How you can carry off wearing a bikini without having a body like Shilpa Shetty
What does it take to flaunt that 'bucket list' outfit on Instagram despite not having a Shilpa Shetty body? Four women tell us why they did it
One of the few good things that came out of Veere Di Wedding, was that we got to see the curvy Shikha Talsania look gorgeous in a swimsuit. And, millions of women across the country said, "If she can, so can I". It's a strange world we live in when having a 'bikini body' becomes a bucket list necessity. But as someone wise once said, "Every body has a bikini body". We spoke to four well-known faces on Instagram who are inspiring us with their not-so-typical swimsuit pictures. The best part: they all have a story behind the moment they decided to put themselves out there.
'They come for the bikini, stay for the message'
Anushka Manchanda, musician, @anushkadisco
One would be forgiven for thinking Anushka Manchanda has a perfect body, especially after seeing the bikini pictures she has been putting up recently. That derriere could be described as perfect. Manchanda admits that she put the picture up for pure and simple vanity, because she knew she looked good in it, but there is more to this than what meets the eye.
"I have always been skinny, and can't put on weight. Last year, all I did was try to put on weight. People who have fat on their faces, look healthy and flushed. I sometimes look like I haven't eaten. And so I ate a lot, worked out, until a yoga teacher told me 'don't do anything that doesn't come naturally to you'." She also says that sometimes the pictures work as "clickbait". "So they come for the bikini pictures, but then they look at the other stuff I post, which is about the environment, freedom of speech. Also, I engage with people. If someone says something derogatory about my picture, I ask him 'Why. What is upsetting you?' It's all about normalising such images. Next time, he may see someone else's picture and not care as much."
'Sometimes you need to hear you are beautiful'
Rohini Ramnathan, RJ, @rotalks
For Rohini Ramnathan, RJ, an appreciation for her body crept in the day her thigh froze and refused to move. "I was then told by the doctor that I was suffering from Vitamin D deficiency which was causing pain and rigidity in my thighs," says the 34-year-old, who spends most of her day in a window-less studio recording her radio show. It was during her recuperation period that she realised how much she valued her legs and her thighs and the function they served. "I had shot for a friend's clothes brand, and he/she asked me to get into a swimsuit. My first reaction was, 'are you crazy'?"
She adds, "People always tell you that you are not fat, but you don't believe it. We are constantly consuming images of perfect bodies all the time on our phones. We are programmed to think we are fat, and even though we are smart individuals, we buy into it." After deliberating for a month, she put up the picture with a caption that spoke about her love for her thighs. "Let them see the light", she said and the love poured in. "Only when you put yourself out there, can you know your worth. You have to be vulnerable. People said 'you are beautiful', and though I knew that, I needed to hear it." The RJ says she stays fit by doing yoga and swimming, and eating planned meals, but the most important lesson that she has learnt is this — "Most of us are all oddly shaped... And so, I have realised, it's not I who has to fit the clothes. It's the clothes that have to fit me."
'Respect your body at its best, and worst'
Nidhi Mohan Kamal, nutritionist, @nidhimohankamal
When Delhi-based Nidhi Mohan Kamal put up her bikini picture, she didn't even know it would catch the fancy of her followers. "I had been working out, and I thought my body looked good, and so I took a picture. Then many people wrote in saying that they could see my stretch marks. Better still, they were glad that I didn't retouch the picture. I hadn't even noticed the marks because they have become such an integral part of my body," says the 34-year-old.
The nutritionist, who is as fit as they come, says that even she has her challenging days. "There are days when you will look great in a bikini, and then you end up PMSing, and your body doesn't look as great. At the end, it's all about what you make of your body. I think we all need to stand in front of the mirror naked, and really appreciate our body. Respect it at your best, and worst."
'Whatever you want to be, is the new sexy'
Natasha Noel, yoga expert, @natashanoel001
Yoga expert, and Instagram influencer, Natasha Noel is no stranger to giving her thousands of followers body goals. Every Monday, she puts up a picture with the hashtag #truthbombmon. On May 28, she put up a picture of herself in a red hot-as-hell swimsuit and spoke about the importance of not wanting to be skinny, but healthy.
"I always wanted to be skinny. Or have a thigh gap. But later I realised that we have to reinvent sexy — it's whatever you want it to be," says the 25-year-old. She'd also spent many years thinking that being big bosomed was a negative thing. "But we are all humans, and it's deep rooted in us to want to be thin. There are still days I wish my breasts where smaller, or I was skinnier. But then what's normal is that we accept who we are. If you are muscular, then that's sexy! For that we need to work on ourselves mentally. At the end of the day, it's all about inner health."
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