Be comfortable in your own skin, says Sameera Reddy as she talks about pregnancy, motherhood, mental health
Sameera Reddy, who has been viciously trolled in the past for weight gain, wants every woman to be comfortable in her own skin. The actor, on a break after the birth of her second child, will make a comeback in 2020.
When actor Sameera Reddy was pregnant with her second child Nyra last year, she took the internet by storm by posting pictures of her underwater maternity shoot.
She wrote on Instagram, “I wanted to celebrate the beauty of the bump in my 9th month. At a time, when we feel the most vulnerable, tired, scared, excited and at our biggest and most beautiful. I look forward to sharing it with you guys and I know the positivity will resonate because we all are at different phases of our lives with unique sizes we need to love and accept ourselves at every level #imperfectlyperfect.”
The actor, who has been viciously trolled in the past for weight gain, took to the platform to celebrate body positivity and hopes that every woman learns to be comfortable in her own skin.
Sameera Reddy made her debut in Hindi cinema in 2002, and was also extremely popular in the Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada film industries.
On a break after the birth of her second child, she is looking forward to a comeback in 2020 with a web series.
In an interview with HerStory, she talks of body positivity, mental health, and why women must give themselves the importance they deserve.
HerStory: You recently refused to endorse weight-loss medicines? What is your take on this?
Sameera Reddy: I refused to endorse weight loss medicines because I don’t believe that any kind of weight loss done artificially is the right way.
I have battled weight issues and body issues all my life and I can tell you from sheer experience that if you lose it the right and healthy way, you will never cause any harm to your body.
HS: You also made a statement with your pregnancy shoots. What was the idea?
SR: With my first pregnancy, I was extremely conscious of how much weight I had put on and did not enjoy my pregnancy at all. I felt that I was shamed a lot for putting on weight and that made me sit at home; I kind of became an introvert during that phase.
I wanted this pregnancy to be a celebration and that is why I went out there and did a lot of amazing shoots that made me feel good about myself. I wanted to make other women also feel the same.
HS: How did you deal with all the trolling?
SR: I have had a lot of people applauding me for being honest about the fact that some women do put on weight after pregnancy, especially when they breastfeed.
On the other hand, there are those asking me when I am going to lose it. I don’t owe anybody an explanation because this is the happiest part of my life, and the weight will come off when it needs to come off.
HS: What message do you want to give to women bogged down by body shamers?
SR: There will always be negative people in the world because, at some point, they are insecure and have a complex. They transfer that to you by telling you what is wrong with you.
I feel that we need to hold our own and be comfortable in our own skin. Look inwards and understand why you are trying to make somebody feel bad about themselves.
HS: How do you deal with trolls online?
SR: Sometimes I get highly reactive and say things, but that is what they want. So, now I have just learned to ignore it. If you give them importance, it means they have succeeded in upsetting you.
HS: How are you enjoying motherhood?
SR: I have to say, at the close of this decade, that this has been the best in my life. I met the man of my dreams, my soulmate, and I have two amazing children with him.
HS: How important do you think it is for women to take care of their mental health, especially after the birth of a child? What tips would you like to give women in this regard?
SR: I am very vocal about postpartum depression because, with my first child, I didn’t even realise when I slipped into it. I first thought it was the baby blues but then I realised that I was getting extremely bad thoughts in my head and had no control over them.
I also felt very disillusioned and extremely disconnected with who I was as a person. It is only when I went to the doctor, I realised it was postpartum depression.
I think it is very important for women to take care of their mental health because our society somehow feels that men should always come first. But I always say it is the women who are the real pillars of a family. They have to manage a balancing act that no man can ever understand.
To manage the household, to manage themselves, to give birth, and have the strength to bear it all is definitely why I tell women to give themselves that importance and take care of their mental health.
Pay attention to your needs because only when you take care of yourself will you be able to take care of others. The biggest tip I can give any woman is to never ever feel ashamed at any stage of their lives, to age gracefully, to embrace motherhood, or to just embrace being single, make a choice to not marry, or not have children.
HS: What are the current projects you are working on?
SR: The current project I am working on is my little baby, Nyra. She is keeping me very busy. On a serious note, I plan to come back definitely and start off with a few web series’ in 2020.
HS: You have seen the industry up close and personal and gone on to do many worthwhile projects. What are the positive changes you have seen?
SR: The biggest change I have seen is the fact that women are being given more solid roles. Also, a lot of women who have babies and women who are much older are getting really good work. This change has come in because of digital and social media. I am super happy because the balance is definitely much better now.
HS: What have been your personal milestones and those in your career until now?
SR: The biggest milestone is that I have done movies pan-India with hits in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, and Hindi. It makes me very proud to be a big part of all these projects and reach out to the real India.
HS: What are your future plans?
SR: My future plans are to focus on my children right now and then get back to work. As of now, I am very happy in my space and would not like it to be any different.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)
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