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Why Aishwarya Rai Decided to Put Her Career on Hold and Proved She’s More Than Just a Pretty Face

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Aishwarya Rai turns 50 in 2023. The popular Indian actress who worked her way into Hollywood suddenly faced the harshest criticism when she became a mother. Yet she bravely overcame adversity and stayed true to herself. We are sure her story will inspire many women.

Aishwarya began modeling while still in college, and in 1994, she won the title of Miss World. Surely, filMMAkers immediately noticed this charismatic beauty. The woman quickly became a movie star in India, and then in the Western part of the world too. The media even called Rai “the most beautiful woman in the world.”

1994. Aishwarya is 21 years old.

In 2006, the woman played opposite a popular Indian actor, Abhishek Bachchan. On the set, a spark of love flashed immediately between them, and in 2007, the lovers got married.

In 2010, the actress suddenly decided to abandon her career and took a 5-year-long sabbatical. In early 2011, everyone found out why — the couple was expecting a child. Given that Aishwarya was 38 years old at the time, the pregnancy was considered geriatric.

Many women in this situation would have preferred a C-section, but the actress chose a traditional birth and even refused to have anesthesia. According to one of her relatives, Rai wanted a normal delivery.

On November 16, beautiful Aardhya was born while Aishwarya was hit by a powerful wave of hatred. The photos of the former Miss World where she was 5 months postpartum caused a stir on social media.

Of course, there were those who defended the actress and said that people’s fixation on someone’s weight is disgusting. There were both ordinary social media users and famous fashion designers among them.

2012. Aishwarya is 39 years old.

It wasn’t easy for her to stay strong under social pressure. However, Aishwarya had always been known for living by her own rules and not paying attention to stereotypes. It was probably her integrity and positive outlook on life that helped her go through body shaming with dignity, and enjoy motherhood to the fullest.

When asked if she was depressed by the way society treated her, she confidently replied, “When I became a mother, it was the most beautiful feeling in the world. There were several hormonal changes within, but it didn’t change anything. There was never a point of self-doubt. I’m so happy in my own life with Aaradhya around and the positivity as well as clarity that I have in my head about myself. Nobody else is dictating or telling me how to be and what to do.”

At a comfortable pace, without trying to please fans or producers, Rai regained her former shape, and then began filming again. It took her 4 years.

In 2023, the Indian actress impressed everyone by a spectacular appearance in a Sophie Couture dress at the Cannes Film Festival. At the same event, she gave a short interview about how to feel comfortable in your own body and not to judge others and yourself.

“Don’t go around attaching your judgement on others who make their choices. I think that’s just the way it should be. It’s a free world: live and let live,” she said. “I think when people tend to do that, it probably stems from insecurity. If you’re comfortable in your skin, and you’re comfortable being you, you really wouldn’t even expend that energy in being judgmental. It’s as simple as that.”

It is nice to see that despite the troubles Aishwarya had to go through, she didn’t lose her positive outlook on life. By the way, so did another famous Indian beauty, Priyanka Chopra, who faced serious criticism because she had her baby via surrogate.

Preview photo credit Dinodia Photos / Alamy Stock Photo, AFP/EAST NEWS, Vianney Le Caer/Invision/East News

Stockard Channing: The star from ‘Grease’ is 80 & looks unrecognizable now

After all these years, I don’t think there’s ever been a more charismatic or relatable Rizzo than Stockard Channing.

Channing was a great artist and her singing was just fantastic in Grease – but nowadays, the 80-year-old looks almost unrecognizable.

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The first movie I ever saw Stockard Channing in was called The Big Bus and I thought it was hilarious. But back then, I could never imagine that she would go on and have such a remarkable career.

Today, Stockard Channing is best known for her iconic portrayal of Betty Rizzo in Grease, the 1978 American musical romantic comedy film based on the 1971 musical of the same name. Like many before me have pointed out, Channing was by far the best Rizzo out of all that have played the part.

Many probably also recognize Channing from the series The West Wing, where she starred as First Lady Abbey Bartlet. The experienced actress was praised for her instant chemistry with Martin Sheen, who played President Josiah Barlet.

“It just worked,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2020.

“We had this chemistry from the beginning. I don’t know what it was, but we had it and it didn’t go away. It was a happy accident.”

Starring as Beth Rizzo

But let’s take a deeper look at the highlight of Channing’s career. Because in the name of honesty, she hasn’t appeared in any major motion picture since Grease, even though she has continued to act in films and on Broadway.

The 13-time Emmy Award nominee and seven-time Tony Award nominee appears to be totally fine with being most remembered for her portrayal of bad girl Beth Rizzo, one of the Pink Ladies in Grease.

But is that really the whole truth?

Back in 1973, Channing had little breakthrough starring in the TV-movie The Girl Most Likely to…, a black comedy about revenge.

“A lot of people talk about the G-word [Grease] and all of that, but back in the day, I had as many people stop me in the street about that one movie. Because it’s about revenge, and people would sit in their living rooms and go, ‘Oh, I’m the only person watching this’ or ‘this person understands me.’ I’m not kidding. It was a million years ago, and then it was the highest-rated movie of the week. Revenge always works,” she says.

According to Channing, she has only watched Grease only two times.

“I used to be grumpy about Grease because I thought it was a kids’ movie or something. But now it’s sort of amazing. I’m very proud of it,” she told The Times in 2019.

The Manhattan-born actress was 33 years old when she played Rizzo and playing a high school teenager wasn’t so easy for her.

Wikipedia Commons

”I was so much older than she was in life, but I could not think about that so I sort of threw myself back to what I felt when I was her age over, even younger. The complexity of adolescents and hormones and sexuality and all of that other stuff. Seeing that I really was older I think that added to the isolation of Rizzo,” Channing told Broadway World.

Channing, who became interested in acting at an early age, was thrilled when she was offered the role of Rizzo, and her performance made her a top-ranking star in the late 1970s. She earned a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture Supporting Actress, but the New York native had difficulty achieving similar success after Grease.

The beloved actress was handed two sitcoms of her own, Stockard Channing in Just Friends (1979) and The Stockard Channing Show (1980), but neither was successful and her career halted.

But with her look of Elizabeth Taylor and air of calm confidence, Channing didn’t give up and she continued to work as an actress, appearing in many highly-praised movies and stage plays. Her latest appearance on the big screen came was in Angry Neighbors, which premiered in 2022.

Stockard Channing in 2011 / Wikipedia Commons / Sean Koo

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