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. 

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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

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