leading ladies. Many talented stars got reduced to playing side roles in later legs of their careers. Just because the industry didn’t have the courage or will to write meaningful age-appropriate roles for them. Even today, the pressure to appear glamorous and youthful gets on to many female actors. Hence, cosmetic procedures and weight loss therapies are all painful aspects of their glittery lives. Which are perennially marred by insecurities and the fear of being shamed for not ageing graciously.

Does the issue of vanity and the cost one pays in quest of it needs to be discussed? Yes. But could the discussion have been postponed for some other time? Definitely.

It is sacrilege to ignore Sridevi’s achievements and dissect her personal choices, no matter how misplaced they were. Her acting, her dancing, her comic timing and her ability to make a strong comeback after a break of nearly fifteen years.

The actor leaves behind a humongous body of work. Hence, lets put it off for the time being. We will have plenty of time to discuss the struggles of living in a hyperaesthetic society. Now is the time to mourn our loss. To cherish her hard work, success and all the moments of awe she gave us. Because Sridevi is not coming back to us.

Picture by Amazon

Also Read: Sridevi’s Demise leaves a Void in Our Hearts, which can Never be Filled

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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