She was first introduced to cinema lovers 18 years ago, way back in 1993 in the Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol starrer Baazigar. She did her best to play the sister who was brutally thrown off the terrace by her lover. She went on to get nominated for her performance but missed it by a few points. Shilpa Shetty has come a long way since then. Many awards adorn her mantle, including those for her performances in the HIV-positive fighter in the sensitive Phir Milenge, and the neglected housewife who falls for an artist in the realistic Life In A Metro.
Success, however, hasn’t come easy to the sultry siren. She has fought hard and earned it in the truest possible manner. Consider the Celebrity Big Brother racial discrimination controversy in the UK. The debate was woven around comments made by contestant Jade Goody, model Danielle Lloyd and singer Jo O’Meara, towards our dear Shilpa. The strong person that she is, she stuck it out, trying hard not to retaliate, but also putting her point forward in an affirmative manner. No wonder the airing of these comments on television resulted in national and international media coverage. It also compelled both countries’ governments to respond to the situation. The tightest slap, however, on the faces of those who were against her, came with her winning the reality television show.
Shipa’s always been termed as a beauty but has kept her balance – “The credit has to be given to our parents. The kind of upbringing we’ve had, keeps us very rooted despite all the success. The support system in my family makes sure that I’m not flying too high,” says the actress who won the ‘Diva of the Year’ award in 2005. Not one to miss an opportunity, she invested close to six million pounds in the British restaurant chain, V8 Gourmet, that runs popular outlets like Bombay Bicycle Club, Vama and Tiffinbites. She was the director of the group until late 2010 when she stepped down. Cut to buying a stake in the IPL team Rajasthan Royals, she says, “It was a strategic business investment. I always supported the underdogs as I myself am one. Rajasthan Royals were the underdogs in the IPL before they succeeded (in winning the title).” Does that have anything to do with her dancing in the promotional music video of the team? “Well, I was averse to dancing in the Rajasthan Royals music video, but then they said what is the point of having Shilpa Shetty if we can’t use her!” she jests. Fifty movies, a great career, national and international recognition, a cricket team and a happy marriage. You’d think that’d be enough for a person, right?
Well, not for Shilpa. Always one to believe in a healthy way of living, and being fit (man does it show!) she went right ahead and plunged in the business of feeling good and looking good, by launching a chain of spas. So now, you can go to the sexy siren’s spa to get a body like hers – all kinds of services are offered, from inch loss to salons & spa treatments. Well, it’s not entirely new to her, she has done a yoga DVD, that saw such tremendous success that it was made into a coffeetable book. “I just think the reason the DVD did well, the reason I took up the project, is because Yoga is the single most scientific and holistic way of keeping fit,” she says. Her own mantra for keeping fit and in such good shape is that she keeps a balanced diet throughout the week and satisfies her cravings on Sunday, whether it’s biryani, gulab jamun or kulfi.
Cut to her new role, of being an entrepreneur and launching Iosis, a medispa. “I have always endorsed everything that is healthy! My reason for opening Iosis medispa is that I don’t just want to target the outside, but the inside as well, which is the distinguishing factor of our spa compared to other spas. I think when you go to a spa and get a massage, it works on your inside much more than the outside, and when you are peaceful from within, you automatically look beautiful. The true definition of a medi-spa is one which is run under the supervision of doctors, dermatologists, nutritionists and spa therapists who can give you Reiki therapies. Iosis is an amalgamation of it all. Persoanlly, I think it’s a lifestyle alteration, and it is a joint vision that my partner Kiran Bawa and I share to bring about awareness of wellness in our country.” Shilpa is super-excited about the newly introduced inch-loss programme at Iosis. “All ladies want to look good, and they have a special requirement to look good on any occasion, be it a festival or a wedding. The biggest problem we, as women, face is weight, so we have a wonderful inch-loss programme in which you use a wrap that helps you lose in inches,” she says in excitement. She adds that it’s about contouring the body with a bandage over a clay wrap. The properties of the clay remove all the toxins from your body along with the retained water and have no side effects. That said, she believes that the inch-loss treatment is not exclusively for the ladies; men too can take advantage of the procedure, she adds, joking that she might get her husband to go for it as well. (With women being more picky now, keep that in mind before your next date guys!)
The question is, does it really work? “When I discovered it on one of my trips abroad, I was pleasantly surprised to see that even Hollywood actors use this treatment, may be before they walk the red carpet or go on a beach holiday…basically when you want fast results. And yes, it does work! I think it is a matter of pride for me that Iosis is the first medispa to start this treatment.” In fact, she goes on to give examples of a client who lost 16 to 21 inches in one day, just after one session. It is so surprising, that we just keep staring at her… is that even possible? She explains that the loss is not only at one spot on the body, but all over, including the waist, thighs, shoulders and arms. “I think it’s fantastic! No other treatment can give you that!”
And what about the side effects? “It has taken us long to research about the procedure and its effects. And I can safely say that there are no side effects of any of the treatments that we offer at the spa,” she says, unwilling to disclose the name of the foreign place where she brought down the inch-loss programme from. She clarifies time and again that it is not a weight-loss programme at all. Your weight will stay constant during and after the procedure, but you will lose inches to fit into that little black number that you have been saving for Saturday night.
Her parting shot leaves one with some food for thought. “Not just as a spa owner, but also as a client, I would definitely go for something like this if I ever put on weight.”
Her track record would scream that it’s not possible. Shilpa Shetty cannot put on weight! We do, however, believe in her maxim that, “It is sometimes important to look good for others, but it is more important to look good for yourself.” Hope we can achieve that!
I have always endorsed everything that is healthy! My reason for opening Iosis Medispa is that I don’t just want to target the outside, but the inside as well
Volume 1 Issue 3