Keeping it real

Deccan Chronicle.  | Uma Ramasubramanian

Entertainment, Bollywood

Actors weigh in on breaking the mould and revealing their unfiltered selves to their fans, both online and in real life.

Sonam kapoor and Anand Ahuja

With paparazzi and fans always ready with their cameras, you would think that the already present pressure on celebrities to always look put together would increase significantly. There are still unrealistic expectations from actors, such always being glammed up and never ageing, which many in the profession still try to meet.

However, many new-age actors are setting a new standard, and are revealing their unfiltered selves on both social media and in real life. Be it stepping out without wearing makeup, repeating outfits, or posting unfiltered photos on social media, B-town is keeping it real.

High pressure
There is an undeniable pressure on actors to always look dolled up and perfect, and Anushka Sharma finds it scary to see how much stress people put on themselves and each other to look good. “I have always been somebody who has lived a real life, and I have done de-glam films. I let my work speak for me, and it is important for people to understand. It’s important to find value in who you really are, rather than getting fixated with all these things,” she opines.

Soha Ali Khan adds that these high expectations from celebrities are often unrealistic. “They may be harder on you and say ‘We expect you as an actor to wear lipstick and look a certain way’, but sometimes even we don’t get that much time. You can’t wear makeup every day, you have bad hair days and wrinkles, and these things happen to all of us. There is no point in hiding it. If you have the confidence and the personality, and if you feel it’s not just the looks that defines you, then you don’t worry about how you look all the time,” the actress says.

Meanwhile, Alia Bhatt finds that people will judge actors no matter what they do, and so they should live their lives the way they want to. “When my dress is crumpled or not ironed, I say ‘Relax, it’s normal’. Clothes are meant to crumple. I can’t be looking plastic all the time. There has to be something real,” says the 26-year-old.

Sara Ali Khan

Dropping the filter
Soha, who is known to post the occasional makeup-free photo on social media, says that it is, in fact, crucial for actors to share flaws. “I put up posts where I have no filter and no makeup. Everyone is getting older, and you can’t be hard on yourself. People do say ‘You are looking so old, tired, thin’ etc. and being thin is not necessarily a compliment all the time,” she says.

“It is certainly lovely to dress up and use all the filters, I use filters also sometimes, but it is also important to show the real picture of you. You are also getting papped stepping out of the gym, and they see you how you look like. It’s important to put your real image out there so that they can relate themselves to you,” Soha explains.

New actresses like Janhvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan are often spotted heading to the gym sans makeup and are seemingly unaffected by the paparazzi photographing them. Even fashion icons like Sonam and Malaika Arora often take off the glam and share authentic moments on social media to remind their fans to take it easy. “I like to stay real on social media because you have to send a true message to your fans.  We all have spots and marks, so let’s embrace it. I am worried about what my viewers think because I am completely against lying; I don’t want to present the wrong perception of myself to anybody,” Sonam explains.