Padma Lakshmi proudly shows off her scar in new 'Top Chef' ad

Elise Solé
Padma Lakshmi isn’t hiding her so-called imperfections. (Photo: BravoTV/Instagram)

Padma Lakshmi is proud of the 7-inch scar on her arm — and the Top Chef star is revealing it in a new promo for Season 15.

The photo, posted to Instagram Friday, shows Lakshmi posing alongside co-host Tom Colicchio. The 47-year-old is wearing a bright red dress and no jewelry, with the scar on her right arm prominently visible.

Lakshmi has insightful perspective on her scar, the result of a car crash in Malibu, Calif., that shattered her arm and paused her budding modeling career at age 14. “When I first got the scar, I was self-conscious about it,” Lakshmi wrote in a 2001 essay for Vogue. “I perfected a casual pose that hid it under my left hand and thumb when my arms were crossed. But I also knew my scar was a symbol of my survival.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaNDl6zAtXe/?taken-by=bravotv

She wrote, “In my career as an actress, the scar is no longer an issue. I cover it up when necessary, but I prefer not to, especially in my private life. I love my scar. It is so much a part of me. I’m not sure I would remove it even if a doctor could wave a magic wand and delete it from my arm. The scar has singled me out and made me who I am.”

She continued: “The scar does make me special. I’ve started seeing my body as a map of my life. I can tell a story about every imprint life has made on my skin: the mosquito bites on my back from when I slept under the Sardinian sun the summer I first fell in love, the scrapes on my leg from the rocks in the Cuban sea during the filming of my first movie.”

Lakshmi first became comfortable revealing her scar when she was discovered by a modeling agent during her senior year in college. Soon after, when photographer Helmut Lang booked Lakshmi for a partially nude shoot, in part because of her scar — and confidence — her career took off.

The mother-of-one also told Self in 2016: “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.”

Still, save for red carpet photos, many of which depict Lakshmi baring her scar in sleeveless clothing, it’s refreshing to see it in an image that’s presumably professionally airbrushed in every other way.

Photo: Bravo TV
Photo: Bravo TV
Photo: Bravo TV

“I love it because it makes me a person who has an interesting past, and it reminds me that I can survive any pain,” Lakshmi told Allure in 2009. Wise words to live by.

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