As part of a broader call to acknowledge and understand that Western iterations of femininity and its surrounding issues are not the default standard, this chapter presents the nuances of a contemporary urban Indian femininity that are a lot more complex than this Western benchmark concedes. Operating within the theoretical realm of post-feminism and celebrity culture, this chapter looks at the ways in which mainstream English medium Indian media (both online and a popular television talk show) constructs and disseminates idealised femininity via the coverage of Bollywood actresses who are also mothers. Through the analysis, the chapter also engages existing theoretical discussions around work-life balance (WLB) and how this intersects with contemporary manifestations of an urban Indian femininity that is circulated in these media landscapes. The glaring tension that unfolds in the chapter directly links to the ways in which contemporary Indian femininity is understood in relation to an ever-present dichotomy between modern and traditional or Western and Indian values.

Key findings in the chapter therefore emerge around the subtle yet ongoing strain that these women who are mothers face as a result of continuing to work, which in turn highlights a similar pressure for the urban Indian woman. Here one is thus able to recognise that Western versions of this supposed WLB solution to the juggle between professional and family life falls short in this context. This allows one to recognise contextual nuance that an aforementioned benchmark would otherwise ignore.