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Sonali Bendre: I’ve a More Loving Relationship with My Body Now for What It Has Gone Through

Sonali Bendre says it was only when her oncologist informed her that she had fourth-stage cancer and a 30% chance of survival that her whole world-view changed.


Updated:March 6, 2019, 1:06 PM IST
Sonali Bendre: I’ve a More Loving Relationship with My Body Now for What It Has Gone Through
Image: Instagram/Sonali Bendre

It wasn’t easy for Sonali Bendre to shave off her hair once she started undergoing treatment for cancer in New York.

“It was only when my oncologist said that I had fourth-stage cancer and a 30% chance that my whole world view changed,” she told Vogue, revealing how she found out so much more about herself and her body while battling the fatal disease.

Describing her love for her hair, she said, “I’ve probably endorsed every haircare brand there is in India at some point in my life. In fact, my first movie came after shooting the Parachute hair oil commercial.”

On going bald, she said, “I’m okay with it now… I don’t even miss it. Yet it [my hair] was the be-all, end-all of my life. It was this stupid thing that I was hanging on to. My instinct was to wear a cap, a scarf or a wig—but these things are so ugly. I knew that if I had to accept it [going bald], I had to put a picture out there. Because once you share it on social media, you can feel the release.”

Sharing how she actually went about shaving off her luscious locks, she said, “It was that very typical meltdown-in-a-shower scene. There was nothing new about it—it was exactly how you see it in books and movies, where the protagonist takes a razor and shaves it off.

“I wanted to write a new story, but it was the same old scene. My idea was to go for a haircut with my girlfriends, open a bottle of champagne and toast to the one glass I was allowed to have before I shaved my head! So that scene remains.”

Bendre admits that her fight against cancer has had her unlearn a whole lot and recalibrate how she thinks about things. Saying that she has become more accepting of imperfections now, she added, “I have a more loving relationship with my body for what it has gone through. I started thanking it for what it was doing… how it was healing itself and taking me forward. I’m more comfortable with my body now and I don’t want to unnecessarily stress it or have unrealistic goals. I’m okay with some saggy, loose bits here, some cellulite there.”

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