In a recent interview with Mathira, Zhalay Sarhadi opened up about the societal pressures women face regarding their physical health. The actress highlighted how women are constantly criticised and questioned for various aspects of their bodies, including their reproductive health. Zhalay revealed that people often ask her intrusive and insensitive questions, such as why she only has one child.
Sarhadi went on to explain that her fertility struggles have been deeply personal and painful. She shared that she has experienced three miscarriages in her life, which have resulted in hypothyroidism. “When I tell people that I have a daughter, they ask me why did I not have more children. How am I supposed to explain to them that I’ve had three really bad miscarriages in my life, due to which I have hypothyroid and they were not because I diet or exercise, they just happened to me,” she said.
Zhalay recounted how she discovered she was pregnant while filming for the movie Jalaibee, but later suffered a miscarriage. This loss deeply impacted her physical health, causing her to gain a significant amount of weight. And after seeking medical advice, she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
“My second last miscarriage gave me another kind of stress and trauma. At the time of Jalaibee, I was pregnant followed by a miscarriage and after the surgery, my body felt swollen up as well because of the hypothyroid – that I didn’t know about at that time. I thought it was high blood pressure since my mom has it. The fitness freak in me got it checked, otherwise, women don’t know of such after-effects,” she shared.
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Moving forward, she also spoke candidly about the societal pressures placed on women to marry and have children, and how women are judged for various aspects of their appearance, including their skin colour, features, and weight. She stressed the importance of discussing these issues, which are often swept under the rug, and shared her own experience with body dysmorphia, highlighting the negative impact of societal expectations on women’s self-image.
“Going to a psychologist or psychiatrist is a taboo. Your mental health is as important as your physical health, and for your physical health, you need a doctor. Similarly, for your mental health, you have other specialists like psychologists and psychiatrists that you need to go to. I have been to a psychiatrist,” she said.
Zhalay’s frank discussion about the societal pressure women face regarding their physical health sheds light on a pervasive issue. Her story serves as a powerful reminder to be more sensitive and empathetic towards others and their experiences.