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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Padma Lakshmi Reveals the Raw Moment When She Felt More Beautiful Than Ever

At 47 years old, the Top Chef judge feels more confident than she ever has before — and, she's learned to embrace her scar. 

By Jenny Berg
Padma Lakshmi Dishes on Her New Short Hair

Padma Lakshmi is strikingly beautiful, but the Top Chef judge has never had much interest in things that are only skin-deep. Instead, the cookbook author tends to define beauty as a kind of inner strength — and she's the first to say that being "really skinny" or having "makeup on point" are not the things that give her confidence. 

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The 47-year-old MAC collaborator recently sat down with Buzzfeed's As/Is to discuss her new makeup collection and other questions pertaining to beauty. The foodie also shared how aging has made her feel more confident in her own skin.

"In many ways, I feel more beautiful now at 47 than I did, certainly at 25 or 27," she said. "I'm sure my body was better back then because of, well, nature. At this point in my life, of course, I care about what I look like. I go to the gym, I make sure I have a nice outfit on or whatever. But all of that is less important to me than what I stand for and how I affect other people."

The passage of time has also allowed Padma to become more comfortable with the seven-inch scar she's had on her arm since she was 14. When she was modeling in her teenage days, the expert cook learned how to hide the scar using everything from makeup to a particular pose.

"But then at some point, it wasn't actually me," Padma shared. "I was shooting with Helmut Newton, and he actually loved my scar. That was the thing that he thought made me the most special and cool to him. And all of a sudden, those same bookers that were checking my sleeves at fashion shows to make sure that I had long sleeves were now like, make sure she has a short sleeve because we want everyone to know it's her under all that hair and makeup." 

When asked to reveal the moment when she felt the most beautiful in her life, Padma shared a touching anecdote: "In the OR when my child was born, because I was told I couldn't have children because of my endometriosis," she said. "I don't have a right fallopian tube; they took it away. I don't have part of my left ovary; they took it out. So the fact that I even have a child is miraculous. And when I heard the little cry ... that was when I felt more beautiful, more than any time when I've been really skinny or have my makeup on point. Because I realized that life is really not about me or what I look like." 

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