Mumbai, March 21: Actress Rani Mukerji, who turned 40 on Wednesday, says her 22-year journey as a woman in showbiz has been about battling discriminatory stereotypes constantly.
Rani, who is coming back to the big screen with "Hichki" after four years, wrote a heartfelt letter for her birthday. Besides her own journey, she highlighted the hiccups that other women actors face in the industry.
"As a woman, I must admit, it has not been an easy journey. I had to prove myself every day. Actresses have to prove themselves every day," said Rani, who is married to producer Aditya Chopra and has a 2-year-old daughter Adira with him.
She steered the content to gender disparity in the industry and wrote about the preconceived notions that exist.
"A woman has a short career span, a married woman's equity dies, women are not bankable commodities at the box office, ‘female-centric' (I hate this word!!) films are huge risks.
"A married actress who is also a mother is the final nail in the coffin of her dreams, ambitions, and aspirations - these are some of the discriminatory stereotypes that we have to live with and try to overcome every single day.
"For a woman, the disparity with a man is huge and glaring in this industry."
Rani also commented how women are always under the scanner.
"We are judged for our looks, our dancing skills, our height, our voice, our acting, how we carry ourselves every time we step out of the house - we have to be the best and yet we are thought to be extremely dispensable.
"I have been asking my friends to talk about their weaknesses and how they overcame them. On my birthday, I cannot skirt these massive 'hichkis' that my fellow actresses and I have faced/face and will face every day," she said.
Her own way to take on "this sexist stereotype" is by coming back to acting after my marriage and motherhood.
"I promise you, I will continue working and battling these stereotypes with all my fellow stunning, beautiful, kind and talented actresses and hope to see our society and the film industry mature further," she said.
Rani acknowledged that change is setting in.
"I can already see the changes for the better and it fills me with joy. It makes my journey, my career meaningful. I want to see many more victories for all of us. It's about time. I will be back soon - to try and entertain you, to push the envelope again."