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Aditi Rao Hydari Shines at Cannes Embracing Body Positivity with Her Gajagamini Walk

The Cannes Film Festival is synonymous with glamour, high fashion, and cinematic excellence. This year, actress Aditi Rao Hydari illuminated the red carpet in a strapless monochrome gown, expertly styled with soft lip color and an elegant updo. But as glamorous as it appeared, the journey to the red carpet involved countless fitting sessions and minimal sleep, Hydari humorously shared just days before departing for the prestigious event in the French Riviera.

In a moment that has since captivated the internet, Hydari’s Gajagamini walk from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus “Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar” went viral, showcasing her inherent style and redefining the rigid constructs of beauty in the industry.

“When I began my career, everyone seemed to have an opinion on how I should present myself. During promotions for my early films, jeans and a shirt were my go-to. Soon, I was being advised to get a hairstylist, wear glamorous outfits, and step into high heels,” the actress reminisced. She made a pivotal shift in her mindset in 2016 while working with renowned director Mani Ratnam. “Since then, I never let fashion overly influence me. I strive to be true to myself,” said Hydari, who attended the gala representing L’Oreal Paris.

A palpable sense of independence and non-conformity has underpinned Hydari’s career. Her recent portrayal in “Heeramandi” stands as a testament to this ethos. “Sanjay sir asked me to gain some weight for Gajagamini. When I contracted COVID-19, I lost a lot of weight and was desperately trying to regain it. I eventually put on some kilos for the shoot.

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. I suggested shedding the extra weight, but Sanjay sir insisted, ‘You’re beautiful. You’re not a 2020 heroine, but a 1940’s woman.’”

Hydari expressed profound satisfaction at the resonance her Gajagamini walk had with people. “It’s been heartening to receive messages from people saying they feel seen and appreciated. We’re so confined by the manufactured ideal of beauty, and Sanjay sir helped illustrate that beauty is not one-dimensional. In our quest for health, we’ve normalized a very specific body type. All body types hold their unique beauty,” she stated emphatically.

The Cannes Film Festival is a beacon for cinephiles, but it can also be perceived as a fashion battleground. Hydari observed, “It depends on one’s intention. Many attendees are seriously passionate about films and spend their days watching screenings. The media, too, needs to diversify its reporting. This year, we have a film within the competition section titled ‘All We Imagine as Light.’ The film’s director, Payal Kapadia, has a personal connection to me—her mother is friends with my mom. I’m eager to watch her entry!”

Behind the captivating photos and effortless grace at festivals like Cannes, lies a dedication to artistry and an unwavering commitment to personal principles. For Hydari, this journey—characterized by a refusal to conform and a celebration of individuality—has not only defined her career but also resonated deeply with audiences worldwide.