Padma Lakshmi may appear to be an ageless wonder, but in reality, the Top Chef host turned 48 on Saturday, September 1, and she celebrated by posting a new Instagram photo showing off a body that she says makes her feel better now than 20 years ago, according to a story by the Daily Mail.
In the Instagram post, Lakshmi reflected on the insecurities that confront women in the entertainment industry, while posting the photo of herself posing with her body fully exposed to the camera, save for a skimpy, pink bikini, as she stood on the deck of what appears to be a luxury yacht, staring pensively off into the deep, blue sea.
While becoming a well-known figure in film and TV, as well as in the publishing world as the author of the memoir, Love, Loss and What We Ate, in 2016, as well as her award-wining cookbook, Easy Exotic, in 1999, Lakshmi was instilled with insecurities about herself that she appears to have finally overcome. In her memoir, she detailed a childhood of bullying over her ethnic heritage at a Los Angeles high school that she says, caused her to feel “brown girl’s self-loathing,” according to a profile in the New York Times.
But if she still feels that “self-loathing,” it is not evident in her latest photo.
“It takes time to develop as a person. Sometimes in the entertainment industry I don’t think we give women that chance,” she wrote in her post. “Men become distinguished and women become ‘old news.’ In truth, I feel better about my body now, even after breastfeeding, gravity, etc. than I did in my 20’s. I’m not riddled with insecurity as I was.”
She feels secure enough, apparently, to indulge in birthday cake — or at least photos of birthday cake. Posting to her Twitter account just two days before her 48th birthday, she invited fans to submit their most creative cakes.
“I’m doing a bake-off for my birthday this Saturday 9/1!” she wrote. “Bake a cake, tag me in it and I’ll give $5,000 to a charity of the winner’s choice.”
She can certainly afford the $5,000 donation. According to Celebrity Net Worth, which catalogs estimates of celebrity wealth, the native of Chennai, India, has a personal fortune worth $30 million from her multiple careers, which have included modeling as well as acting, writing, and hosting Top Chef — for which she receives a fee of $50,000 per episode, according to the site.