CHENNAI : It’s Thursday afternoon and the auditorium of Lady Sivaswami Higher Girls Secondary School is bustling with enthusiastic adolescent girls from the same school dressed in blue and white uniform. They are assembled to attend a campaign — My First Pimple — presented by Himalaya Purifying Neem Face Wash for the third year. The event raised awareness about issues related to pimples including lack of confidence and self-esteem among young girls with regard to physical appearance. The guest speaker for the event was Arjuna and Padma Shri award winner and India’s top-ranked squash player, Dipika Pallikal Karthik.
Excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about your association with the ‘My First Pimple’ initiative?
Skin changes are natural during the teenage years and the process is nothing to feel shy or demotivated about. This phase exposes us to an array of opportunities across various fields that frames out our personality. I urge you to make the most of these years, make friends, retain good memories and most importantly, instil discipline and emerge as a winner. Your competition is with your own self.
Did you have any insecurities as a teenager? How did you overcome them?
As an athlete, I can relate more to skin problems. I was travelling to different countries with different weather conditions most of the year. I had to take extra care despite the busy schedules.
What do you use for skin protection?
During my shoots, I’d read up magazines and surf beauty tips on the Internet often. I use natural remedies with herbal products. I’ve been using Himalayan face pack and face wash for the past seven years. As much as I care about sports, I pay equal attention to how my skin looks.
How did you balance your tournaments and personal care?
Even when my skin breaks out I still have to go on and play the game. There was no question of being shut inside the room because of pimples. Squash gave me a positive outlook on and off the field.
Your responsibility as an influencer?
Whenever somebody inspiring came to school, I would go and sit on the front row to watch them talk. This is irrespective of which field they come from. Likewise, I’m here to share my experience and struggles as a young girl. Kids these days have umpteen options and it’s up to them to take up what I say. Considering many are going for unconventional jobs, girls these days are tougher and take up challenges.
Tell us about the importance of fitness.
Fitness is important for the overall well being. I’ve been actively involved in workouts since age 12. I’ve never been a size zero but I’m happy with the inner self. You don’t have to run seven times a week or hit the gym. Explore the fun options that are available to stay fit, both mentally and physically.