"They poked fun at me for not getting waxed..."
Janhvi Kapoor has opened up about growing up in today’s paparazzi culture as a star kid.
Janhvi said in an interview with NewsLaundry that paparazzi has always been a part of her life and since childhood, people with or without consent, took pictures of her and her sister Khushi.
However, things got worse, when Janhvi was a teenager, as she found morphed photos of herself on “inappropriate, almost pornographic pages”.
Janhvi, who is the daughter of producer Boney Kapoor and late actor Sridevi, told NewsLaundry that there has been an “influx of fake images, more so with today’s advanced AI”.
She said: “People see these manipulated images and assume they’re real. That deeply concerns me.”
Janhvi, who made her acting debut in 2018 with the romantic drama Dhadak, also opened up about how her formative years coincided with the digital boom and how her transition from child to teen to adult was dissected on the internet.
She recalled she was only 10 when she saw the negative effect of her internet presence.
As a student of Class 4, she said she had entered her school’s computer lab one day to find paparazzi images of her on Yahoo’s homepage, flashing across the computer screens of her classmates.
She told NewsLaundry she looked “very uncomfortable” and not “groomed” in the photos, even as the headlines announced she was “being launched” in the film industry.
It didn’t make her “popular”, instead, it “alienated” her from her peers in school, she said.
Moreover, her teachers “changed” towards her.
Janhvi said: “I don’t think they understood it so they started disliking me.
“I didn’t understand what was happening. My friends looked at me differently, they poked fun at me for not getting waxed…
“Many insinuated that I don’t have to work as I was famous anyway, weird taunts that I wouldn’t understand.
“Everyone kept asking me when I was leaving school and why I was on Yahoo.
“There was a lot of judgement, a lot of questioning of one’s self-worth from a very young age.”
Janhvi Kapoor made her acting debut with the Shashank Khaitan-directed Dhadak, co-starring Ishaan Khatter, which was the Hindi remake of the 2016 Marathi film Sairat.
In 2020, Janhvi starred in Zoya Akhtar’s segment in the Netflix horror anthology film Ghost Stories.
She then essayed the titular role in the biopic Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.
Some of her other films include Good Luck Jerry (2022) and Bawaal (2023).