Inspiring! These Bollywood actresses broke stereotypes and won hearts

Updated: Mar 08, 2020, 09:13 | Nikita Wagh
  • Neena Gupta: Neena Gupta was in a relationship with former West Indies cricketer Vivian Richards in the 1980s. Breaking the stereotype, Neena raised their daughter Masaba Gupta out of wedlock. Neena Gupta is now married to New Delhi-based Vivek Mehra, a chartered accountant.

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  • Sushmita Sen: The former beauty queen-turned-actress has adopted two daughters. Back in 2000, Sushmita Sen adopted Renee, and 10 years later, she adopted Alisah. Sushmita Sen continues to be an icon for single mothers.

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  • Kareena Kapoor Khan: Bebo set a stellar example of flaunting the baby bump during pregnancy. Kareena never shied away from the paparazzi and posed happily looking comfortable in her own skin. Bebo was lauded for getting every maternity look on point and became a trendsetter. Kareena Kapoor Khan broke the internet when she flaunted her baby bump while walking the ramp at Lakme Fashion Week 2016.

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  • Priyanka Chopra: Priyanka who has carved out a niche for herself in western showbiz through her lead role in American TV series Quantico and also working in major Hollywood films, says she said 'yes' to the show to break the stereotypical image that many have about Indian cinema and actors abroad. Asked whether the stereotypical image of Indian actors is changing in Hollywood, Priyanka said, "That's what I did in Quantico. Did you see me doing the stereotype of Indian part in that, even in 'Baywatch' I am not. I will never be the stereotype of what people think India should be. I feel that we can be anything. Why is it not cool to be an Indian? Why can't an Indian girl who is from Indian descent be an FBI girl who kicks a**? So I was very clear about that."

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  • Suhasini Mulay: The veteran actress tied the knot with Atul Gurtu at the age of 60. Suhasini met Atul on Facebook and the two got to know each other after chatting on the social media platform.

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  • Sarika: Kamal Haasan was still married to his then wife Vani Ganapathy when he got involved in an affair with actress Sarika. After ending his first marriage, he and Sarika were in a live-in relationship. After having her first child, Shruti Haasan, out of wedlock, Sarika reportedly refused to marry Kamal Haasan until she had a second child because she did not want it to be said that one kid was born to married parents while the other was not.

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  • Konkana Sen Sharma: The Lipstick Under My Burkha actress broke stereotypes by announcing her pregnancy before marrying Ranvir Shorey.

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  • Kangana Ranaut: Kangana Ranaut said in an interview earlier that people expect her to be 'sati-savitri', but being today's woman she is a 'total bad***', not a 'sati-savitri' and refuses to bow down to societal pressures. Kangana even said that we, as Indians, have a knack for loving a stereotypical, sobbing, sympathy-seeking personality. So she always felt the need to promote quirky, cool and youthful talent and stop propagating the sob-story angle of celebs, where they try to be larger-than-life. Kangana Ranaut's 'fearless' statements in the past have proved that she is the true 'Queen' of Bollywood.

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  • Raveena Tandon: One of the top leading ladies in the 90s, Raveena Tandon adopted two young girls, Pooja and Chhaya, in 1995 when she was just 21-years-old. The girls are Raveena's distant cousin's children. "Unfortunately, people say nasty things to you when you take such a step, even if your intentions are pure. I faced flak from people, who said that the move would ruin my career. However, it turned out to be for the better. My life would have never been as blissful without them as it is today," Raveena had told mid-day in an old interview.

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  • Deepika Padukone: She broke the taboo surrounding mental health issues when she admitted she faced depression in the past. Deepika not only spread awareness about mental health through words, but also took action by launching the NGO, The Live Love Laugh Foundation. It is dedicated to addressing depression with an aim to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health.

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  • Nandita Das: Nandita has spoken out against the dark skin colour bias in India. She has lent support to the 'Dark is Beautiful' campaign to draw attention to the consequences of skin colour bias. She urges women to Stay Unfair, Stay Beautiful. The actress has also taken up several controversial and challenging roles in cinema. Nandita also starred in the path-breaking film Fire along with Shabana Azmi where the two played lovers.

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  • Shabana Azmi: Shabana, an acclaimed Bollywood actress and a women's rights activist, broke stereotypes by playing a lesbian in Fire. It was one of the first mainstream Bollywood films to explicitly showcase homosexual relations. Nandita Das, too, was part of this path-breaking film. The movie created quite an uproar for touching the taboo topic of same-sex love.

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  • Farah Khan: Farah, who is married to filmmaker Shirish Kunder, said they had failed attempts of trying to have a baby naturally for two years before they went for IVF treatment. Now they are parents to triplets, i.e. one son and two daughters. Farah Khan became a mother at the age of 43. Farah was one of the first Indian celebrities to have opted for IVF.

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  • Tanushree Dutta: Tanushree Dutta, known for films like Aashiq Banaya Aapne, Bhagam Bhag, and Good Boy Bad Boy, had disappeared from the film scene for several years. The actress, however, made news recently when she triggered the #MeToo movement in the Hindi film industry. The actress filed a case against Nana Patekar, accusing him of misbehaving with her on the sets of Horn Ok Pleassss (2009).

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About The Gallery

Here are stories of 14 famous female personalities from the film industry who dared to defy stereotypes and became trendsetters!