In an industry that's reigned by actors that fit the ideal body type, Parineeti Chopra—with her non-bikini-bod—came in like a breath of fresh air. A leading lady who was seemingly unperturbed by the body-shamers and played strong, independent female characters.
So when a photo shoot of a fitter, skinnier Parineeti recently emerged, the relatability turned into criticism.
Suddenly, fans were angry that she had 'sold out' and given into Bollywood's 'be skinny' pressures. Did the backlash bother her?
"That's crazy! I was not only overweight, I didn't have enough stamina and energy. My health was taking a beating because I was overweight. I was exhausted at the end of a six-hour shoot. I wasn't sleeping well, not eating well. So I had to get fit because, for a 27-year-old, I was very unhealthy. And just because you can relate to me being fat and say 'Oh, she's so real!', I'm not going to continue being unhealthy. So I didn't give in to anything. I just woke up one day and realised that I have to take care of my health and enough is enough."
Parineeti is pleased that her hard work paid off. With a routine that includes martial arts, workouts at the gym, swimming, and dancing, she looks better than ever—but she stresses that she still has "a long way to go".
Text: Aishwarya Dravid; Photographs: Prasad Naik; Styling: Amandeep Kaur