Mumbai: Bollywood actress Yami Gautam plays a pivotal role in the Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer "Bala", which talks of the self-acceptance and questions the yardstick of beauty set by society. The actress says as a teenager she had her share of struggle with her personality and physical appearance.
"During my growing-up days, I was very skinny and everyone would tell me I was weak because I was tiny. Being a Punjabi from Chandigarh, I was surrounded by girls who were wide-structured and, in comparison, I would look weak. I ate everything to gain weight but I didn't realise my body structure was narrow. Once my mother noticed such a thing was upsetting me, she said, 'never ever think that you are weak just because you are skinny. You are a strong girl. One day, you will see how strong and beautiful you are," Yami told IANS.
Yami said her mother's words helped her deal with the issue that was otherwise created by society.
Being a celebrity, public speaking is a part of her lifestyle today but Yami says she was once an introvert child, adding that she had stage fright.
"I remember I had to recite a poem in school. I went in prepared but when I was on stage in front of a room-full of audience, I froze. I was nervous and God knows how I just uttered those lines and ran away. That was me as a grown-up child. So, yes, I had to work hard to overcome such a thing, because as an actor I am suppose to be free, I should not have inhibitions. Most of the feedback I have received (for "Bala") is that I was very uninhibited," shared the actress.
The story of "Bala" revolves around the struggles of a young man, played by Ayushmann, to deal with premature balding, which gives him low self-esteem because society makes fun of him and people call him "takla". Ayushmann and Yami apart, the film also stars Bhumi Pednekar. Yami plays a model and social media sensation named Pari, who is also a brand ambassador of a fairness cream.
While the character appears to be eye-candy, at the end of the film, her character raises an important question on self-acceptance.
"She is a loud and over-the-top character, but deep down she mirrors an important part of the society. She is the question that we need to ask, as to why we see ourselves through the lens of society when it comes to appearance and the definition of beauty, and why do we question ourselves instead of practising self-acceptance," pointed out Yami, who made her mark with her roles in "Vicky Donor", "Kaabil", and "Uri: The Surgical Strike".