By Surabhi S
When I first watched Parineeta, I loved her demure, coy character that she essayed perfectly in the old world charming way. After the movie, she seemed to pause for some time. And so did I as far as noticing her was concerned. Then came Lage Raho Munnabai and I think she was comparable to Gauri, the lead actress of the movie’s prequel.
I again started taking notice of her when several (read numerous) people told me that I looked like Vidya Balan. She was not my favourite actress or anything (no one was for that matter) but I still liked her and quietly wanted her to succeed. I agree it had more to do with the resemblance people found between me and her.
During this time, I watched most of her films and realised the immense talent and sheer confidence this woman had. Now that she has emerged as a strong actress who truly knows what is what, I think it is time we learn from her.
Beauty is How You Feel About Yourself
Her haircut in Kismet Konnection and her dressing sense in HeyyBaby were starkly criticised and Vidya was repeated, easily and consecutively called ‘worst dressed Bollywood celebrity’ by all fashion and film magazines unanimously. But it did not irk the actress. Why? She knew who she was.
She says she learnt a lesson from Heyy Baby movie realizing that people want to see her natural self. And since then she has never made attempts to wear somebody else’s image. Her strength lies in her beautiful, innocuous Indian face and she knows it. Watch her in later films like Ishkiya, Paa or No one killed Jessica and you see her beauty.
In the capricious wardrobe and figure conscious Bollywood, Vidya never even tried to come anywhere close to the perfect 24-36-24 metrics or PYT (Pretty, Young, Thin) obsession. When we have heroines endorsing honey for svelte figure or Kareena Kapoor rushing to Payal Gidwani to be able to shed all the flesh on her body, our ‘grown’ Vidya Balan happily puts on lofty 12 kgs! And despite this, she doesn’t shy away from showing off her paunch.
This shows that Vidya Balan does not need standards to be touted as beautiful. She knows she is beautiful and we can’t dare to disagree. Not to forget it is her beauty beneath the skin that makes her look adorable even in the most voyeuristic movie of the industry so far.
Risks Only Make You Stronger
Our pretty lady entered the filmdom at the time when most heroines reach the pinnacle. At 27, she got her first break in movies!
Today at 33, she only stands taller and stronger than many of her peers. And that too despite the belly, ugly dressing sense but oodles of talent.
Just 4 years and six movies later, she plays the character of an unwed mother of a progeric teenager – a very unusual move for any top actress. Balan has always broken the stereotypes and we just want her to keep doing that.
Keeping Focus and Values Intact Help You Grow
She stays with her parents; has never been heard back biting about somebody; never seen in any kind of rat race and never been linked with any co-star of hers.
Vidya manages to stay controversy-less in Bollywood that arguable thrives on rumors and controversies.
It is her focus on work that sees her portraying different yet substantial roles in movies. Her strong values govern the way she plays the roles with diligence and femineity. She always gives her full heart and soul to her roles and that is why she has established herself as a earthy and real actress.
Finally to quote Ms. Balan herself, ‘a woman is as much about her body and curves as she is about strength, emotionality and sensitivity’.
No wonder even Karan Johar who never ever breaks the stereotypes tweeted about Vidya ‘Every mainstream actress needs a grand lesson from Vidya Balan on how to submit and give your heart and soul to a role. She is beyond words.’