Bollywood has always mirrored the society, but it also has a strong influence on the audience and so does the actors. Bollywood actresses enjoy a huge fan following in India and globally, they went from being just beautiful women to powerful driving forces of our society.
We have actresses who have raised voices about mental health issues, ruled the screens post embracing motherhood, became adoptive parents, and some have even succeeded in changing the way, the world looks at them.
This International Women's day we celebrate women who broke several stereotypes, taboos and have inspired women everywhere.
Sushmita Sen managed to open dialogue about single mothers and made the impossible, possible when she adopted two daughters, Renee in 2000 and Alisah ten years later.
While the former beauty queen continues to be an icon for single mothers, she is also dating a younger male model, Rohman Shawl and the four make for a very happy unconventional family. She often shares pictures of their vacations and celebrations together.
While many actresses try to keep their pregnancy days private from the prying eyes of media, Bebo set an example by flaunting her baby bump during public events. The actress happily posed for the cameras without shying away or hiding her bump with oversized clothes. She quickly became an icon and a trendsetter for maternity looks and walked the ramp during the Lakme Fashion Week Finale in 2016.
Post giving birth to Taimur, Kareena went back to her work life and struck a balance between being a mother and being an actress. Many questioned her parenting skills, but Kareena was firm with her answer, she believed taking care of yourself and working does not mean you are neglecting your kids or family.
Neena Gupta has been breaking stereotypes on-screen, but she has also been a rebel off-screen for years. Way before her recently found fame, the actress has been setting examples and breaking taboos.
Neena Gupta who was in a relationship with former West Indian cricketer Vivian Richards in the 1980, raised their daughter Masaba out of wedlock. She went on to set an example for single mothers everywhere, as well as showed how parenting is done right.
Konkona Sen Sharma
The actress turned director, didn't just make a niche for herself in professional life but also in personal life. The actress broke stereotypes by announcing her pregnancy before marrying Ranvir Shorey, back in 2010. Since then we have also seen other celebrities open up about pregnancy before marriage like Gabriella Demetriades, Amy Jackson, Kalki Koechlin, and more.
Deepika is one of the few actors who has opened up about the taboo surrounding mental health issues. She publicly admitted to having faced depression in the past and also took measures to help spread more awareness about it. Deepika launched the NGO, The Live Love Laugh Foundation which aims at addressing depression and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
Body image and weight shaming has been a big issue, not only for actresses but also for women everywhere. While many have been victims of body shaming in and out of the industry, Vidya Balan was all about loving your curves. The actress opened up about body positivity, after the release of Dirty Picture, in 2011, she since has been an advocate of body positivity despite receiving heavy criticism at first.
When Hollywood was still a far fetched dream for many, Priyanka Chopra created a niche for herself by debuting with television show Quantico. She went on to work in several big-budget Hollywood films and recently reported of joining the fourth instalment on Matrix Saga alongside Keanu Reeves.
Priyanka broke the stereotypical image the world had about India and Indian actresses. She also married a US celebrity Nick Jonas. The singer-songwriter is four years younger to her, something that is still frowned down upon, however, the couple always has a fitting answers for the trolls.