Chitrangada Singh talks about the fine art of balancing work, life, and motherhood

The actor talks about understated elegance and collaborating with home-grown clothing brand trueBrowns for their festive collection, Maati.

Harper's Bazaar India

How does one carry themselves with such poise, grace, confidence is what one asks when they see or think of Chitrangada Singh. Known for her elegant fashion choices, the actor, who never fails to set a style statement sure knows how to live life on her own terms. 

In an exclusive interview with Bazaar India, she opens up on how her definition of beauty has changed over time, the secret to maintaining a perfect work-life balance, how to battle one's insecurities and more. 

Nandini Bhalla: How has your personal style evolved over the years? 

Chitrangada Singh: When I was younger, I was still figuring out what does and doesn’t work for my body. And, over time, I realised that I am a minimalist dresser—in fact, I follow the ‘less is more’ approach even when it comes to make-up. I gravitate towards understated elegance.

NB: What do you like about trueBrowns?

CS: The modern Indian woman does not want to look like she’s influenced by the Western style of dressing. I like how the brand caters to that very school of thought—they do not tweak traditional Indian silhouettes to make them seem Western. The cut, prints, and hues represent our culture and are perfect for the modern woman. What I like about trueBrowns is that their clothes are simple, feminine, and elegant—qualities I associate with my personal style as well. Their styles are also versatile, and work for various occasions. I am thrilled to collaborate with the brand.

NB: Has your definition of beauty changed over the years? 

CS: Growing up, I did not consider myself beautiful. But I feel fortunate to be surrounded by people who have always made me feel beautiful. Personally, I didn’t have an opinion on beauty standards, but, 20 years ago, when I began modelling in Delhi, being fair was synonymous to being beautiful. However, each person is unique, and it all depends on how one sees oneself. Also, age has nothing to do with could feel beautiful whether you are 20- or 40-years-old.

NB: What would you like to tell girls who are battling insecurities? 

CS: Nothing will make you more interesting, or make you feel prettier, than the experiences in your life. The stories you share make you unique. I never want to offer beauty advice, because it is subjective for every person. But, when you are truly living life, you won’t be focused on meeting the standards of beauty. 

NB: Who are your favourite icons? 

CS: Princess Diana is my absolute favourite, and I have always admired Rekha ji. Honestly, it is not about the clothes they has more to do with their personality. They wore everything with such confidence that it made a statement.

NB: What do you think is the secret to a great work-life balance? 

CS: There are both good and bad days, and one needs to be prepared for the same, because life is not always perfect. As women, we need to stop feeling guilty about taking time off. Also, don’t shy away from wanting more. If you think you deserve it, you should go after it. Period. And learn to set boundaries. Once you do, your loved ones will come to respect them and also acknowledge the struggles you’ve had to go through in order to maintain the balance. And again, do not feel is one of the worst emotions we put ourselves through.

NB: How has motherhood changed you as a person? 

CS: I have become happier. One of the best things I have done for myself, selfishly, was to have a child. It almost feels like I was rewarded with a bonus. My son gives me so much joy. Bringing a child up is hard—it takes time, effort, and patience. It has changed my perspective towards so many things. I look at my career and money differently. I have learnt to appreciate the finer things in life. I feel grateful and at peace, and having a child has made me more compassionate.