Malaika Arora needs no introduction. The former model and VJ has reinvented herself as a fashionista and reality show judge in recent years. We sit down for a chat with her as she gears up to share the judges’ panel with Dabboo Ratnani, Milind Soman, Anusha Dandekar and Neeraj Gabba on the fourth season of MTV’s India’s Next Top Model.
“We have an amazing line up for Season 4. We are looking for someone who’s even better than last season’s winner. This season is definitely going to be bigger and better,” Malaika begins by saying.
Talking about her ideas of beauty and confidence, she goes on, “We live in a country where people are discriminated against for their colour. And I am happy that many celebrities are coming forward and addressing this issue. I personally do not endorse any fairness creams.”
“On the show, we recently came across a tall, dark beauty and it took us a while to make her comfortable with herself. As mentors, we help contestants work on their language skills and confidence. On India’s Next Top Model Season 4 we even have a few girls from small towns and villages – some who have come to Mumbai for the very first time. We are trying to make all of them confident, and I’m sure they will all have changed for the better by the end of the show,” she adds.
Malaika also says that there’s a lot more to beauty and sex appeal than physical attributes. “I remember, when I was growing up, I was not considered beautiful. People thought I was short and dark and I just looked alright. But I think I am beautiful for various reasons – I am an independent, single monther, working woman, and that makes me beautiful,” she says, adding, “Wearing short dresses with low necklines is not sexy. Being confident about your body is sexy. Being a mother is sexy.”
We ask the recently-divorced star how she has adjusted to single-motherhood, and she replies, “I am still learning from my mistakes and working on making things right. But I have no complaints, I love my life. My son is my support system and my confidance. If I tell you the things we discuss, he will kill me. All I can say is that I share an amazing relationship with him.”
We also want to know where she derives her strength from. “Honestly speaking, my life is driven by yoga. It helps me stay calm and remain positive. I also derive strength from my son and my three best friends. Most importantly, I am not bothered by loose talk, and I am not intimidated by anything – no matter how big. Work and financial independence give me loads of confidence,” Malaika reveals.
The model also shares her opinion on the recent Tanushree Dutta controversy, saying, “We need to discuss the issue openly. Unfortunately, she has not been getting enough support. We need to respect her for opening up about something that most women do not talk about. So what if she’s speaking about it after ten years?”
“I don’t think Bollywood is sanitised. The people in Bollywood are not sanitised. Unfortunately, such incidents do happen, and we need to address them,” she concludes.