Komal Pandey is one of those few content creators who needs no introduction. As a fashion influencer, her influence has spread far and wide earning her millions of followers. She undoubtedly stands tall as the industry leader, changing its course, one outfit at a time. Amidst these followers are both fans as well as critics. One burning favourite subject of critique is her looks and how she has altered it over the years. Some out of curiosity and some to simply spew hatred, often talk about Komal Pandey’s cosmetic procedures. To address the Elephant in the room, Komal took to her Instagram to open up about her lip fillers and chin fillers which has spiralled into a hot-pot of discussion, leaving us to think whether or not we as the audience have that kind of rights over people in the limelight. 

Komal Pandey's post and the boundaries of public opinion


Komal Pandey’s Post

Komal Pandey is somebody who is known for making bold fashion choices and owns it like nobody else. Her personality is also of someone who has embraced herself completely, leaving us to think that she is the epitome of confidence and the definition of an unapologetic self. With her recent Instagram post, she however showed her more human side and addressed the challenges she faces, which sometimes are aggravated because of us.

In this post Komal took the bull by its horns, answering the question she has been repeatedly asked during her Ask Me Anything sessions and otherwise- whether she has undergone surgery; She admitted to undergoing cosmetic surgeries including a lip filler and a surgery around her chin. Soon her procedures became the central focus of many, and no heed was paid to all that she spoke. Many users on Instagram also criticised her for having body image issues and yet being able to put herself out there. The ample amount of courage that takes to be so honest, evaporated in thin air.

The Thin Line

Celebrities often share pictures of themselves and as a part of engagement, they sometimes acknowledge their audiences’ positive reactions as well. This is often translated into them being okay and open to public opinion about how they look. Being public figures, they are fully aware and to an extent require people’s opinion to keep their boat afloat. 

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We as social media users too can have an opinion about what and who we want to see on social media. However, when it comes to expressing our opinion, there is a thin line that cannot be overlooked. While celebrities and influencers are open to public opinion, disrespect is not a part of the package. One still has to be mindful of the words and the impact these words can have on somebody.

Even after being a public figure, one’s own body is still very much a personal territory. As audiences and fans, we cannot and should not jump over this fence. We also think that as audiences we are not entitled to explanations, especially about personal choices those concerned with one’s own body.

The Paradoxes

The world today has witnessed growing conversations around ‘self-love’ and ‘acceptance.’ There is an increased influx of material both in terms of lengthy literature and casual reads about these topics that act as a strong force for people to believe in these ideologies. However, one cannot dismiss an equal and sometimes a stronger contrary force of ‘expectations’ and ‘unrealistic beauty standards’ that can hinder the development. 

Both make-up and cosmetic surgeries, even though not uncommon, face societal shaming. While women are expected to look a certain way, they are still expected to do all this naturally. Not only Komal Pandey but many other content creators such as Aanam C, Aayushi Bangur, Srishti S Bhatia and others have opened up about undergoing these cosmetic procedures to be able to look how they wanted to look, but faced severe backlash by being called “artificial” “plastic” or “fake.”

The constant pressure of being in front of the camera can shake up the strongest. One’s idea of wanting to look a certain way is and should be an adequate reason to give themselves the freedom to decide something. Even public figures are not answerable if they are not ready or are not willing to disclose information about themselves. We as a civilised society should respect these boundaries. While there cannot be a single notion of beauty cannot, respecting each person’s choices can be the starting point.