There's a reason why Padma Lakshmi refuses to hide scars. If you've ever watched Top Chef then you've most likely noticed a large scar on her right arm. The 47-year-old host doesn't try to hide it during filming. And honestly, why should she? Instead, she views the changes to her body from a serious car crash as a teenager, a freak cooking accident, and endometriosis as reminders to how precious life is.
"My body is almost a map of my life, for good and bad," she explained to Self in 2016. But, she hasn't always felt that way — there was a time when she felt the need to conceal them. "When I was young, I tended to be more self-conscious about my stretch marks from growing, or the scar on my arm from my car accident."
When she was 14-years-old, a tractor-trailer rear-ended her car while she was driving on the freeway with her parents. The impact caused them to fall 40 feet from the road. She said that while those memories are painful, they serve a purpose.
"It's what sets me apart and makes me, me, and even if someone could wave a magic wand I really don't think I would choose to eliminate my scar," she continued. "I think the ordeal that I went through physically, both with my car accident and with endometriosis, made me a stronger woman. It has made me a more confident advocate, not only for myself but for other women who don't have the means to speak up for themselves."
Her healthy and optimistic outlook continues to inspire her fans. "I totally agree. Our scars don’t define us; we define our scars! Bless You Parma for being so real! It’s refreshing!!" one fan tweeted. Another added, "Yours have made you a beautiful person inside and out. I'm glad you don't hide your scars."
We couldn't agree more. Plus, if she didn't embrace her body, she wouldn't be such an amazing chef. "I appreciate that it allows to be active and strong. I'm a cook. I'm a food writer. And cooking is manual labor. And I like having my hands deep in it. I like having my hands deep in it," she added. "I like having the physical capability to do what I do without asking somebody who's stronger to do it for me."