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Padma Lakshmi Says She’s at Her ‘Sexual Peak’ at 53: ‘I Feel Great About That’ (Exclusive)

Padma Lakshmi is embracing aging — and the insight that comes with it.

“Look, I’m at my sexual peak,” Lakshmi, 53, exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, May 29, at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York City while promoting her Bare Necessities collaboration. “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.”

Lakshmi noted that there was a time in her life where she “really lived in fear.” She added, “I come from a very conservative South Indian family. I was terrified that my grandfather was going to see those Helmut Newton pictures. But I am free of all that. I just didn’t meet their expectations at all.”

As Lakshmi has gotten older, she’s become more “feisty” and “untied with [her] tongue” — which she finds “such pleasure” in. The former Top Chef host pointed to her 2016 memoir, Love, Loss and What We Ate, where she “just said everything.”

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“I just said it all so that I took the power away,” she said. “Nobody could say anything about me that I hadn’t said about myself.”

While noting it’s “so liberating” not to care, Lakshmi said that’s how she wants people to feel in her lingerie line with Bare Necessities. “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.”

Padma Lakshmi Says Shes at Her Sexual Peak at 53 I Feel Great About That
Padma Lakshmi Courtesy of Bare Necessities

She continued: “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, like falling in love, doing the projects they want to, being with their kids, dancing till midnight.”

Lakshmi, who has a 14-year-old daughter Krishna, said she weighs about 35 pounds more than she did at age 23, but she feels “so much sexier.” She added, “I love it. I wouldn’t go back to that body.”

Padma Lakshmi Brings Krishna to Red Carpet Event

Related: Padma Lakshmi’s Sweetest Moments With Daughter Krishna Through the Years

While Lakshmi noted many people think of aging as a negative, she doesn’t see it that way. “I love saying I’m 53,” she said. “And people are like, ‘Oh, you don’t look like you’re 53.’ And I’m like, ‘No. This is also what 53 looks like.’”

Padma Lakshmi Says Shes at Her Sexual Peak at 53 I Feel Great About That
Padma Lakshmi Courtesy of Bare Necessities

Until a few years ago, Lakshmi was a 34C bra size — but now she’s a 36DD and “wasn’t prepared for it.”

“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 said. “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.”

She continued: “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.”

With reporting by Travis Cronin

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