Sunny Leone, the bold and amazing actress, is often known for her past career as an adult entertainment star. But while most of India remains hypocritical about adult entertainment (ok for men, but not for women) Sunny fought the sexists and the ignorant to flourish in Bollywood too, inspiring women across generations on the way.
Sunny has often been blamed, ridiculously one might add, for tarnishing Indian culture with her links to one of the largest and richest industries in the world. But she dared to be unconventional and followed her dreams.
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She is one of the few Indian celebrities who proudly wore her identity on her sleeve. In fact, all the criticism she received has made her a strong and successful woman, and that is why she was named as BBC's one of the most "influential and inspirational women of 2016".
And now she is setting an example for women in India. Several young women, who dare to follow their dreams, look up to her as an inspiration.
"I do think she is a very strong woman. She is not let down by her past and she gladly accepts it. She is standing her ground thought she faces so much hate interviews/emails and comments every day. She is not let down by anything and does not let anything offend her. I feel many people cannot do this and that is so inspiring!" Anisha Anirudhan, a software professional and Sunny fan.
"For various reasons, Sunny Leone has been an inspiration to me and am sure to women across the globe and varied walks of life. For one she has always conducted herself with dignity, grace and poise whenever faced with tricky questions about her past profession and has never shied away from it," Shreya Iyer, from Ahmedabad, said.
"She is truly an inspiration as a strong and determined woman. She is an enterprising young woman who has now carved her name in Bollywood. She walks with grace and confidence and we look up to her and believe in 'Being confident and proud of what you do'," Sneha Chordia, from Chennai, said.
And like she said: "It's your right as a woman to follow your dreams and it's your responsibility to make them come true."
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So kudos to her for making her way into millions of hearts and inspiring several women to never give up.