Sonakshi Sinha: “I was an overweight child, but it never bothered me.”

Sonakshi Sinha does all the things that behove a young celebrity—and she does them well. She’s a regular red-carpet stunner, has slash-worthy talents like dancing and singing, radiates body love on Instagram, lends her voice to PETA, denounces pay disparity in her industry, and even lets on feminist leanings every now and then. Yet, somehow she doesn’t hitch her identity to any one of them, as lucrative as that might be in this time of hyper-personal branding.

Even her primary job as an actor, she tells me, she loves, but doesn’t necessarily live for. “Once I take up a film, I make sure I give it my all. I get completely involved, but not to the extent of cutting off from the rest of my life. I guess I’m focused, yet I can detach.”

The next lesson, then, is in balance—you know, that urban legend that keeps entire wellness and self-help industries thriving? Sinha tells me she’s had it from the time she was little: that clarity that no one thing can define your happiness and self-esteem. “I was an overweight child, and I knew I’d never be an actor because I didn’t look the part. But it didn’t bother me, because I always felt I had so many other things to be confident about— I was well educated, I could hold a conversation, I was good at sports, painting, etc. So even with Dabangg, I thought, okay let me try it. If it doesn’t go well, I can always do something else.” Her parents, she says, are entirely to blame for her robust sense of self. “They were a really strong support system. I was never made to feel like I was less-than or that there was anything I could not do.”

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 Sonakshi chose to steal hearts:

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Photographs: Colston Julian. Styling: Rahul Vijay. Hair: Yianni Tsapatori/Faze Management; Make-Up: Nileysh Parmaar; Assisted By: Salonee Khosla, Urvashi Singh (Styling); Set Design: Petals Deas (

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