"I Spent A Large Part Of My Life Being Sorry About My Body" - Vidya Balan

Divya Rao , 07 Nov 2017
Vidya Balan
Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan is an inspiration for all of us. She followed her dreams despite the number of rejections and hardships she faced, single handedly changed the game for women in Bollywood, and at the same time, taught us all to embrace our bodies in a time where so much emphasis is put on what clothing size you wear. She has taken some bold decisions and played a variety of characters – whether it was Silk in The Dirty Picture or a prostitute in Begum Jaan – Vidya has always played them with utmost conviction. And now, her next release Tumhari Sulu looks extremely promising and Vidya, as a homemaker turned host of a late night radio show, is absolutely endearing. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, check it out now.

Vidya has, over the years, faced a lot of criticism for her fashion choices and her body, but she chose to rise above it all because being comfortable in your own skin is the most important, isn’t it? In an interview with Indian Express, she spoke about how she felt sorry about her own body for a large chunk of her life and how she overcame that negativity.

Here’s an excerpt.

You know I was a fat child, but I was a happy child, I thought I was beautiful, that’s how I was made to feel about myself, at home. And then when I stepped out, people started telling me how I should lose weight and started teasing me too. And then while growing up as a teenager you are bothered about the opposite sex and when you want their attention, all this becomes very crucial for and you start believing that maybe I won’t get the attention I need if I am not thin! I tried to lose weight, I went through crash diets, I spent a large part of my life dismissing and rejecting, and being sorry about my body. And then I realised that there is no end to it. Becoming an actor had a huge role to play in that, at various points I lost weight, I worked out crazy, I starved myself, but my weight would come back because this is my body structure.

She added,

But you know, whatever body I have been in, I have had desires, bodily desires. I felt attractive, it didn’t stop me from wanting to live my life to the fullest. So I realised that these are the limitations in other people’s heads which they impose upon me, because they have a certain ideal, and now I don’t fit into that and I am okay. I am not going to take away from the fact that I am still a living, pulsating human being. I decided that at least I should be on my side, because otherwise there is no end to rejecting your body and spending a lifetime doing that. But what really happens, it is not your body’s fault, your body needs at least one person on it’s side, and I said to myself that this is my body and I love it. It is not that I haven’t tried, to an extent that I have killed myself some times, trying to lose weight, but it would come back on. I can keep wanting to be thinner, and I have realised that people all around want to be thinner, there is no end to it. If I do that to myself, I will be unhappy throughout thinking if I was a little less last week than this? Or I will wear that dress after losing weight, but ‘zindagi nikal jaati hai’ (life goes by), so I decided to live in this body and embrace it. But this happened only a few years ago, it happened after doing The Dirty Picture, where I had all my flab overflowing from everywhere, and people told me I was sexiest in that film among all the films I had done.

You see why I say this woman is an inspiration? It takes a lot of strength to get through something like that. We love you, Vidya. <3

PS – If you’ve battled sexism in your daily life, you’ll definitely relate to this video.

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