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Vidya Balan says easy for older actresses to work in Bollywood now

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Mumbai: Leading actor Vidya Balan thinks that times have changed now and today’s audience is much more willing to accept older actresses in films than the past. She said people want to see different stages of life than just the allure of youth.

The National Award-winning actress said, “things are no longer same for 30-plus actresses now as all kinds of films are being made depicting different stages of life.”

 “I think audiences are very ready,” Vidya said when asked about the changes that she has noticed regarding 30-plus actresses in Bollywood.
“There were times when there were only love stories and however, old the male actor is, the actresses were becoming younger and younger but that’s no longer the case now. People are accepting women at every stage. We are accepting that they can be interesting and desirable even when they are in their 30s.”
“So I feel acceptability has really increased for actresses,” added the 37-year-old.

Having made her cinematic debut in 2005 with “Parineeta”, an adaptation of a 1914 eponymous Bengali novel, Vidya has proved her versatility with many of her roles. Whether it was the manipulative Krishna of “Ishqiya”; the strong-willed Sabrina in “No One Killed Jessica”; Vidya Bagchi, a woman with a vengeance in “Kahaani”; an unwed mother in “Paa”; and the bolder than the boldest Silk in “The Dirty Picture”, she impressed audiences and critics alike with her acting.

Her last released film was Mohit Suri’s “Hamari Adhuri Kahani” in which she played a married woman, also a victim of domestic violence.

Married to producer Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vidya also feels that marriage is no longer a hindrance in getting film offers.

“If I talk about my experience as an actor, then by God’s grace lots of work are coming my way. There is no dearth of work. Things are changing for married actresses in Bollywood. Even I used to think that once you get married, you get lesser number of films, but that’s not true. I have been getting a lot of exciting roles in the past three years since the time I got married,” said Vidya.

The actress will next be seen in Sujoy Ghosh-produced “TE3N” and Sujoy Ghosh’s “Kahaani” sequel.

But it’s not just films that Vidya is engaged with. She is equally voicing her opinion on women’s rights as a brand ambassador of hair care brand Nihar Naturals. She has joined hands with the brand to encourage women in overcoming stereotypical judgments to achieve their capabilities.

This time, Nihar took upon the task of making Indian women realise that, “Appearance cannot be a tool to judge a woman’s capability”. In order to sensitise women about their inner capability through a powerful medium that would immediately resonate with them, Nihar Naturals launched the #IAmCapable report, a national study commissioned to Nielsen.

Talking about this, she said: “Change won’t happen overnight but over time.”

She also remembered the time when she judged for choosing sari as her favourite outfit for almost all her public appearances.

“I was judged on the basis of my appearance. I remember the time when I started wearing saris; I was told that young actresses should not wear saris. Also, media started putting me on trials then I realised that across the country there are all kinds of people; so I stopped thinking about the negative things and now it doesn’t bother me anymore,” she said.

She also suggested that young girls should not get affected by criticism.

“I feel that nowadays we are very unkind to ourselves and that is something we need to change. We tend to bracket things according to clothes, but I think we need to be more relaxed in terms of approach,” she added.(IANS)(image-bollyspice)

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Trump Can’t Deny Birth Control Coverage: U.S. Court

The case became more complicated after the Trump administration last month issued new birth control coverage rules that are set to supersede those at issue in the lawsuit before the 9th Circuit.

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A one-month dosage of hormonal birth control pills is displayed in Sacramento, Calif. VOA

A divided U.S. appeals court Thursday blocked rules by the Trump administration that allowed more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control.

The ruling, however, may be short lived because the administration has adopted new rules on contraceptive coverage that are set to take effect next month and will likely prompt renewed legal challenges.

Thursday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concerned changes to birth control coverage requirements under President Barack Obama’s health care law that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued in October 2017.

States were likely to succeed on their claim that those changes were made without required notice and public comment, the appeals court panel said in a 2-1 decision.

USA, birth control
A man stands outside the main door of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals building in San Francisco. VOA

The majority upheld a preliminary injunction against the rules issued by U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam last year. It, however, limited the scope of the injunction, applying it only to the five states in the lawsuit and not the entire country.

Another federal judge also blocked the rules, and her nationwide injunction remains in place.

An email to the Justice Department seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Obama’s health care law required most companies to cover birth control at no additional cost, though it included exemptions for religious organizations. The new policy allowed more categories of employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing free contraception to women by claiming religious objections. It also allowed any company that is not publicly traded to deny coverage on moral grounds.

The Department of Justice said in court documents that the rules were about protecting a small group of “sincere religious and moral objectors” from having to violate their beliefs. The changes were favored by social conservatives who are staunch supporters of President Donald Trump.

Reproductive Rights, abortion, women, birth control
A community health worker holds up contraceptives during a lecture on family planning at a reproductive health clinic run by an NGO in Tondo city, metro Manila. VOA

California filed a lawsuit to block the changes that was joined by Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia.

“Today’s decision is an important step to protect a woman’s right to access cost-free birth control and make independent decisions about her own reproductive health care,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

‘Economic harm’

The states argued that the changes could result in millions of women losing free birth control services, forcing them to seek contraceptive care through state-run programs or programs that the states had to reimburse.

The states show with “reasonable probability” that the new rules will lead women to lose employer-sponsored contraceptive coverage, “which will then result in economic harm to the states,” 9th Circuit Judge J. Clifford Wallace, a nominee of Republican President Richard Nixon, wrote for the majority.

Reproductive Rights, abortion, women, birth control
Newer Contraception Tries to Engage Men. VOA

In a dissent, 9th Circuit Judge Andrew Kleinfeld said the economic harm to the states was “self-inflicted” because they chose to provide contraceptive coverage to women. The states, therefore, did not have the authority to bring the lawsuit, said Kleinfeld, a nominee of Republican President George H.W. Bush.

Also Read: To Diversify The Industry, Apple Pledges To Train More Women

The case became more complicated after the Trump administration last month issued new birth control coverage rules that are set to supersede those at issue in the lawsuit before the 9th Circuit. Under the new rules, large companies whose stock is sold to investors won’t be able to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage.

Wallace said the new rules did not make the case before the 9th Circuit moot because they are not set to take effect until January. (VOA)