Actress Soha Ali Khan, whose mother and yesteryear screen icon Sharmila Tagore donned a bikini on-screen in the 1960s, says hitting the gym may not have been a trend back then, but a fit frame has now become essential in the movie industry.
The 37-year-old, who is blessed with a small frame, believes a lot has changed over the decades.
“My mom wore a bikini, but back then nobody went to a gym. It’s good to be fit. You should try to be healthy. If that means to go to the gym, that’s a good thing. You can see in the industry… people are fitter,” Soha, who was in the capital for The Beauty Debate powered by Dove on ‘Evolving ideals of beauty in India’ at a summit, said.
But she isn’t in favour of abruptly losing weight by relying on supplements just for a song or a scene.
“It should be more about a lifestyle change and not done suddenly,” said the “Mr Joe B. Carvalho” actress, who added that even make-up has evolved in Bollywood.
“Now, we have gone into HD definition. It’s all about looking natural where you can even see skin pores. Now, when you wake up in the morning, it looks like you have just woken up.
“So, people need to understand that in a photo shoot there is a lot of airbrushing… So what is on-screen is not real. What you see on the magazine is not 100 percent real. Everything has been touched up a bit,” she said.
Soha also admits that getting ready has now become more “complicated”.
“It looks natural, but a lot of work goes into it.”
Going by her profession, one might think that an entourage follows her to ensure she looks perfect throughout the day. But she shares that there are just two people who have opinions about what she should wear and how she should look.
“They are my mother and husband (Kunal Kemmu). It’s mostly about what I am wearing… Like my mother thinks trousers don’t suit me, but I like wearing them. You have to do what you want to do. You can always take advice from people. But, yes, someone’s opinion shouldn’t define you or shake your world,” she said.
In the same vein, she said that while every person may have insecurities and may want to look beautiful, the definition of beauty varies from individual to individual.
“Being beautiful doesn’t mean that you need to have the right body proportion. It’s about celebrating who you are and embracing what’s unique about you. It’s about loving yourself, which I think a lot of people don’t,” she said.
She added that there was a time when she wouldn’t even comb her hair or put in any effort to look good.
“When I first started working in films, I wouldn’t brush my hair sometimes. I did that because I thought it was very superficial to even try. But I think you need to democratise the concept of being beautiful. It’s not just for the models or actors, it’s for everyone,” said Soha, who made her Bollywood acting debut in 2004 with “Dil Maange More!!!”
While she loves being in front of the camera, she isn’t a fan of selfies.
“I hate the lens. I think everyone looks a little strange and normally when people take a selfie, you can see half of the face or just an eye or the ear. That’s not very flattering,” she said.
By Natalia Ningthoujam