“I have a butt at 47 years old that I’ve never had [before], because of Pilates,” Lakshmi told Health in its October issue. “It literally changed the structure of my body.” We’re pretty thrilled for her and her bottom, because not every woman has such a raging love affair — and unfortunately, neither does every Instagram commenter. Recently, Lakshmi received a less-than-pleasant response to her (gorgeous) body — specifically, to a casual vacation picture she shared with fans.
“I posted this picture this morning of me making pizza with the kids [while I was wearing a bikini], and somebody was like, ‘Why are you doing this half naked? It’s really inappropriate for you to be in a bikini while you’re teaching children!'” Lakshmi told Health. “And I was like, ‘We are in a beach house. We had just come in from the ocean, so what? Children don’t have the weird, dirty mind that you do!”
In other words? Fuck off, creepers.
Lakshmi — mother to daughter Krishna Thea, 7 — is modeling big-time body confidence for her little girl. She said size isn’t an issue for her anymore; health is what keeps her motivated.
“[I feel sexiest] right after a bath, or right after a workout, then a bath. That’s why I work out more. It used to be about being a certain size and fitting into clothes, but now with Top Chef, I have clothes in every size in my closet, from a 4 to a 14,” she said. “Rather than kill yourself to get into the lower size, you look skinnier in the bigger size. No one’s looking at your labels.“
Lakshmi’s embraced her stronger, curvier body, and she’s not afraid to show it on her Instagram feed, either. Of course, her body confidence doesn’t shield her from online trolls completely, but she shrugs off the haters and shamers. “I try to ignore them,” she said. I’m pretty lucky. I don’t get a lot of haters.”
She’s also less rigid than she used to be about her diet. “It’s a more relaxed version now, because I don’t care as much [as before]. I don’t need to be a size 2,” she told Health.
We love Lakshmi’s commitment to relaxed, natural beauty — and empathize with her hatred of photo manipulation. She talked to ET last April about her feelings on the subject. “It happened to me actually and I was really angry about it. I like the color of my skin. It’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable with who I am and I think when you’re a brown person living in a white world, it’s especially sensitive,” Lakshmi said. “I also ask people not to retouch my scar, because I thought it was important for other young women to see that it’s not all perfect.”
Amen. Lakshmi recently captioned a shot of herself wearing a black bikini, “Thick happy.” Though to be fair, Padma, we’re pretty sure you don’t meet the definition of “thick.” “Happy,” though — we won’t argue with that.
Lakshmi is clearly very close to her daughter, often sharing pics of them out and about together. She recently shared a photo on Instagram of them rocking seriously cool shades with the hashtag “#twinningandwinning.”