Bigg Boss OTT contestant Urfi Javed has often stirred up controversy for her customised and unconventional outfits. From being heavily trolled for wearing a crop jacket with a pink bra underneath at the airport to being falsely linked to noted lyricist Javed Akhtar, she has often found herself in hot water.
In conversation with News18.com, Urfi Javed talks about her choices of clothes, why she doesn’t care about being trolled, and how she is looking up to taking up good roles after Bigg Boss OTT.
You were recently trolled for wearing a kurta during Ganesh Chaturthi. How did you react to it?
I don’t react. These trolls shouldn’t be given any attention. They are people who are dissatisfied with their own lives. I don’t know the reason I was trolled for. Did they troll me for my religion? I don’t think it is appropriate. If they trolled me for what I was wearing then I have seen people wearing much more revealing clothes in front of god. I wasn’t wearing a skirt or a bikini and dancing in front of the Ganpati idol. I was wearing a normal kurti. I have developed a thick skin and I just keep moving forward. There is so much more to me than my clothes. Why don’t people talk about me or my work? I have realised that no matter what I do, people will say things. I belong to a conservative Muslim family and for the longest time, I was told what I have to wear. I wasn’t allowed to wear jeans. My chest would always have to be covered with a duppata. This made me a rebel and today I will wear whatever I want to.
But this isn’t the first time you are being trolled for your unconventional fashion choices.
In the times that we are living in, it is very easy to put a woman down. Women are trying to break the patriarchy but people are not ready to accept it. Most of the trolling happen for females. Even if they are working, that is being attacked by trolls. When actors like Sara Ali Khan or Janhvi Kapoor went for a vacation, they got trolled. If a male actor goes no one says anything. Last year Rhea Chakraborty got a social media judgment and was termed as a villain (in the Sushant Singh Rajput case).
Do you feel that you are also being targeted for your religion?
I think so. I am a Muslim girl so when I do something or wear certain kinds of clothes, it really doesn’t go down well with a lot of people. My religion has been a deterrent. I remember searching for a house in Mumbai was a task as many people didn’t want to rent out their apartments to Muslims. I don’t follow Islam or any other religion. Also when it comes to my clothes, I didn’t wear anything unusual at the airport. It was a normal sports bra and a jacket over it. I have seen female actors wearing shorter clothes. I don’t know why people made a big deal. I was just being myself and wore what I wanted to. Frankly, I don’t care about these comments.
A lot of people are of the opinion that you wear revealing clothes to grab attention.
Of course, I want attention. I am very hungry for attention. Every actor is hungry for attention. Why do you think we are in the show business. If any actor says they don’t want attention, then they are lying. If whatever I am doing is helping me grab eyeballs, then I am really happy. It’s just who I am, and if that creates publicity then good for me.
So you agree that any publicity is good publicity?
No. Agar waise publicity chahiye hoti, toh airport me bina kapdon ke chali jaati (Had I wanted any other kind of publicity then I’d have gone wearing nothing to the airport). As I said, I haven’t harmed anyone and haven’t cheated anyone. After my airport pictures came out, people made me feel like I have murdered someone.
After the airport incident, people even tagged you as Javed Akhtar’s granddaughter. How did you react to it?
I was laughing. The trolls wanted to put Javed Akhtar down… I was never associated to him before this. Even if his own granddaughter wears anything of her choice what’s wrong with that? He can’t control what women in his family decide to wear.
You have spent six years in the industry, how do you look at your career so far?
I have done some prominent shows but I didn’t have any great role in them. I took up these roles for survival. I didn’t have the luxury to sit at home. I had a tough time as a kid. My father was physically and mentally abusive, and that torture lasted two years. I ran away from the house with my two sisters, leaving behind my mother and two other siblings. We stayed in a park for a week in Delhi. We started looking for jobs. Thankfully got a job in a call centre. Soon after that, my father got remarried and the whole responsibility of the family came onto me and my sisters. So my career was constantly for survival. But now I want to do good projects. I know I am a good actor and I just need one chance to prove my worth.
Was entering the Bigg Boss house a conscious choice to get noticed?
No. I entered the house because I have been a fan of the show and I wanted to experience the work. If it was about getting noticed, then I wouldn’t have got evicted in a week. I would have got into fights and do a lot of drama. I was just being myself and wanted to enjoy my time inside the house. I never thought it would boost my career. I never thought that I would become the next Shehnaaz Gill.
Have things changed after participating in Bigg Boss?
Not really. I don’t have filmmakers outside my house with scripts. The only thing that has changed is that the media follows me. Also, people talk about what I am doing. I think the trolls have been benefitted as they now have more topics to troll me. They have got more masala. As I said, the focus is to do good work. Right now I am considering OTT shows and films.