Sameera Reddy embraced her role as an influencer years after her innings as an actor were done. Mother of two, she now encourages body positivity and mental health through social media. As she rings in her 43rd birthday today, Sameera speaks about how social media has set her free. And yes, she spills the beans about her plans for a comeback too.
On your birthday, how do you see your last few years as an influencer?
My audience tells me that I motivate them, but what they don’t understand is that they have set me free. I actually have the freedom to be myself. Social media has been my healing. It has redefined what I always wanted to be. I don’t see social media as a pressure or something that I have to conform to. And I love that. There’s nothing to hide. There’s no fear. And that’s what’s amazing.
What really worked for most is the fact that it was almost like we were reporting to each other every Friday. Everybody was accountable, including me. And I’m extremely honest about it. So what happens is that many people look at a weight loss program and they feel very intimidated. They feel they can’t keep up. But the truth is, I can barely keep up myself. There is a reality of falling off the track, then getting back on. It is therapeutic to talk about it.
What kind of responses did you get for your posts on body positivity?
It was about the part of your body that you feel the most. For me, it was about sketch marks which I have had on my arm for years. I remember in my industry days, I covered them up with heavy makeup. I’ve had them since I was a teen. In this post, I just straight out lifted my hand, and showed the stretch mark right to the camera, and I cannot explain how liberating that was.
And there was a mix of emotions because I could see so many people just saying that I don’t like this part of my body, but I want to be okay about it.
And then some people were like, ‘Why are you showing this part of you? You’re like breaking this image in our brain?’ That’s the whole point, right? Is to break that image in the brain is to say it’s okay to have imperfections. I mean, I’ll be very honest. Like, for years, I wish I could have spoken like this, but I don’t think people were ready for it.
What is the best thing about aging this gracefully?
Aging is this word, which is almost looked at like, ‘oh, my God, it’s the worst thing in the world’. But, the truth is that it’s very liberating and it’s very powerful because the more I age, I feel stronger. I’m very clear in my mind about what I want and more importantly, what I don’t want. There are things that we’re trying to cover up every day with 100 products. We constantly worry about what everybody says or wake up feeling very low. For me, it’s really about being happy inside.
Your Messy Mama and Sassy Saasu combo is such a hit.
She’s so much fun. One thing which is we are sure about is we are breaking the norms. We are trying to show a very positive spin, which is important for me.
What is the best response you ever got about your posts with her?
I never want people to believe that anything in my life is perfect because it’s not. Whether it’s about my marriage, whether it’s about my body, whether it’s about my mother-in-law or my children. It’s a very worked-on relationship. We have worked hard to come to this point. We’ve had to communicate. We’ve had to come into each other’s space, irritate each other, love each other, accept each other, and then come here. That has made this combination work. It’s a healthy relationship of give and take.
What are your future plans? When can be seen you back on screens?
I don’t think I would dare to do it as of now. I have a lot of offers but I have to be true to myself about how much I want to be with my children right now. I am very particular about the age group of zero to six, and I believe it’s the formative years, and if I can be there for my kids and invest in them emotionally, I’ll be happy to do that.
The offers are exciting and tempting and I have said no to a lot of projects but I have no regrets about it.
What is ‘the’ advice that you want to give to your audience?
It took me to get to my 40s to really let go a lot of things and enjoy my life. I wasted my 20s and 30s worrying about other people. I really did. I was worried about my body, my image. I was worried about money, about success. I was always trying to be something continuously because I felt as though I was on this train. I’m still very driven. I’m still very ambitious. But my priorities are my health, my happiness and just absolutely being true to myself. And that is the best advice I can give people. I’m not saying don’t chase something, but do it in a healthy way.