The Parineeta actress laughs off the pregnancy rumours, and shares the secret to her confidence.
Vidya Balan has always been an inadvertent advocate of body positivity and transparency in Bollywood, and now is no different. The actress, who has been the victim of countless untrue pregnancy rumours, explains that she is unfazed by the attention that is given to her looks and her weight.
“I have always had this kind of body. Maybe, sometimes I may look thin, but I have never been thin. This means that if my stomach is seen, then I am always reported as pregnant. In fact, my stomach can always be seen so that means I am pregnant throughout the entire year,” the actress laughs.
Vidya explains that her upbringing was a big contributing factor for her confidence. “My folks always made me feel that whatever physical attributes I carry, whether fat or not, I am beautiful. So I never grew up with any such perception. Let me tell you, the focus on looks all begins in school. Children deem you as moti (fat), patli (thin), lambi (tall), etc. and also call you names based on your complexion. My parents always made me feel beautiful, so I was never insecure about my physical self. I never bothered about makeup either. So I have happily taken on non-glam roles as well. I am happy; I look, I feel sexy all the time,” she says.
When asked about the pressure on actresses to always look young, she opines that this has always been the case. “This has always been the expectation — men always want a woman to be young even in real life. The perception is simple: If a woman is young, then she is desirable to men. Otherwise, men lose interest,” she says before adding that things are different now.
“Earlier, women would get married at an early age, bear children, and her entire life would pass off looking after their children. But in today’s time, a woman marries only when she wants to marry, and plans to have children in accordance to her convenience. She is also completing her education. Times have changed now,” she adds.
The 40-year-old actress reveals that she is happier at this age than at any other. “I think I am in the happiest phase of my life. I have never been happier than now. I think that one becomes more mature with age. I am more accepting of myself, and I find happiness in the smallest of things.”
However, it is no surprise that ageing comes with its own set of struggles, especially for women. Talking about menopause, Vidya says: “It is a crisis and a big anxiety-inducing change in a woman’s life. But that will be more seamless with time, as we talk about it more openly now, which wasn’t the case before. I remember when my aunt was going through menopause, she did not even talk about it. In fact, by this age, women hoard a lot of experience.”