In an inspiring TEDx Talk, Nargis Fakhri reflected on the struggles she faced in her journey and the lessons she learnt along the way. “The reason I chose to model so many years ago was that I wanted to travel the world. And I knew that models were able to move to different countries, and live and work in those countries. It wasn’t so much about the modelling initially, it was about wanting to see the world,” she started out saying.
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She then opened up about the initial struggles she faced as she was seen as an ‘exotic’ girl. “When I started off, it was mainly the American white girl with blonde hair that was trending at the time. So, it was difficult to find an agency and very difficult to get picked up for campaigns. But I kept trying, and I just put in a lot of the work. Then at one point, ‘exotic’ girls finally became the trend,” she said.
“I lost more weight, I dressed a certain way. It came to a point where I realised the agency wasn’t doing anything for me. So I said okay — I love to travel, so I’m just going to pick a place I want to see and go by myself, stay there and go to the agencies in that country. And I did it. I went to UK, Greece, Turkey, Singapore, and Thailand — and when people met me in person, they loved me. So my pictures didn’t resonate but it was my personality that they fell in love with. It felt really good because I did it my way,” Nargis added.
Next, the actor revealed the amazing twist that happened to her – she ended up in India and started working in Bollywood. She said that her father was a Pakistani and her mother was from the Czech Republic. She didn’t know her father, so for her, going to India wasn’t about fame or money but about connecting with her heritage. “When Rockstar came out, I shot to fame and I was broke. So, I stayed in India. After some time of working really hard, all the time, it became lonely and repetitive. I didn’t have family there and it’s hard to make friends when you’re older and in this industry. So I started questioning many things about my life,” she said.
She talked about how she suffered from adrenal fatigue following which she decided to take a step back and take care of herself and be with the people that she loves. “We, as human beings, need to look in the mirror and learn to love our imperfections. You don’t want to be like everyone else. You are unique,” she concluded.