Freida Pinto isn’t ‘beautiful’: ‘I don’t even like to look at myself in the mirror’


Freida Pinto covers the latest issue of The Edit, net-a-porter’s online, in-house magazine. The style of the shoot is “warrior” I think, and it’s okay. Freida tends to agree to some weird editorial concepts, almost like magazines are trying to figure out what kind of crazy stuff they can do to her to make her less beautiful. You can see the full Edit piece here. Some highlights:

Meeting Meryl Streep: “I wanted to tell Meryl how inspired I was by her, but the words weren’t coming out properly. Then she turned and said, ‘Oh, Freida!’ I couldn’t believe she knew who I was. She has this larger-than-life persona, but when you’re talking to her, it’s woman to woman. She’s a grand actress and a grand human being, but in every other sense she’s not grand at all.”

Being unfulfilled: “Even though I was happy that the projects kept coming and getting better, there was a part of me that was not feeling fulfilled.”

Becoming an ambassador for the Because I am a Girl campaign: “You hear that phrase so much. ‘I got raped… because I’m a girl’, ‘I can’t go out at night…because I’m a girl’, when really it should be, ‘Because I’m a girl, I can give birth to the next generation of enlightened males.’”

Chasing the ‘white girl’ roles: “It’s hard because the first thing people see when I go into an audition is that I am 100% Indian, but I don’t remember a time in my life when I did not see myself as a world citizen. When I watch films, I can always imagine myself as the female lead – even if it’s Minnie Mouse.”

Being called “beautiful”: “It’s not necessarily the way I see myself. In fact, I don’t even like to look at myself in the mirror. But I’m aware of the perception and I always say that if it’s because of that one line in Slumdog where Latika is described as “the most beautiful girl in the world”, then I have to do everything that I can to change that perception.”

Aging in the industry: “I’m excited about the kind of roles I might get in my thirties; I’m hoping they’re going to be very different. I’m lucky that I haven’t been overexposed. There were a lot of films I said no to, because I wanted to concentrate on longevity.”

[From The Edit]

The “chasing white girl roles” is apparently a joke she has with her agent about what auditions she goes out for and what meetings she takes. I believe that they’re saying that, as with much of Hollywood, almost every script is written for the female characters to be white, and Freida auditions anyway and sometimes she gets the roles.

Meanwhile, remember that story Dev Patel told about Mario Testino telling him he shouldn’t be with Freida because he’s a goofy-looking guy and Freida is beautiful? Well, Pop Sugar asked Freida about it and this is what she said:

“It is a crazy story. I wasn’t actually there, at that show, but [Patel] did come home and tell me about it. And I go, ‘Did you misunderstand what [Mario] was saying, or did he really [say that]?’ And [Patel's] like, ‘No, that’s what he said.’ [Mario] probably didn’t even mean it that way. I don’t know. I wasn’t there to witness it, but if that’s how someone felt, if they wanted to air it, then they should be allowed to.”

[From PopSugar]

Um… that’s sort of rude? Of course Testino had the “right” to say whatever insulting thing he wanted to say. But why not just say “wow, Testino was rude to my boyfriend at the time.”


Photos courtesy of Chad Pitman/The Edit.

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39 Responses to “Freida Pinto isn’t ‘beautiful’: ‘I don’t even like to look at myself in the mirror’”

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  1. Shambles says:

    I think she’s utterly stunning, but something about the way she comes off in this interview irks me.

    • Christo says:

      Yeah, I agree . And what is it with these magazines most people have never heard of before? I don’t claim to be the most knowledgeable of all print media in the world, but it seems like there is an abundance of one-off magazines with people such as the Kardashians on the cover.

      It is almost as if people go to Kinko’s and print out 1000 copies of their self-made magazine and feed the covers to the entertainment media as a legitimate issue.

      • oneshot says:

        I’m pretty sure The Edit is put out by Net-a-Porter, and I’ve seen celebrities on its covers before. Not exactly your average no-name fashion magazine, really.

  2. Pri says:

    I agree, she seems kind of full of it, non?

    Also, she works for L’Oreal, who sells whitening creams across the globe and tells people to love their skin color.

  3. Frodo lives says:

    Way to stand by your man… well ex man. Just because someone wants to say something nasty, doesn’t mean they need to or have the right to.

    • ya says:

      I think in the last line of that comment, she was referring to Patel having the right to share that story, and his perception of Testino’s comments, publicly. I think she was trying to be diplomatic – implying that Testino didn’t mean what he said, but not wanting to commit to that.

  4. Hotpockets says:

    People always tell my hubby that I am out of his league and too hot for him, even his own boss. He laughs it off, but I know it irritates him. It would upset me if the situation were reversed! I am sure my hubs can relate to Patel. People always feel the need to tell someone when they don’t think they’re an equal in a relationship, whether it’s money, looks, social status or if there is a big age difference. We have been conditioned to be critical of others, but luckily, most of us have a filter. Her response seemed a bit of, but she admits that she isn’t very articulate when it comes to choosing words.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I’m seriously trying to imagine what would motivate someone to say something like that. Even if you’re thinking it, why say it? A guy who works with my husband is really just not attractive, and his wife is very, very pretty. But he’s nice, and funny and smart, and I get what she sees in him. And she’s a better person in my eyes for seeing past the exterior alone. People can be so shallow and stupid sometimes.

      • Franca says:

        A lot of guys mean that as a compliment, because you know, women are like possesions.

        I don’t thnk she necessarily looked past his looks, maybe she likes his looks. Most guys i thought 2ere handsome my friends thoight were almost ugly. Different tastes.

      • ya says:

        @Franca, completely agree…. and ya, a lot of guys make that kind of joke – I’ve heard it often – “What’s a scruffy bloke like you doing with a girl like her” type of thing.

      • Imo says:

        My husband’s friends say things like that to him all the time. It always irritated me but he just laughed and said it made him look better. Fast forward five years later and he doesn’t find it so funny anymore. He is substantially older than me and as we age that becomes more apparent each year. It stresses me out because it is becoming harder to get him to ignore people’s comments. It is the insinuations that enrage me the most – the wink wink nudge nudge BS from other men. It is insulting to both of us. Also there are many times men ask me why I’m with him when he’s not around – not friends of ours but people in social environments. Am I wrong for not telling him about these incidents? It would only hurt him.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        True, Franco, about the possession thing and different tastes. I dated a guy once and I thought he was so cute and my friends thought he was gross.

        Imo, I don’t see any point in telling him something that will just hurt his feelings and not serve any other purpose. I overheard someone saying something really mean about my husband’s team in a regatta, and it made me so mad, but I didn’t tell him because it would just make him feel bad. I don’t like to keep secrets from him, but I didn’t see the point in telling him. Jmo.

      • Imo says:

        TY. You have integrity and compassion so if you made the same decision as I did I don’t feel so bad. Regatta? *swirls martini* Posh!

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Thank you, Imo, that was really sweet. We live in a tiny town so it’s not as posh as it sounds, but clink! Anyway!

    • Beth says:

      I have a friend in a similar boat. She is a tall, curvy, striking blue-eyed brunette, but she is more than just her looks; she is smart, savvy, funny, caring, artistic, passionate and not afraid to stand up for others. Her boyfriend has a very similar personality and they are both in the same field of work: human rights. But because he is skinny, balding, and an inch shorter than her, lots of people need to comment about she how can do better.

      The funny thing about saying people “can do better” is that it always based on really shallow criteria, i.e. a woman is too good looking for her significant other, or a man is very rich and deserves a prettier and/or younger significant other, etc. No one ever thinks to consider that couples can be compatible based on sharing interests, passions, matching emotional intelligences and intellectual capabilities. And besides the mental/emotional stimulation, has anyone ever thought that the hot babe might actually think her unconventional looking boyfriend is hot himself? Or that the successful guy is actually sexually attracted to his spouse with non-trophy wife looks?

      I guess I am expecting too much from humanity, so scratch that.

      • Kara says:

        its one of the reasons i stopped reading ONTD, in every dating post its always “can do better” “should only date hot guys” “upgrade/downgrade” and its solely about the looks. then in other posts the same people cry how unfair society treats people based on their looks…i mean they are not even seeing that someone ugly might be worthy of love of a person that happens to be good looking.

        in some cases women or men who want to be with the person also say it on purpose to make them second guess their relationship. or directly tell the “ugly” person to make them insecure which then will damage the relatiosnhip and make way for the one who started all that… its really disgusting.

  5. Amy says:

    Ouch poor Dev.

    “Then they should be allowed to.”

    Translation: if anyone ever asks you why you are with me because I seem such a step down intellectually I will not stop complaining for weeks. I will fume, pout, and growl. You will need to assure and sooth me constantly. But in this case…well…he is kind of right.

    This seems like one of those things that gives you a hint to who was really difficult in the relationship that made it end even if both couples say it was mutual and peaceful.

    • ya says:

      I think when she was saying “they should be allowed to” she was referring to Patel sharing the story about Testino publicly.

      • Miss M says:

        She is kind of taking Testino side. “He probably didn’t mean that way” . It goes to show she was not a supportive girlfriend, no wonder they broke up.

      • minime says:

        That’s how I read it…everything else would be just rude.

  6. TOK says:

    I think Freida is plenty beautiful, but when the comments come that she really *isn’t* beautiful by Indian/Bollywood standards (and they will), I just want to say, Google the names mentioned if you don’t know who they are. I did that last time, and I was rewarded with photos of stunningly gorgeous people! xo

    • Maya says:

      Yep and Deepika Padukone & Aishwarya Rai tops that stunning list..

      • Maggi says:

        The actresses you mentioned are very ‘commercial’ and ‘generic’ pretty. Freida has more interesting bone structure. Unfortunately Freida does not photograph well and something about the way she wears clothes is always a bit off. This Deepika lady has a more statuesque and elegant figure. Freida has a very average body, especially by Bollywood standards. However, when Freida is on screen she is captivating and absolutely stunning.

  7. Maya says:

    My husband is the most beautiful man on the earth. I don’t care what others think because what matters the most is what I think and I think he is the most beautiful man alive – the end.

    PS: she should have difinitely said that what Mario said was wrong and left it at that or have said that what he thinks doesn’t matter.

  8. HoustonGrl says:

    Um…I dunno. It doesn’t sounds like a mean thing to say, it really just sounds like a joke a dude would say to another dude, like ‘she’s out of your league.’

    • Kara says:

      the way the story read it wasnt playful banter between men, you know with a grin in the face poking him a bit. it was more like Testino was puzzled and could not understand why a person he thinks is good looking would be with a person who he thinks is not good looking. it sounded very dehumanizing.
      it wasnt one of those “you lucky SOB” lines.

  9. oneshot says:

    I can kind of see her point about not seeing herself as beautiful even though she must know she objectively, by most people’s standards, is.

    I have a friend who’s somewhat similar – really, REALLY pretty and is told that a lot, but ‘pretty’ isn’t really something that factors into her view of herself. Also Freida is plenty aware that she’s not considered beautiful by Indian standards (I’ve heard a lot of insults against her skin tone, several with very classist overtones), and that can do a number on whether you see yourself as beautiful or not, even after other people start telling you you are.

  10. Tiffany says:

    I cannot think of one other film besides SM that she has been in. She really does just blend into the carpet.

  11. Jonathan says:

    I work with a stunningly gorgeous woman (almost a dead ringer for Catherine Zeta Jones) whose partner is a balding, overweight man with poor personal hygiene, really bad grooming skills and who wears the most hideous clothes. People say- to his face-”you’re punching way above your weight”. He agrees. But he’s a sweet person, very respectful and kind and I can totally understand what she sees in him.

    I told her that once and she burst into tears. Absolutely nobody had ever said that to her before. Broke my heart. Human qualities make people much more attractive than great physiques or regularly spaced features.

    • Pompasaurus says:

      “Human qualities make people much more attractive than great physiques or regularly spaced features.” I love this!

    • Maggi says:

      I’m sorry. Poor personal hygiene is just gross and very inconsiderate of everybody around, including one’s partner. Hygiene would fall under the umbrella of ‘human qualities’ for me.

  12. Pompasaurus says:

    It’s interesting, because I feel like my husband and I are equal in our looks, and we look good together. But I have had a couple people (men) tell me that I am so much hotter and can do better. And I just think, what the hell? You’re a hetero man, so of course you think I’m the “hotter” one? Just a weird statement. And I agree that what is attractive is not necessary the typical physical attributes. My husband is attractive to me because of his sense of humor, kindness, and intelligence. His looks (which I DO like, don’t get me wrong!) come in last, and are more like a nice bonus to the whole package. People who don’t understand that looks are not the important aspect to a relationship just have no real clue about love. The sexiest thing about my husband is that he can ALWAYS make me laugh, and I will love him forever for that attribute alone.

  13. Eve says:

    This might come off as a bit harsh but I personally don’t find Frieda P. that pretty, now she is an attractive woman but certainly I would not describe her physical appearance if I have to as stunning or beautiful because in my opinion that’s way too much. I think her (like many other male and female celebrities) have benefited from the media hyping her but I live in the Uk where there is a large number of Indians living here and I can tell you she would look completely average and forgettable if you saw her on the street.

    No as I said I really don’t mean to be harsh and good for her for making it in Hollywood and successfully representing her culture and people and other women of colour but I get tired when celebrities are hyped up to the heavens as something special when they are not and people start to believe that.

    • Anony says:

      I think she just doesn’t photograph well. Have you seen slum dog? She looks amazingly gorgeous in it

  14. Sam says:

    Okay, don’t !!! You are right when you think you are not all that!!