Erica Fernandes transitioned from modelling to acting and soon appeared in a slew of movies in the south before courting fame and success on the small screen. While from the outside, it may seem like a seamless journey, she reveals that it has been a tough ride. In fact, Fernandes was replaced in a film for being “too thin”.
“We are living in a world where people either fat shame you, or thin shame you. We, as individuals, need to stay strong and face,” Fernandes says.
“There was a point in my life when I just couldn’t gain weight. It is only now that I have started to gain a little weight because of age,” mentions the 29-year-old.
Here, the Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi actor reveals she lost work in her career because of her body type. “When it came to work, it became a major issue. I lost work because I could not gain weight. In fact, there were projects from which I was replaced because I was thin. Once, I went and shot the project for a few days and then I was replaced because I was thin,” says the actor.
Fernandes walked into showbiz as a model, and went on to navigate the regional filmdom by doing Kannada and Tamil projects, before courting fame through the small screen.
“Even today, I get body shamed, with people saying you are so thin, look at your legs, look at your hands, why don’t you gain some weight, why don’t you eat some more. I just want to tell those people, go to the mirror, and first look at yourself before criticising someone else. Only, when you are not happy with yourself, then you start pinpointing other people,” she says.
Talking about the industry and its fixation with a perfect body type, she shares, “If you look at the whole industry, here, they (people and makers) will not take people who are not in a particular body type. If you see today’s heroes, all of them are only working towards having lean bodies and having six-pack abs. But that doesn’t define a hero, or a perfect man. However, everyone is only working in direction.”
Ask her how has she been dealing with all this, and Fernandes says she has found the strength within. “It will take you some time to find that strength within, for which you need to have the right people around you”.
And when it comes to days when it all is a lot to take in, the actor says she hangs out with her close friends, and “just vent it out”. “I am not somebody who have talk about such things with my parents. It is my friends with whom I talk about everything,” she says while signing off.