The young Suchitra Sen – then plain Krishna Dasgupta – apparently once sat on a school bench and announced that she would be remembered long after her death. An ordinary middle class girl who was one of nine siblings, and an average student bereft of any artistic talent, all Sen had was her looks. But apparently, that was enough. "She was conscious of her great beauty... and behaved as if she... deserved every bit of the natural selection," wrote Susmita Dasgupta in a thoughtful Facebook note.
But a few days before her historic Oscar win (for the first movie she's ever been in!) Lupita accepted an award for Best Breakthrough Performance at the seventh annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon hosted by Essence magazine. It was there she delivered a speech on beauty that every little girl should hear.
Pramada spoke to us about the many roles she has undertaken in her life - from her early days with Dastkar, to her well known performance ‘Fat, Feminist and Free’ and her latest stint as a filmmaker. Pramada’s retelling of her fascinating and diverse engagements with body politics and queer issues is both enjoyable and inspiring!
No two human bodies are alike, and our different bodies arouse curiosity. But our fascination for the aesthetics of the perfect human body has historically created a space within art, science and religion for the examination of the 'abnormal' and the 'imperfect'. As a result, some bodies are normalised while others become oddities.