It’s so easy to have fingers pointed at you, to be called names and to have men ogle at you specially in a country like India. And it simply gets worse if you have Porn Star written on your CV. Yes, we are talking about Sunny Leone the famous ex-porn star who decided to step out of the murkier world of sex to start afresh. And she couldn’t do it better than India, the country of her origin.
But the welcome was really a heartwarming one for this former porn star. Names were called openly, nobody wanted to work with her in films or on television and then BIG BOSS happened in 2011. 2012 saw her debut on big screen in Bollywood with JISM 2 that changed the perspective of others towards her. More films followed…
But yet, she had to face criticisms, backlashes and most importantly the audience still looked upto her as a porn star. Was there a way for her to change people’s perception of her?
Well few people who actively follow her career graph knew that she was actively involved in charity work right from her days in America and till date, she is doing her bit for the Indian cancer patients as well as advocating for prevention of animal cruelty. Her charity work and her forgetful films didn’t go unnoticed and people started looking at her with a kinder eye. In fact even Aamir Khan advocated that he is open to working with her in future.
But more changes were to come gradually and subconsciously as was evident when she and her husband Webber donated 1200 kgs of dal and rice to the Kerala Flood victims. To add to it, there has been wide speculation going around that she and her husband also donated Rs.5 crore to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Fund. This news has not been accounted for yet but sources say it is true. How true only time will tell. But it was enough to send the people of Kerala in an overdrive to love her for her kind heart.
This little charity drive was not exactly the reason for the people of Kerala welcoming her with open arms. In fact when she had visited the state last year, she had brought the traffic to a standstill by her sheer presence. The police had to resort to lathi charge to disperse the crowd such was her magnetic impact.
So where did the actual tide turn in her favour? When did the people of India accept her as a woman of substance and not a porn star?
In the year 2011 Sunny Leone married her long time beau Daniel Weber with a typical Indian wedding. Post her marriage, she became the ideal wife, caring, loving and enjoying the bliss of married life. But she was as much a woman of substance even after being married. She carried on with her entertainment life and equally devoting to her husband as well as the little causes she cared for – the animal welfare and the wellbeing of the cancer patients. And then the icing on the cake came in 2016 when she and Daniel officially adopted an orphan Misha and welcomed her in their homes and their lives. It was one happy family that further got bigger when they welcome two boys in their homes born through surrogacy.
Sunny Leone no more was just a Bollywood actress. In fact, people were quick to forget that she was a porn star. Sunny was now being revered as an Indian saint for her good work. She was a typical Indian woman who cared for her family equally.
The transformation wasn’t smooth or the journey easy but Sunny did it and showed it to the world women are no less than men at achieving their dreams.
She was one of those women with a murkier past who made it to BBC’s 100 Most Influential Women’s list in year 2016, a feat no other can ideally boast off.
There has also been been stories of her funding a school in Mumbai that teaches an odd 300 students. Her funds go towards their education as well as their wellbeing.
In her initial journey in Bollywood, Sunny had always stood out with her head held high refusing to bow down to trollers or her haters. And that has along with her social causes and other activities made a huge difference to her image today. Which other actress can boast of such a phenomena?
Well Sunny Leone can and she has every right to do so. So take a bow Ms Sunny Leone. Bollywood needs more super women like you.