The Cannes Film Festival always provides its fair share of glamour and style and, usually, controversy. The 65th edition was no different. Prior to the event, there was much speculation about what Bollywood diva Aishwarya Rai Bachchan would wear to the red carpet event, given the furore surrounding her post-pregnancy weight gain and the criticism of her inability (as it turns out, she really didn't want to) lose the weight.
In fact, there were even rumours Aishwarya Rai may not even attend the event – so distraught was she with the criticism. Then, when she did confirm her appearance (the eleventh consecutive, by the way), all the criticism started again.
However, the former Miss World turned the tables on her critics by appearing in a particularly fashionable traditional Indian outfit – designed by Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla – which not only flattered her figure but re-affirmed, in the eyes of many, her status as one of the most beautiful women in the world. On her first day at Cannes, the new mother wore the Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla creation, before switching to Western wear – an Elie Saab dress for the second.
Since her successful appearance, the actress has finally opened up about the controversy, in an interview to Indian television channel NDTV.
"Whenever there is the wave of opinions, and I've always said this, it's the truth--I'm sure you will endorse it since you know the facts as well--the haters are a drop in the ocean. There's that much more love, you know? So any kind of negativity in any case... it just doesn't stick, it just drops off, and it doesn't matter at all. There's so much love, people see the real picture, there's so much love for this blessed experience. They've given me so much love throughout my career, throughout my life in the public eye, and at every phase. Like marriage, I used to joke with you, I kept saying, 'I was married for I think the next two years after I was married,' everywhere I was still being congratulated, I felt like a new bride," Aishwarya Rai explained.
The actress also admitted she was delighted with the support she had received from her fans.
"And the same goes true for when I was pregnant, wherever I went. And now, the amount of love Abhishek and I and the family and Aaradhya have received, it's blessed to be in this place, and I can only take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone for all their love and good wishes and blessings. That's the real thing. The rest of it is opinions, and they vary and it doesn't matter. This is reality, this is who I am. I am a mother, and this [weight gain criticism] can happen and it happened with me, and that's fine! And that's life! I've never been the one who endorsed size-0 anyways. You guys speculated I was pregnant way before I was so many times! So it just goes to show that I have lived the real life in the public eye, and that continues. There are a lot of people out there that recognize that, see that, and share that energy with me, and that's what matters: reality," she stressed.