How often does one see Sonam Kapoor on glossy magazine spreads and wish they were as gorgeous as her?
Well, it takes a lot of resources to look that flawless and the Neerja actor sums up all those struggles in her latest essay.
In I Didn’t Wake Up Like This, Sonam busts the myth of ‘female celebrity flawlessness’ many teenagers aspire to have. She opens up like never before and reveals personal struggles with negative body image issues while growing up. Sonam reveals how she was once targeted on the basis of her height and skin tone.
“‘Itni lambi, itni kaali,’ a relative casually let slip at a family gathering. ‘Shaadi kaun karega?’ It confirmed that my greatest insecurities were well-founded,” Sonam writes in the essay.
She further shares how at the age of 15 she realised she could never look like a Bollywood actress but two years later Saawariya happened. And from there began her journey to perfection and in came new challenges.
“Articles surfaced online, photos zoomed into my arms and thighs, red circles drawn around the slightest hints of a blemish. When I had a couple of movies out, Shobhaa De wrote a blog post saying Sonam Kapoor just doesn’t cut it in the sex appeal stakes,” she reveals.
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“People started calling me flat-chested. I’d never been insecure about my C-cup but I got defensive about it on Koffee With Karan,” the Raanjhanaa actor writes.
She credits two very important women, her makeup artist Namrata Soni and her sister Rhea Kapoor, for building her up and accepting herself as she was. “I’m lucky to have had my friend and makeup artist Namrata Soni, who sees my face from hyperclose quarters and goes out of her way to make me feel good about it. When I whine about my laugh lines or dark circles, she tells me they’re natural and that’s why they’re beautiful,” the actor writes.
“Instead of letting me interpret my body’s quirks and changes as flaws, Namrata helps me celebrate them as unique markers of unique beauty. “I’m lucky to have had my sister and sometimes stylist Rhea, the hottest girl I know. When I’m beating myself up for being too lanky, for not having her curves, she shuts me down and insists I look good in everything she makes me wear,” she wrote.
But today at 31, Sonam is quite content with how she looks. “Today, at 31, I like my body because it’s healthy. I’m done celebrating thinness or flawlessness. I’ve embraced a fit lifestyle, clean eating, and the pursuit of waking up every morning feeling energised. There’s beauty in good health,” the fashionista says.
She also holds the media responsible for body shaming female Bollywood actors for long. “The ball is in the media’s court to celebrate fit bodies rather than thin ones, and to know the difference. I know now that there’s nothing wrong with stretch marks, cellulite, or scars. They’re markers of our growth. There’s beauty in their realness,” Sonam writes.
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She advises other girls to follow suit and build each other up. “The next time you see a 13-year-old girl gazing wistfully at a blemish-free, shiny-haired Bollywood actress on a magazine cover, bust the myth of flawlessness for her. Tell her how beautiful she is. Praise her smile or her laugh or her mind or her gait,” the actor writes.
Don’t let her grow up believing that she’s flawed, or that there’s anything she’s lacking for looking different from a woman on a billboard. Don’t let her hold herself to a standard that’s too high, even for the women on the billboards.
“Tell her I definitely didn’t wake up like this. She won’t either. And that’s totally, completely fine,” the diva says.
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Here’s what it takes to be Sonam Kapoor.
“Before each public appearance, I spend 90 minutes in a makeup chair. Three to six people work on my hair and makeup, while a professional touches up my nails. My eyebrows are tweezed and threaded every week. There’s concealer on parts of my body that I could never have predicted would need concealing. I’m up at 6 am every day and at the gym by 7:30. I exercise for 90 minutes and, some evenings, again before bed,” Sonam reveals.
“It’s someone’s full-time job to decide what I can and cannot eat. There are more ingredients in my face packs than in my food. There’s a team dedicated to finding me flattering outfits. After all that, if I’m still not “flawless” enough, there are generous servings of Photoshop,” she says.
“I’ve said it before, and I will keep saying it: It takes an army, a lot of money, and an incredible amount of time to make a female celebrity look the way she does when you see her. It isn’t realistic, and it isn’t anything to aspire to,” she concludes.
Courtesy : Express Tribune