Sridevi Boney Kapoor who passed away in February 2108 is one actress who has been looked upon as an epitome of talent and beauty for a long time now. She began her career at a very young age and made her debut in Bollywood with Solva Sawan in 1979. From intense drama to romantic song sequences in chiffon sarees, there was nothing that this talented actress couldn’t pull off. We will always remember her as a graceful actress who knew how to bring scenes to life on the big screen.

But it wasn’t always like that. Sridevi was very young when she entered Hindi cinema but her ‘curvy’ figure made her susceptible to roles that forged her into looking like every Indian man’s dream woman. She struggled with acceptance in the beginning because of her ‘unconventional’ looks and body type when she entered Bollywood as per this excerpt from Sridevi: Queen of Hearts by Lalita Iyer for Westland Publishing.

Perhaps the story of Sridevi is the story of every beautiful woman who never thinks she is ‘enough’… So she upped her game. She danced in ways no one could imagine a tall, awkward girl dances. She fought a lifelong battle against carbs, she made sure her face told a million stories so that’s where the camera and the audience focused.

Sridevi broke barriers even when Bollywood wasn’t easy on her because she didn’t fall into the ‘petite’ category. She made sure her talent spoke volumes about her, instead of letting the world decide what she could or couldn’t achieve in her career. It sure didn’t come easy. Even though she fought to stand against everything that could type-cast her, she did face insecurity on a personal level. But that’s what I love the most about her, she never allowed this insecurity to reflect on her craft and every time that she was in front of the camera, she made magic happen. Did you know, standing tall at five feet seven inches, Sridevi was slim-waisted but full-figured and she had to awkwardly romance men who didn’t quite match up in height while doing south films and occasionally in Bollywood too. Or the actors would often stand on platforms to appear taller because the industry couldn’t accept or portray the fact that an actress could be taller than the male lead. But she never learned how to slouch literally and also when it came to facing her challenges.

Sridevi has created a legacy that will remain in the minds of her fans and cinema lovers for generations to come. Today, as we remember her on her birth anniversary, let’s take a moment to appreciate this beautiful, strong and talented woman who shattered barriers and made the world take notice. Unrealistic beauty standards be damned!