Sonam Kapoor, who turns 33 today, is confident in her own skin. Neither the haters nor critics can pull her down. Despite doing only a handful of films in her 11 years old career, Sonam is relevant in the Hindi film industry, courtesy her outspoken nature. Not just words, her action speaks for her too. Sonam has spoken her mind when it mattered the most. Be it nepotism, feminism, gender pay disparity, beef ban or even vandalisation of the sets of Padmaavat, the National Award winner has agreed to disagree with the herd mentality, a trait very rare in Bollywood. Sonam wrote about herself in a blog post for Hindustan Times, “Let’s get straight to the point. You might call me a ‘bimbo’, a ‘naachne wali’, but you know what, I’m a terribly self-assured woman. I have a strong sense of self and I don’t need you to tell me who I am. Just because I’m an actor, it doesn’t mean I can’t have an opinion.”
Being an opinionated, self-aware woman, the Neerja star not only voices her thoughts but also propagates them. For instance, Sonam, who never minced words while talking about gender bias in the film industry, walked away from a film because she thought she was poorly paid. She said, “I was offered a project, which I was excited for, but the money being paid was shit. I made a call and said, this is very disrespectful. I told them to move on and get someone else as frankly, it was very disheartening.” She even called out her contemporaries on this and made an appeal to them to stick together. “We need to stick together, be together. That is not going to happen if you’re constantly trying to pull each other down. It’s a very difficult upward climb,” said the actor.
Sonam recently broke another stereotype about women-led films not being good openers at the box office. Her latest silver screen outing Veere Di Wedding broke records as it became one of the top openers of 2018. The story of four childhood friends played by Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhasker, Shikha Talsania and Sonam pulled the audience to cinema halls and broke the myth that female actors cannot pull a movie to the benchmark of success – the so-called elite club of double-digit earners on opening day. In an industry, where the reason for much lesser remuneration to the female actors is their inability to pull people to the theatres, Sonam did the unthinkable.
Judge her as you may, Sonam remains unabashed about the way she is, even if it may invite millions of trolls in the virtual space. Her guide to handling social media trolls as told to a publication involves five simple things. “Do not give a s**t to what nameless, faceless people say because they are obviously cowards. Usually, they are fake profiles who are hired to write such stuff by whoever. I don’t know! Report them. Block them. You should also know that because you are relevant, they’re talking about you — good or bad. And finally, just be positive and happy knowing that there are people who love you for who you are,” said Sonam.
In an industry which rides high on glamour, Sonam also had no qualms about bursting the myth around flawlessness of female celebrities. Her blog titled ‘I Didn’t Wake Up Like This’ for Buzzfeed had her baring all about her unhealthy eating habits, her insecurities about her physical appearance and how an army of makeup artist makes her look good before a public appearance. She gave all the ladies the golden advice, “Pursue prettiness for yourself, by your own definitions – not to meet culturally preset notions of “flawless”. Because flawlessness is a dangerous, high-budget myth, and it’s time we shattered it.”
Here’s hoping Sonam Kapoor continues to be her unapologetic self.