Padma Lakshmi Talks About Body Image: "We're So Afraid of Female Sexuality In Its Raw Form"

The Top Chef host and judge gets real about body positivity and double standards.

Padma Lakshmi embraces her beautiful body, flaws and all, at age 47. The Top Chef host and judge, who regularly gains 10 to 15 pounds each season and then loses the weight before beginning the process again, recently posted a picture of herself on Instagram Stories that points out her stretch marks with a loving caption, "Hey stretch." 

"The thing about outing yourself about stuff is that there's nothing anyone can say about you that you're afraid of and it's very liberating as a grown woman to embrace that," she told The Daily Dish (clip above), of her decision to share the stretch marks.

She finds that there's a double standard when it comes to bodies and social media, as well. "I really think that it's kinda bullsh-- that Instagram will put little stars or whatever on your nipples [to censor them] but men can go topless left and right. I find that sexist. We're so afraid of female sexuality in its raw and natural form. We're okay with it being siliconed-out and retouched but an actual woman's real body is, I think, one of the most stunning forms in Mother Nature. So what's the big deal?"

She also said in an essay for The Hollywood Reporter that she is now being more conscious of what she says and does when it comes to her body image in order to be a more positive role model for her 7-year-old daughter.

"She noticed [what I was saying], and suddenly she's told me and others in our circle, 'I don't want to eat because I'm watching my figure,' or, 'I weigh too much,' " she wrote. "Her comments stopped me dead in my tracks. Her words scared me. Language matters. We send signals to our daughters every day. And I am her first touchstone of femininity." -Reporting by Jocelyn Vena

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