‘Mom, Chef, Biker girl, Scuba Diver and Actor!’ reads the Facebook profile of actress Sameera Reddy. That’s a far cry from the late 1990s when she launched into indipop albums and then Bollywood as a dusky stunner.
After debuting with Maine Dil Tujhko Diya, Sameera shot to fame in the mid-2000s with Musafir and Race, while also winning hearts with her dance moves in De Dana Dan, a 2009 hit film starring Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Katrina Kaif.
Back in the days, when social media didn’t exist, Sameera ‘slayed’ it every time she walked the ramp or featured in a glam magazine. She’s slaying it even now, and in a way only she can.
Now a mother of two, 43-year-old Sameera has got social media abuzz with her photos where she keeps it very real and wears no make-up. From flaunting her flab to showing off her greying hair, Sameera has emerged as a torchbearer of body positivity. What has struck a chord with many is the fact that she’s not trying to be woke, but embracing herself just the way she is.
Sameera during a vacation in Maldives earlier this year. @reddysameera (Instagram)
A few weeks back, Sameera shared a reel on Instagram in which she danced to the Jiggle Jiggle track and showed off her far-from-toned tummy.
“My tummy don’t jiggle jiggle. It folds. Working hard to get fit and still loving all my jiggles,” she captioned the post, which saw love and appreciation pouring in from across the globe.
Through humour and play, Sameera is showing how to accept one’s body and body type. Her #imperfectlyperfect hashtag is a strong pushback against the popular culture of possessing chiselled features and striving to look ageless, even if it requires surgical intervention.
The actress’s campaign also questions the stereotype around skin complexion in India, where fairer is always considered prettier. “I can’t tell you how lucky we are to have brown skin. It’s such a gorgeous colour and I am so proud of it,” she wrote in one of her Instagram posts, proudly wearing her tan after a vacation.
Sameera has been vocal about her tendency to gain weight during her early days in the industry and how it affected her. And the story of how she overcame the anxiety and stress associated with the compulsion of maintaining a certain type of body is inspiring many others. She has also spoken at length about her struggles with postpartum depression after the birth of her first child and how she overcame it.
“Even though mental illnesses can’t be seen, they exist. Mental health awareness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions – disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PPD etc. For me postpartum stress was hard and I did not act fast enough because I was unaware it existed,” Sameera wrote candidly in a post.
The best bit about Sameera’s posts is the balance she is able to strike between a self-deprecatory humour and a gentleness towards herself. Be it her workout videos or a day out with the kids, Sameera has it spot on, each time.