When it comes to criticism about her post-baby body, even the most beautiful woman in the world can't catch a break.
Former Miss World (and one of Bollywood's biggest stars) Aishwarya Rai Bachchan--who gave birth last November to daughter Aaradhya with husband Abhishek Bachchan--is being slammed in her native India by film fans, on blogs, and in entertainment columns for not dropping her baby-weight fast enough, with many arguing the star, 38, has a "duty" to her supporters to keep up her image.
In a particularly cruel example of the harsh criticism being lobbed Rai's way, a site posted a video of the actress, juxtaposing images of her pre- and post-baby--overlaid with the sound of elephants trumpeting. The clip has been viewed more than 500,000 times. (Other sites have followed suit, with similar view counts).
"She is a Bollywood actress and it is her duty to look good and fit," one video commenter sniped. Another suggested she "needs to learn from people like Victoria Beckham who are back to size zero weeks after their delivery."
Showbusiness columnist Shobhaa De opened up to the New York Daily News about the vitriol Rai faces.
"Aishwarya is like a goddess. She is held up as the ideal of beauty and so there is an expectation on her to look perfect at all times," De told the paper. "The role models being held up are Angelina Jolie and Victoria Beckham . . .this whole business of looking desperately skinny two weeks after giving birth is a Western import."
Some commenters have rushed to the actress' defense. "She is a real woman looking after a baby. We should be concern [sic] for her health and happiness especially if she is nursing the baby," one reader wrote. "Not the Western belief of expecting people in the spot light to lose all weight in month."
Rai, for her part, has said she just wants to "enjoy motherhood"--and not stress about the number on a scale.