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‘Conventional beauty standards exclude most of us who don’t fit the norm’: Taapsee Pannu

"It is time to break through and change the conventional beauty standards as they are not only restrictive, but they also fail to elevate diversity," said the actor

taapsee pannuTaapsee shared that, growing up, she had a love-hate relationship with her curly hair. (Photo: Taapsee Pannu/ Instagram)

From Pink to Thappad, Manmarziyaan and her latest Loop Lapeta, Taapsee Pannu, with her meaty roles and memorable performances, has proven, one movie at a time, that she is one of the strongest forces to be reckoned with in the Indian film industry. She pushes the envelope with every project, evidently carving a legacy of her own.

And while her movies are all about stepping out of the comfort zone, her fashion sense, she says, is about staying in it, while also responding to moods. Taapsee — whose films often challenge societal norms and status quo — is also someone who has candidly spoken about embracing imperfections and accepting one’s true self.

In an exclusive interview with indianexpress.com, she talks about preparing for Loop Lapeta and Rashmi Rocket, her sense of style, and how she grew out of a love-hate relationship with her curly hair.

Excerpts:

Congratulations on Looop Lapeta! How did you prepare for playing an athlete in the film?

Thankfully I did Looop right after Rashmi Rocket in which I play a professional athlete because of which I got physically ready to play an ex athlete in Looop. The mental training regarding the mind frame of the character happened with the director where we discussed her back story and life politics in detail so as to know why she takes the decisions that she does.

What does your current workout routine look like?

Thanks to such back to back athletic characters, now I am addicted to working out. So I start my day with pranayama and then go to gym before I start work.

You’re also starring in Rashmi Rocket and you had shared a glimpse of your training routine for the movie. What was the journey like?

I had to train for the film while I was shooting for other projects since I did not have the liberty to be at home and just build my body for the same. It was an exhausting routine wherein I had 2 hours of rigorous training, then going into 12 hours of shoot, coming back home and then being up for the same thing again. It was difficult for me to set into the routine as I have never been a gym person and took me about a month to start lifting serious weights.

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When it comes to fashion, do you like experimenting with new styles, or do you like to stick with what you know works for you?

For me the main thing is comfort. I am not a person who keeps a tab on trends i just wear what i feel looks good on me. I love wearing cotton fabrics as they are extremely breathable and easy to move around in. What I have realized is, my style is constantly evolving as it keeps changing with my mood, the weather, the time and even the city that I’m currently in. My style is also influenced by the character that I am playing. It’s an easy going, cool and effortless vibe that I lean towards.

Growing up, did you experiment with hair styles, or colour your hair?

I have always been experimental with my hair, right from the 12th standard where I tried straightening and then a few years later when I coloured them blue/purple. I took me time to realise how having curly hair is a blessing. I kept fighting it for years but when I realised its value, it showed me love back in return.

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You have gorgeous curly hair; did you have a love-hate relationship with it growing up?

Honestly, I did have a love-hate relationship with my hair; there were times when I’ve tried homemade remedies to try to smoothen them and in the past have tried to fit into the conventional criteria of beauty. But with experience and exhaustion of not being able to fight with nature, I realised the beauty of acceptance. And once I accepted my curly hair and learnt how to take care of it and make them shine their best, there has been no looking back.

What does your daily skincare and haircare routine look like? 

Curly hair require a lot of TLC and my routine currently includes the plant based Advanced Curl Care Range from Arata. Additionally, when not shooting, I always avoid styling my hair or using a dryer; I let it dry naturally.

A lot of young girls grow up disliking curly hair, wanting to have straight hair instead. Anything you would like to say to them?

It is time to break through and change the conventional beauty standards as they are not only restrictive, but they also fail to elevate diversity. What you think is your shortcoming is actually what is setting you apart and sometimes making you different and special. The very idea that beauty is defined by a set of adjectives – straight hair, tall, slender, fair, etc., is harmful and excludes most of us who don’t fit the norm. Through experience I have learnt and embraced that my curly hair are my identity and now I proudly wear them as a crown.

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First published on: 01-03-2022 at 05:30:27 pm
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