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2-min read

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Turns 45: She Made Bollywood Global Much Before Anybody Else

From fighting social stigma to representing India globally, Aishwarya Rai is a woman of substance and definitely more than just another Bollywood superstar.

Vaishali Jain | News18.com

Updated:November 1, 2018, 5:15 PM IST
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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Turns 45: She Made Bollywood Global Much Before Anybody Else
(Image: Getty Images)
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Green eyes, charismatic aura and a cheerful smile, every 90’s teen was awestruck by the amiable face of Miss World 1994. Soon after, she entered Bollywood and made millions of fans through films such as Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas and Jodhaa Akbar.

Films seemed like a natural choice for Aishwarya at that time. She was just 21 when she won the Miss World title. She was already one of the top models in Asia and she had a face that gave brands a much needed confidence in the product market.

It’s interesting that she decided to debut in films with Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar. It was a film that put the spotlight on her acting skills right in the beginning of her career. She proved her fans right as she featured in films such as Taal, Chokher Bali and Guzaarish. Rarely do we see top Bollywood actors tilting so much towards relatively less commercial films.

She never hesitated in accepting the challenge. Her dance in Dola re dola (Devdas) was more like a statement that she could shake a leg with one of the best dancers in Bollywood.

She has many other firsts as well. For instance, becoming the first Indian actress to be a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival, or being the first Indian actress to get her wax statue at Madame Tussaud's. She was also the first ever Indian celeb to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s show.

Her accolades don't end there. Not only she is the youngest actress to receive Padma Shri, she is also among those rare ones being honoured with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2012.

Her contributions don't limit to awards and films. She sowed the seeds of #MeToo much before the hashtag was coined. On a public platform, she vocally talked about her abusive relationship with Salman Khan.

Salman refuted the claims though.

In 2011, she took a firm stand by refusing to be the face of a skin-lightening cosmetic citing that she doesn't want to promote something that lures women to be 'fair'. In the following year, she was appointed as the international goodwill ambassador for UNAIDS that helps women and children by spreading awareness about the retroviral infection.

From fighting social stigma to representing India globally, Aishwarya Rai is a woman of substance and definitely more than just another Bollywood superstar.

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