From Conservative Upbringing In J&K To Becoming TV Star, Hina Khan Bares It All

"Breaking norms and challenging conventions has been a cornerstone of my life journey," said Hina Khan in a conversation with Shaili Chopra. She also reflected on embracing authenticity in both her personal and professional lives.

Priya Prakash
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Hina Khan

The Rule Breaker Show, a brand new talk show hosted by Shaili Chopra, the founder of SheThePeople and Gytree, shines a spotlight on individuals who defy societal norms and carve their own paths. The latest episode featured Hina Khan, a trailblazing actor, influencer, and mental health advocate. With a remarkable journey spanning 15 years in entertainment, Khan has not only garnered a devoted fan base but also earned accolades for her bold choices of roles and decisions that challenge traditional notions surrounding women.


In a candid conversation with Shaili Chopra, Hina Khan shared insightful perspectives on self-expression and empowerment. She also reflected on her journey of challenging societal norms, prioritising inner peace, and embracing authenticity in both her personal and professional lives.

When Khan was asked about the constant demands from paparazzi to pose in specific ways, such as turning around to show their back when wearing a backless dress or posing in certain stances, she shared how she confronts them. She said, "I don’t fall for them, I've shared my discomfort with being asked to pose in certain ways, especially just because of what I'm wearing. I believe it's my choice how I appear in public, and I won't give anyone the right to dictate how I should pose. While I understand the expectations of my profession, I choose when and how to present myself, not for grabbing attention but for feeling good about myself. And all women should draw this line. And we should not give anyone this right."

When asked about the meaning of "sexy" to her, the actor responded, "Well, for me, the sexiest part about a woman is how she appears to people. To me, that's what defines true allure and appeal—a strong, captivating personality that shines through regardless of outward appearances."

What is Hina Khan's Boldest Rule-Breaking Moment? 

As the show progressed, Khan revealed one of the spotlight questions that every guest receives: what rule have they broken in their life? In response, Khan shared insights into her own life.  She said, "Breaking norms and challenging conventions has been a cornerstone of my life journey. Hailing from a conservative family in Jammu and Kashmir, where pursuing a career in entertainment is often frowned upon, I've constantly pushed boundaries to follow my passion. Despite facing resistance from my family and community, particularly due to societal stigmas associated with the entertainment industry, I forged ahead.

She added, "I think I would like to give credit to my father for always being by my side, like Rock. He was the only one who supported me. Otherwise, my family, my extended family, and everyone else is still against me. 90% of my family is still against me; they don't talk to me. They don't talk to my mother. And of course, the mindset for the place I come from—you know, Srinagar—is that I love that place. I am a true Kashmiri at heart. But it is difficult when I see that I don't get that acknowledgement or that recognition."


The decision to leave behind a flourishing career in television, despite accolades and success, was perhaps her boldest rule-breaking moment according to her. She said, "I think the biggest rule break was when I decided to give up my very successful career in television and move out of it, where I had a completely cushioned and comfortable life. I was kind of a titleholder. I had so many awards, and then I suddenly decided to move on, apparently. So they say I was the highest paid actress in Indian television, leaving all that behind and starting again, from scratch, to find myself in a new light in this new world."

Actor's Approach to Inner Peace and Body Positivity

When asked, how does Hina Khan find a way to stay healthy and be mindful of her body's capabilities? What disrupts Hina Khan's peace of mind? She answered, "For me, prioritising peace of mind is most important. It serves as the foundation for my overall well-being, encompassing both physical and mental health. Even if I haven't been consistent with my workouts for over two months, my focus remains on nurturing my inner peace."

She further added, "While maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise are important aspects of my lifestyle, I firmly believe that peace of mind takes precedence. Despite societal pressures and unrealistic beauty standards perpetuated on social media, I choose authenticity over perfection. While I do use filters and makeup at times, I advocate for embracing one's natural self without succumbing to the pressures of achieving an idealised image. It's essential to strike a balance between seeking validation and staying true to oneself, finding acceptance in our imperfections, and embracing the beauty of our individuality."

Khan also shared her thoughts on the importance of staying highly attuned to one's body, and how she maintains awareness of her evolving physicality. She shared, "As I embrace my journey into my 30s, I wholeheartedly accept the inevitability of ageing. I understand that my appearance will evolve and my body will undergo changes over time. While I prioritise healthy habits such as regular exercise and proper skincare, I remain open to exploring options like botox in the future, recognising that it's a personal choice that aligns with my values and preferences."

However, the actor also maintains a sense of self-acceptance and contentment with her current state, including her fine lines, age, and body. She said, "I don't fear growing older but rather see it as a natural progression in life, embracing each stage with grace and confidence. While societal norms may categorise women based on age, I approach ageing with an open mind, acknowledging that acceptance may take time but ultimately leads to personal growth and self-assurance."

Hina Khan shaili chopra The Rule Breaker Show