Not even a decade ago, Bollywood stars at the helm of their careers had to make a trade off – motherhood or the limelight. The heroine of an Indian film – married, or worse a mother, was almost unthinkable.
But those days are long gone. Today, Bollywood celebrities are rocking their baby bump on social media, inviting paparazzi to click pictures in daring maternity fashion wear and attending glamorous fashion events with quiet confidence.
Whether they want to stay home and enjoy motherhood or return to the studio floor straight from the hospital, it's their life, their choice. Starting from Kareena Kapoor Khan, Bipasha Basu, Anushka Sharma, and Sonam Kapoor – the list of Bollywood divas living life on their own terms is endless today.
Bollywood has always influenced Indian society, and a progressive society is known for the freedom its women enjoy.
And on that happy note, as the British Indian diaspora celebrates Mother's Day today, iGlobal looks at some of these iconic Bollywood divas who have made motherhood agree to them in the most powerful and glamorous ways.
New-age Bollywood mums
One of the most famous Bollywood actors Alia Bhatt, got married to Ranbir Kapoor in August 2022, and welcomed their first baby girl 'Raha' in November 2022. The new mum declared that her mother-in-law, yesteryear superhit actor Neetu Kapoor, chose the baby's name. Like any millennial mum worth her salt, the 'Gangubai Kathiawadi' actor joined the gym to get back in shape and, with hubby Kapoor's support, soon got back to shooting mode.
Priyanka Chopra married American singer Nick Jonas on the sideline of ruling Hollywood and had baby 'Malti' through surrogacy. Following her social media announcement of motherhood, the internet was divided on her motherhood choice, and the actor was subjected to severe criticism! But the bold actor shut the trollers by frequently sharing pictures basking in the glory of motherhood on her socials.
Kareena Kapoor Khan, one of the most popular Bollywood actors, is a mother of two. She has written a book, "Pregnancy Bible," which shares her experiences and advice for new moms.
Soha Ali Khan, daughter of legendary Bollywood actor Sharmila Tagore is a mother of one. Her book, "The Perils of Being Moderately Famous," talks about her life as an actor and a mother.
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Raising awareness on postpartum depression
Some Bollywood celebrities have even gone ahead to speak about their postpartum depression and raise awareness. As public figures, they have encouraged other mothers to seek help for depression or anxiety after childbirth.
Kalki Koechlin, known for her unconventional roles in movies, had unabashedly talked about having a difficult time adjusting to motherhood after having her daughter 'Sappho'. She said that she felt isolated and overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for a newborn. As per media reports, she also said that she sought professional help and therapy to deal with it.
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Kajol is a popular Bollywood actress and a mother of two. She has been vocal about her struggles with postpartum depression and has used her platform to raise awareness about the importance of mental health for new mothers.
By her own admission, Sameera Reddy's depression after having her son Hans was quite severe. She felt guilty for not being able to breastfeed him properly and for not losing weight quickly. She also said that she faced body shaming and trolling on social media which affected her self-esteem.
Power mums ahead of their time
Any discussion of power mums of Bollywood would remain incomplete without mention of Neena Gupta. The veteran Bollywood actor has always been vocal about her struggles and successes as a single mother. She has inspired many Indian women who choose to raise their children independently. She raised her daughter Masaba Gupta independently, who is now a successful fashion designer.
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Last but not least, the shining Diva in her own right, former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen adopted two daughters early in her career and life and has always held her role as a mother with the highest regard. She has inspired many women with her courage and determination to raise her children independently.