Shikha Shah (TIMES LIFE; June 25, 2017)

You are getting fitter by the day. What keeps you motivated?
I am just trying to become the best version of myself. My training is a mix of cardio, weight training, pilates and yoga. My food posts and workout videos are making so many people reach out to me and share their stories and fitness journeys. When you know what you are doing is inspiring others, it encourages you all the more.

Now that you are in better shape, do you think differently?
I believe in staying fit, not obsessing about being 'fat' or 'skinny'. Strength, fitness and good health are what I continue to emphasize on. I find the chase towards a size-zero body as the root cause of ill health among so many young women today. I've always maintained that someone's weight is not the yardstick of his or her self-worth and I will continue to do so!

How has your style evolved in the last few years, since you joined the industry?
I'm more educated about it now. Initially, it was all about comfort, but now I enjoy experimenting with different cuts, colours, fits and styles. I think I am gaining more confidence in my ability to carry different kinds of ensembles with elan. Earlier, I was definitely more inhibited.

There are people who still expect women to look and behave in a certain way. What would you tell them?
Yawn! That's my answer to them. It's 2017 guys!

Do you think women are an easy target for slut-shaming in our society?
We always want to find a reason to bring a woman down ­ either her choices at the work front, and if that doesn't work, her morals, values or skirt length. We need to condemn slut shaming at the root. It's sad that women have to be twice as good as men to be able to be successful. However, I am sure we will see many more women working in sectors dominated by men.

You are quite active on Twitter. How far does Twitter impact your life?
Initially, the comments would play on my mind because people can be really insensitive over social media. But now, it doesn't really bother me. I've learnt to take everything with a pinch of salt, and as a lesson.

Are stars losing their sheen because of social media?
Well, I think you can't shy away from it anymore. Social media doesn't arm-twist you to say something or express your opinion. You choose what you say and post. A lot of yesteryear stars shun social media as they don't understand it; it's a classic generational gap. I respect their choice, but social media is how people communicate their ideas and thoughts today. In a way, I feel it allows fans and users to get to know you better. It humanises stardom, making actors more relatable.

What's your idea of romance? Has it changed in our time of instant hookups and break-ups?
I'm a complete sucker for old-school romance. So, it's really disheartening to come across 'express relationships'. Unfortunately, we don't work hard enough to hold on to what we love, and seek love and comfort in the next best thing around us.