Padma Lakshmi Says She’s Reached Her ‘Sexual Peak’ at 53

Padma Lakshmi Says She’s Reached Her ‘Sexual Peak’ at 53 featured image
Getty Images / Olivia Wong

Padma Lakshmi isn’t holding back. In a new interview with Us Weekly, the 53-year-old model candidly discussed her sex life, cultural norms, personal freedom, and body confidence—topics that her new collaboration with the lingerie and swimwear brand Bare Necessities has inspired her to reflect on. Below, we break down key points from the conversation.

On Her Sex Life…

“Look, I’m at my sexual peak,” Lakshmi boldly told the outlet. “Let’s just say what it is. I am. And I feel great about that. I don’t care what anybody thinks. I don’t care what my mother thinks, unless she’s very supportive.”

That’s, in part, due to the fact that she feels “so much sexier” than she did in her 20s, when she was 35 pounds lighter. “I wouldn’t go back to that body,” she told Us. The former Top Chef host echoed a similar sentiment in an interview with People. “I feel more confident today than I did when I actually looked perkier, tighter, smaller, in my twenties,” she said. “So, I wouldn’t change that for the world.”

On Finding Personal Freedom…

“I come from a very conservative South Indian family,” she continued. “I was terrified that my grandfather was going to see those Helmut Newton pictures. [The renowned photographer helped catapult Lakshmi to fashion industry fame after photographing her with what’s become her trademark scar from a car accident when she was 14.] But I am free of all that. I just didn’t meet their expectations at all.”

Getty Images / Craig Barritt

On Confidence…

Lakshmi hopes her 19-piece Bare Necessities line helps empower its wearers like it has for her. “I want them to feel happy and confident and comfortable,” she said. “No matter how beautiful you look, if you’re not comfortable, you won’t look beautiful.”

“I want people to reach for these things, wear it, feel good, and then go on and do the things that are really important in life,” she continued, “like falling in love, doing the projects they want to, being with their kids, dancing till midnight.”

On Body Changes…

The model revealed that her bra size has changed recently. She now wears a 36DD, having previously worn a size 34C. While this shift posed its own challenges, it also influenced the creation of her upcoming line, which features bras she’s actually eager to wear.

“I have beautiful dresses that are hanging in my closet that will not button, that I just have to wait for my daughter to fit into now and it breaks my heart,” she shared. “But when I was looking for bras that fit the new me, it was really hard to find something that did what I needed it to, but also didn’t look matronly. I would see these bras, I’m like, ‘I don’t want to wear that.’ That’s not who I am.”

“Our culture really has a way of telling women that there’s this narrow window and this narrow size or narrow appearance that you have to look to feel attractive, and that is complete bulls–t,” she added. The silver lining? She’s defying these norms with her Bare Necessities collaboration, which you can shop as of Thursday, June 6.

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