Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen believes that women today are motivated to stand for themselves. “I don’t talk about things like women power and this and that. Because I believe fighting for it is saying we are weaker. I don’t believe in that concept. For me, there is no fighting for women.”

The former Miss Universe’s comments came during the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2018 on Thursday. Not only did she walk the ramp, the 42-year-old actress also spoke about the difficulties of being a single mother, body shaming in the film industry and also how times are changing for women. Here are some key takeaways from her dialogue at the event.

On Changing Times for Women

According to Sen, society is moving in the right direction. Today, women no longer pull each other down to be better. She said that the world has become a better place. Men today have become more supportive towards women and accept their individuality.

In an interview with PTI, she said: “What I love about the times we are living in now is that women don’t need to pull down other women to be better or one up. Now, if somebody asks them to do that, they usually dump the person.
The new generation of women and even men are far more supportive of each other. There was a time when everybody was busy doing ‘What is she wearing? How is she looking?’ I am happy that is changing now. I am very glad to see that because my children are growing in that environment.”

The former beauty queen thinks that women today have become more confident about their appearance.

She explained, “Life becomes easier when we stop aping people. Which is on all fronts, be it looks, body shape or anything. It is going against the grain of your DNA. Everyone is built a certain way and differently. If we are not going to appreciate who we are, the world definitely doesn’t have the time for us.”

“I believe people, especially women, have become more accepting of who they are. And if somebody doesn’t like them that way they don’t shy away from showing them the door.”

On Being a Single Mother

Sen, who has two adopted daughters, said that her journey as a single mother has not been an easy ride. “Fighting for who you are has its own difficulties,” she said.

Talking to IANS, Sen expressed, “There is an aspect to what they say which I don’t take personally. As in they are talking about me, and there are certain amazing qualities in the way I have lived my life. But then you also have to be me to know that it’s not an easy ride. It has its own difficulties to fight for who you are.”

“It’s not an easy job, but you keep doing it for 25 years and it becomes a habit. And you are just accepted post that,” she added.

The actress also said that women in general yearn for strength. “Women want that strength and if a person embodies it, they tend to look at that person and say ‘you epitomize it’. The truth is it’s the desire to epitomize it. That strength in a woman.”

Read Also: Single mothers in Mythology: Kavita Kane shares in Goddess of All Things

On Body-Shaming

The actress, one of the fittest personalities in the film industry, also highlighted weight gain issues and the concept of Body-Shaming.

Speaking about her problems with weight gain, she said, “I had this thing because I was one of those brilliant people who put on weight and then go on national television. I did a show with Wasim Akram (Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena in 2008). I was superbly overweight and it became national news where news channels were discussing my weight. I think body-shaming is not a cool concept. I have never liked it.”

She also spoke about how people judge someone when tackling weight gain issues. She added, “It is important to recognize that you are going to have the ups and downs in your life.  You are never going to be consistently perfect. There are people in this world who have genetic issues and people with health conditions. So, to judge people is easy but to let them enjoy the moment is difficult.”

Since Bollywood actors are always in the limelight, people judge them every day. She said, “I didn’t feel nice about it at all. But it brought to realization of the fact that I am a strong woman but my strength can’t be seen. So, I got into gymnastics and now here I am.”

Read Also: Politics of Body-Shaming: Why Are Women Constricted To Fitting In?

Megha Thadani is an Intern with Shethepeople.TV

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