ELLE Exclusive: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Talks About Her Relationship With Beauty & Women Empowerment


Aishwarya Rai Bachchan turns 50 today and her savage reply to David Letterman’s oblivion about Indian culture remains one of my favourite moments. Poised, confident, and unrattled, that’s how I remember her as a nineties kid who was obsessed with her dancing on iconic songs from Jeans. On one of my trips to Melbourne a few years ago, I was on a city tour with a guide whose knowledge about India was only limited to knowing about the ‘most beautiful woman on earth, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.’ And that’s her global appeal! 

Apart from her rich body of work, and extensive filmography in Bollywood, Hollywood and regional film industries, Aishwarya is an icon to every generation. From being one of the firsts to walk the Cannes red carpet to being L’Oréal’s brand ambassador for over two decades, she walked so everyone else could run.

As I sat to interview the actor who walked for L’Oréal’s Walk Your Worth in Paris, I noticed her warmth; “I’m sorry it’s late for you I think but how are you doing?” she asked to quickly put me at ease for the rest of the interview. What followed was her candid take on beauty, its evolution and what ‘Walking Your Worth’ means to her.

 ELLE: How has your relationship with makeup evolved?

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (ARB): I started early and didn’t know much back then. However, the experience of working with such incredible talent right from the beginning contributes. When you’re surrounded by that body of experience and talent, you naturally do pick up tips or you recognise what’s probably more naturally you. It’s the awareness of knowing what comes more naturally to you. Having said that, the evolution is really in the products; companies invest in science and research-backed products and it’s nice to use products that are safe and effective.

 ELLE: What is that one look that you feel is fail-proof and suits you?

ARB: There are signature looks that we all have. I think people have already associated that I tend to have my mascara and eyeliner on. For lips, I change depending on the outfit or the given occasion. Eyes are windows to us. And we are constantly engaging and communicating. It’s not just just verbal, you engage with your eyes, with your voice, with your entire personality. So that’s a constant part of a makeup choice that I definitely make. 

 ELLE: Tell us about your association with L’Oréal.

ARB: It’s been nearly 20 years that we’ve been together and it’s been amazing to use the word association, it’s gotten so comfortable. In all these years, the one thing that I’m really happy about is that when I came on board, the eye-catching aspect of L’Oreal was the fact that they stood by the ‘we’re worth it’ attitude. I’m glad that has only gone from strength to strength. ‘We’re Worth It’ has now amplified to ‘Walk your Worth’. But at the same time, we have actually continued infusing meaningful messaging–while you’re walking the ramp, you’re talking about women feeling secure, walking freely feeling a sense of security and an immense sense of self. 

 ELLE: Can you tell us a bit about your experience at Le Défilé?


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Thuso Mbedu (@thuso.mbedu)

ARB: This is the sixth edition of Le Défilé and my third time. You know what’s wonderful about it? While this is part of Paris Fashion Week, it has allowed a voice which speaks about ‘Walk Your Worth’, which is strong and speaks about woman empowerment. It speaks about inclusivity, empowerment, sisterhood and diversity with this kind of representation, and it’s great to be part of a movement like that. 

 ELLE: You are very close to these topics, as we know.

ARB: It’s wonderful to have a dimension to what you’re doing. Standing up against street harassment, what we are advocating for through ‘Walk Your Worth”, has a strong voice and it has been statistically proven that it needs attention. While we as women are surely experiencing a more empowered way of existence, it still needs attention, it still needs change. And it’s nice when exciting experiences like this can throw light on something so meaningful and important.  

More From

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content