Sobhita Dhulipala Finds Comfort in the ‘South Indian-ness’ of Deepika Padukone in ‘Om Shanti Om’ During Her Childhood

Sobhita Dhulipala speculates that the beauty business is still influenced by a colonial hangover and the idea that light eyes are more attractive.

In regards to aesthetic standards, Sobhita Dhulipala has stated that there is a ‘colonial hangover’ in our film business. Sobhita discussed her early days in the film industry and her attempts to change who she was in interviews with The Quint.

In an interview, Sobhita remarked, “When I was auditioning for advertising, the concept of beauty that existed there was a bit narrow-minded. And of course, at that age, I didn’t have the maturity to question their judgement. But I was looking for methods to improve myself in order to land a job.

She went on to say that she feels lucky to have landed roles like the one she played in Made In Heaven, where she played Tara, a middle-class lady who is not expected to have traditional beauty. She also praised director Zoya Akhtar for her decision to cast someone beyond the norms of beauty.

When asked if she was disturbed by such bias, Sobhita explained that it really motivated her to improve her character and make more meaningful life decisions.

Can you define “standard beauty?”

When asked if she knew what conventional beauty was, she questioned her own knowledge. “I don’t even know what constitutes conventional beauty; perhaps bright eyes are the norm. There is a lingering colonial ideal of beauty, though I have no idea how many Indians hold it or if it is really representative of the majority. I, as a member of the audience, was unable to empathise. A lot of my idols have always seemed apart from it”.

She further added that “I cannot place her in a neat little box as you did with Vyajayantimala. Excuse me, Rekha ji. Tabu, Vidya Balan, Priyanka Chopra, Smita Patil, Zeenat Aman, and Parveen Babi. What a lot of females. They all possessed style, charisma, sexuality, attractiveness, and personality. I did not think their appearance was a hindrance to their achievement, and they were a huge source of motivation for me”.

Sobhita emphasised that she now has confidence in herself and works hard to be authentic rather than conform. She also reflected on how reassuring it was as a young girl to observe the “south Indianness of Deepika Padukone’s beauty in Om Shanti Om.” She also said that “now more than ever,” people of colour should be celebrated.

Sobhita made her acting debut in Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0, but it was in Zoya Akhtar’s web series Made In Heaven that she really found her footing. The first two seasons of the show have both premiered to positive receptions on Prime Video. Sobhita’s most recent appearance was in the American version of the British series The Night Manager 2 on Prime Video.

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