Actors weigh in on breaking the mould and revealing their unfiltered selves to their fans, both online and in real life.
With paparazzi and fans always ready with their cameras, you would think that the already present pressure on celebrities to always look put together would increase significantly. There are still unrealistic expectations from actors, such always being glammed up and never ageing, which many in the profession still try to meet.
However, many new-age actors are setting a new standard, and are revealing their unfiltered selves on both social media and in real life. Be it stepping out without wearing makeup, repeating outfits, or posting unfiltered photos on social media, B-town is keeping it real.
There is an undeniable pressure on actors to always look dolled up and perfect, and Anushka Sharma finds it scary to see how much stress people put on themselves and each other to look good. “I have always been somebody who has lived a real life, and I have done de-glam films. I let my work speak for me, and it is important for people to understand. It’s important to find value in who you really are, rather than getting fixated with all these things,” she opines.
Soha Ali Khan adds that these high expectations from celebrities are often unrealistic. “They may be harder on you and say ‘We expect you as an actor to wear lipstick and look a certain way’, but sometimes even we don’t get that much time. You can’t wear makeup every day, you have bad hair days and wrinkles, and these things happen to all of us. There is no point in hiding it. If you have the confidence and the personality, and if you feel it’s not just the looks that defines you, then you don’t worry about how you look all the time,” the actress says.
Meanwhile, Alia Bhatt finds that people will judge actors no matter what they do, and so they should live their lives the way they want to. “When my dress is crumpled or not ironed, I say ‘Relax, it’s normal’. Clothes are meant to crumple. I can’t be looking plastic all the time. There has to be something real,” says the 26-year-old.
Dropping the filter
Soha, who is known to post the occasional makeup-free photo on social media, says that it is, in fact, crucial for actors to share flaws. “I put up posts where I have no filter and no makeup. Everyone is getting older, and you can’t be hard on yourself. People do say ‘You are looking so old, tired, thin’ etc. and being thin is not necessarily a compliment all the time,” she says.
“It is certainly lovely to dress up and use all the filters, I use filters also sometimes, but it is also important to show the real picture of you. You are also getting papped stepping out of the gym, and they see you how you look like. It’s important to put your real image out there so that they can relate themselves to you,” Soha explains.
New actresses like Janhvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan are often spotted heading to the gym sans makeup and are seemingly unaffected by the paparazzi photographing them. Even fashion icons like Sonam and Malaika Arora often take off the glam and share authentic moments on social media to remind their fans to take it easy. “I like to stay real on social media because you have to send a true message to your fans. We all have spots and marks, so let’s embrace it. I am worried about what my viewers think because I am completely against lying; I don’t want to present the wrong perception of myself to anybody,” Sonam explains.
In a world where celebrities are expected not to age, today’s actors believe that ageing is normal and it has to be talked about. “As actors, we should embrace ageing. We use our face to express things, so every line in your face is something that you have earned. Whether it is through tension or laugh lines, I have earned every day of my life,” says Sonam, adding that ageing should not be treated as a bad thing.
“Ageing is one of the most beautiful things, because you have gone through a journey and you have a story to tell. Youth is beautiful, but you can only see true beauty after you are not young anymore because that’s when the real you comes out. That encourages you. I have nothing against colouring your hair or wearing makeup, but just do it gracefully,” the Aisha actress suggests.
Lisa Ray seems to be in agreement, and has been spreading a similar message on social media. On September 16, the actress shared an unfiltered photo of herself and wrote with it: “That’s me at 47, free and unfiltered. Do we have the courage to be seen as we are? I did not when I was younger. Not everyone will recognize your worth, but love your skin and the stories it tells, your experiences, your essence- know your worth woman!- and the world will reflect back your radiance. (And if it doesn’t, f**k it. You’re lovable and perfect regardless) Thanks @binapunjani for clearing the way for more of me and less hair to hide behind #unfilterme (sic).”