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Twinkle Khanna reveals that most actors starved themselves for ‘Baadshah,’ and she remembers eating nothing but chickpeas.

A former Bollywood actress discusses the industry's unreasonable beauty standards and her own personal experience in the industry.


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The star of Bollywood’s Golden Age, Twinkle Khanna, recently spoke out about the lengths to which she and her peers went to keep up their flawless onscreen personas. Twinkle revealed the difficulties she had while filming Shah Rukh Khan’s Baadshah song Mohabbat Ho Gayee in an open interview with Shrayana Bhattacharya on Suitable Conversations.

Twinkle’s confession reveals the hidden truth of Hollywood, where actresses frequently resort to extreme dieting in order to meet unrealistic societal beauty standards. In the interview, Twinkle came clean about her struggle to get enough nutrients from her diet, which mostly consisted of chickpeas.

She made light of her eating habits by saying they were the product of her own “brainwave,” which she partly attributed to her Gujarati heritage and the fact that chickpeas are cheap and easy to come by. As a result of her rigorous diet, Twinkle joked that she felt like a “gas canister” while filming and worried that she would burst at the seams.

The majority of those actresses are actually going hungry, despite what you may think—they claim to eat everything they want and never diet. “I was going hungry,” she said. We have no idea why we wore those catsuits, but you must wear them if you want your stomach to be flat. I am going to live off of this brilliant idea of mine, Channa. Being Gujarati made me think that it was inexpensive and readily available no matter where I traveled. My diet consisted of this.

Because Twinkle was afraid she might “explode” onstage, Shah Rukh had to lift her for a particularly difficult scene. She was able to overcome her fears and pull them off. “He had to help me up in this song, and I was terrified I might burst like the gas canisters in the Parliament, but I managed to keep it together. You can see that I am clenching my teeth because I also managed to get through that portion; this is just one of many ways I am clinging to the situation.

As Twinkle reflected on the feedback she received for Badshah, she couldn’t help but notice how few people criticized the evaluations that were so fixated on her looks. “That was the only part of that review that focused on me,” she said, revealing her true self. Nobody said anything about it; therefore, it was acceptable at the time. We didn’t see it as sexist. The writer was appreciated, I believe.

Badshah, directed by Mustan Burmawalla and Abbas Burmawalla, featured an ensemble cast starring Shah Rukh Khan, Twinkle Khanna, Rakhee Gulzar, Johnny Lever, and Amrish Puri. Twinkle switched from performing to becoming a successful novelist, just releasing her fourth book titled “Welcome to Paradise.” The book features a collection of stories examining themes of heartbreak, relationships, and dishonesty.

Twinkle Khanna’s open disclosure not only offers an insight into the hardships experienced by actresses in the past but also raises crucial issues about the unattainable beauty standards prevalent in the film business. As issues around body image and representation gain pace, Twinkle’s honesty offers a crucial viewpoint to the ongoing discourse.

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