They have not only kept us hooked to our seats with their beauty and power-packed performances, but also influenced our sense of fashion and makeup. Anisha Suvarna takes a look at Bollywood beauties who have made our hearts skip a beat.
Through the years, heroines of the Indian film industry have been defining icons of beauty and glamour. Whether it was Begum Para, Suraiya, Meenakumari, Nargis or Madhubala, back in the 1930s–’60s, or the queens of style like Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi and their ilk since the 1970s, we have used their style and beauty sense to create our own understanding of beauty. Which of these beauties given below inspired you the most?
Madhuri Dixit Nene
The Ek Do Teen girl entered the industry in the late ’80s though she kept charming her way into the hearts of most men through the ’90s. While she dazzled men with her perfect smile, she made mere mortal teens and adults rush into parlours to replicate her step-cut and soft-perm curls that she wore in most movies.
The Nepali actress made a place for herself in the heart of Indian viewers during the ’90s with her innocent looks and timeless, classic beauty. If one were to speak Dil Se, it was that little but prominent dark mole on her upper-lip that changed it for us. Many a woman used to dabble in a little darkness, often above their lips, to replicate the charm she oozed, every time she smiled.
This mast-mast girl blew our minds with her confidence and bold dance moves. The actor who is known to wear her heart on her sleeve was one of the most popular actors who walked in with oodles of style during an era that was still finding its footing with respect to that. Bold lip colours and thick curly hair, often tied up in a high ponytail, her beauty trademark looks may even have contributed to the box-office hits she gave.
Long before full eyebrows began trending on the Paris Fashion week runways, Karishma—the first Kapoor woman to act in movies—made bushy brows and thick, curly hair a style to, well, reckon with. But her most-talk-about feature still remains the fair complexion and light blue eyes she inherited from her granddad.
Born from yet another gene-pool of talent, Kajol gave a whole new definition to the concept of beauty and, well, perfect eyebrows. Our own Frida Kahlo, she was the one whose uni-brow did not stop her from becoming the heartthrob for men and leaving behind life goals for us women. In an era full of many traditional beauties filling up hoardings, this dusky beauty with her bubbly charm walked into all our hearts and even made the uni-brows a trend to stay for a long time.
Sonali Bendre Behl
The saundarya sabun girl, Sonali could well be considered the definition of a blushing Indian bride. The quintessential beauty’s coy looks and smile and shyness gave many men many sleepless nights. Her soft-textured, jet black hair and willowy figure was much envied in the ’90s.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Often considered one of the most beautiful women on earth, the light-eyed former Miss World Aishwarya, with heavenly looks, gave many beauty icons a run for their money. In fact, her beautiful blue-green eyes soon replaced the definition of beauty in the movie industry. It may have come as no surprise to most when she became one of the first Indian women to be immortalized in wax at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
She was first seen in an ad for a popular soap frolicking under a waterfall, and her dimples found their mark in all our hearts. But she brought more than just her dimpled smile and effervescent energy on the screen. Preity toppled the standards of Bollywood beauty, where heroines had to be seductive. She set the bar on cuteness, and played with it like no one else. Remember her in Dil Chahta Hai? That look may just have forced beauty pundits to change their beauty rule-book guidelines.
Kareena Kapoor Khan
The second Kapoor daughter with fair skin and hazel eyes, has left men and women both mesmerized with her beauty. Once her baby fat on her cheeks melted, her chiselled, high cheek bones and kohl-rimmed eyes became her signature looks. Also, it was Kareena who brought into Bollywood the size-zero trend in her movie Tashan opposite Akshay Kumar and now hubby Saif Ali Khan.
Bipasha Basu Singh Grover
She had made quite a splash on the Indian ramp walks. But the Bengali bombshell, better known now for her seductive roles in horror films, was given the tag of a sex symbol as soon as she entered the industry. Bipasha’s was the perfect combination of bold looks and toned body.
She is the Barbie doll of Bollywood. She debuted in Boom, which tanked, but by the time she came back with Namaste London, every girl had started to secretly crave for her flawless skin and soft eyes. Her minimal make-up and natural looks caught on like fire.
Vidya Balan playing Silk Smitha in The Dirty Picture may have been the boldest role any Indian. But Vidya played it to perfection and all of us went Ooh la la! The super-talented and super-curvaceous Vidya is one actor who has often spoken up about fat-shaming and objectifying women. With someone who embraces her curves as she does, it was only a matter of time that the idea of size-zero stopped driving our collective guilt.
The long-legged lass charmed her way into Bollywood with a wave of her hand in her first film, Om Shanti Om. And her classic Indian looks won a million hearts. It is hard not to get drunk on Deepika’s dimpled-smile and almond shaped eyes. Alright! Stop staring now, time to move on.
We think Alia Bhatt simply took over Priety Zinta’s crown, for cuteness might as well be Alia’s pseudonym. A lot older now than her 18 years when she first stepped into the industry, Alia is making waves for her minimal make-up looks and her dimpled smile. While men sigh every time her lips break into that dimpled-adorable smile, women around the country are taking fashion lessons from every click of hers.