Head over to Padma Lakshmi's Instagram feed, and on any given day you'll find a call to social action, a gorgeous-looking recipe, or photos of Padma's adorable daughter (who's also a student council leader, thank you very much!). From time to time, the Bravo's Top Chef judge will also post photos that document her workouts — and she recently shared one such sweaty snap, along with some general thoughts on the social media phenomenon that we call #fitspo.
In a November 3 Instagram post, Padma shared a photo of herself looking radiant and buff in black workout gear (click here to see the ab-tastic photo). With her hair in a loose braid and a dewy flush on her cheeks, the glowing foodie looked fresh from a butt-kicking workout. But in her comments under the post, Padma let on that there was more to the story.
When one fan commented, "I did boot camp today ! And wish my abs looked that good .. 2 kids and saggy skin is what I am left with," Padma was quick to offer words of encouragement. "I totally get it," she wrote. "I am sucking it in so hard in this pic! No matter how much i work out and eat right if i am relaxed I have a wrinkly tummy from my pregnancy. I’m lucky it’s not so bad but I definitely am not the same after [having my daughter.] But it’s nothing compared to the joy of her existing!"
Another fan's question provoked Padma to share her thoughts on posting fitness-related photos in general. Here's what the fan wrote: "You said recently you were going from a flat butt to a rounder one. I'm unsure why you wouldn't show that off some time?"
In Padma's measured response, she acknowledged the responsibility of being a person in the public eye, and how her photos could affect her followers.
"I have [shared photos like that] from time to rare time," Padma wrote. "But I guess I just don’t want to get flack from haters. I work out because it makes me feel good. And I like to eat but am vain. So I work hard to stay fit and strong and healthy. It also gives me more energy to keep up with my daughter. But I know that a lot of it is my height and genetics and I don’t for a minute want other women to feel like they need to conform to a particular body standard that may not be the right one for them. I struggle with how to balance it."
The Lookbook is Bravo’s celebration of personal style. We keep you up to date on the inspiring looks from trend-setting stylistas, test and report on the most-coveted fashion and beauty products, and offer solutions to all your style-related conundrums. Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.