Why Vidya Balan is an icon for Indian women

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India has a powerhouse of strong women. From Chanda Kochhar to Sonia Gandhi, we have women in every field who epitomize the empowered woman of the 21st century. The Indian film industry does not fall behind in this aspect either.

Vidya Balan is undoubtedly the most successful Indian actress today. But what make her a popular icon in the country are not just her acting abilities. Here are a few reasons why Vidya Balan is one of the most powerful and inspiring women in the country today.



Vidya Balan is at peace with her body and she has proved it a hundred times. In a culture where the idea of ‘The perfect body’ is extremely inflexible, Balan breaks the shackles and sets her own rules. She chooses to wear clothes that she feels comfortable in and even in the face of criticism has maintained her stand on being herself.



A strong advocate of women empowerment, Vidya promotes humanitarian causes and supports charitable institutions. She has campaigned for sanitation facilities for women in India and has been awarded the Prabha Khaitan Puraskar 2012 by the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce for her efforts.


[Picture Courtesy: The New Indian Express]


In an industry where women are mostly reduced to eye candies in commercial cinema, Vidya has taken on strong female characters and has seen both critical and commercial success. Being the protagonist in movies like Paa, Ishqiya, Kahaani, No one killed Jessica and very recently Bobby Jasoos; Balan has given a fresh perspective on the modern Indian woman.



Where most films in India require a popular male actor to carry the film on their shoulders, Vidya Balan proves to be an exception. She is one of the every few actresses in the country who have the power to lead a film alone. In fact in most of her films, she has reversed the gender order by reducing the male character to a supporting role.



In India, most actresses start out in their late teens or their early twenties and by the time they turn 30, their career graph is on the downfall. No matter how talented, at this stage, either they quit or turn to supporting roles. But not Vidya; she made her debut at the age of 26 and ten years later, continues to be one of the leading actresses in Bollywood.



Aishwarya Rai was probably the most popular and talented leading actress in the last decade, but post her wedding, like most other actresses, she started to lose out on work opportunities. Vidya Balan proved an exception to this rule as well. Her marriage to a powerful and successful man did not overshadow her career or her choice of characters.

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