How was the calendar shoot conceptualised?
It was Abhijit Panse‘s concept for a calendar for his studio. I know him well and instantly said yes.
What was the concept for the photoshoot?
That we all are beautiful. Why should an overweight girl be conscious about her looks and clothes? I have seen even men being very bothered if they are overweight, but women are in the majority. The photoshoot is our way of contributing to the body positivity movement. I want people to understand the beauty of the thought behind it and celebrate themselves no matter how they look, without sulking about why they aren’t lean and fair. Why are we told that only dolls and fairies are beautiful since childhood?
Have you personally experienced a biased attitude?
I can’t speak for others but I get offers to play a mom, aunt, or maid. But that’s a problem with the industry. Body positivity movement and industry requirements should not be confused.
Did you know photographer Tejas Nerurkar before you shot with him?
Yes, he is quite famous. Also, senior ad guru Bharat Dabholkar was a part of the creative team, which made me even more confident and comfortable with the shoot.
Where was the picture shot?
We shot a series of pictures in Mumbai a few days before the New Year. Tejas and I mutually decided that this was the one we should go with.
How did your parents react?
To be honest, I did not tell my parents about it until it was over. But when I told them and showed the picture to them, they took it very positively and called it a part of my job. They assured me it wasn’t looking bad at all and that, in fact, it looked good.
What reactions did you fetch for it?
My friends, both from the industry and otherwise, and even people whom I don’t know seem to have loved it. They called me with compliments. Some confessed that they felt good about themselves after seeing the picture and some are going to put it up on their wall. Of course, there have been detractors too. Some questioned my motive behind shooting in the buff and the only thing I have to tell them is that this is the form we are born in, so what’s vulgar about it? Many wondered the reason for the kite. To me, a kite that scales lofty skies, signifies you want to fly high and have dreams. Having dreams is a sign of looking ahead. I wonder why are the detractors looking behind the kite and not seeing the picture as a whole.
Considering you are supporting the body positivity movement, what’s your take on claims terming ‘Kabir Singh’ as misogynistic? You were a part of the film…
Shahid Kapoor was just a character who behaved in a certain way in the story. Why was it put under the scanner the way it was? ‘Kabir Singh’ was just a movie.