What Do You Make for a Nation that Trolls a 7-Year-Old? How Comedy Circus’ Gangubai Dealt with Body-Shaming

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What Do You Make for a Nation that Trolls a 7-Year-Old? How Comedy Circus’ Gangubai Dealt with Body-Shaming

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

It’s common to see an overweight child being referred to as “cute” or “chubby”. But as they get older, the adjectives start to become crueler, descending into the realm of bullying and body- shaming. For Saloni Daini, more popularly known as Gangubai for her character on the show Comedy Circus, the experience was similar. Now 19 years old, Daini achieved nationwide popularity at the age of seven when she made her debut on television. In a recent interview, Daini spoke about her experience with online trolls who mocked her appearance, and how she coped with it.

Daini deals with her fair share of online trolling. In the interview, she shares how she’s received comments that mocked her weight, with terms like “bhains lag rahi hai”, “kitni moti hai”, and “kitna khayegi?” Her fame as Gangubai made her an even bigger target than the average teenager on Instagram. However, Daini hasn’t let that bother her. She laughed off the trolls, and even decided that if she would lose weight, then she would do it for her own sake. Throughout the lockdown, Daini shared, she’s gone on a weight loss journey that saw her shed 22 kilos!

Even though Daini’s outgrown the role of Gangubai, she still holds the character close to her heart. She even has a Gangubai tattoo on her wrist. Though fame has come with its share of pitfalls like the completely unnecessary body-shaming, Daini is content with her decision to enter the world of comedy. Online trolls are an unfortunate inevitability in 2020, and Daini has displayed great maturity for her age in the way she has responded, or rather, not responded to them.

The fact that trolls will go after even a child star for her appearance on social media is a sign of how little else they have to do.

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