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Empowering Plus Interview

by Gopika Shinghal

RUCHIKA

The idea that fashion is for a fixed size inspired me to become an advocate for plus-size. I do not yet have the influence to target society. But my blog will gradually bring a change in society. I feel that even if one plus-sized woman is inspired by my choices and upgrades their fashion style, my job is done.

RUCHIKA

 

One thing that I love about the fashion industry is that it is ever-evolving. I also like its creativity and how it can blur the rigid boundaries of sex, color, caste, and size.

BLACKLISTING!

Thankfully, backlashes and hate comments that I receive are limited. These meaningless comments are usually focused on physical appearance. But I have been plus-sized since the age of 12 and have been ridiculed throughout my life. If I can handle negativity in the real world, then these comments on social media hardly bother me. The other tactic is that I have a list of blocked words for comments and a list of people who have been permanently blocked.

The Messy Size Fashion

It is a brilliant idea. I have always supported that fashion is for all body types, and I am thrilled that you are making it come true with your magazine, with creative ideas and editorial shoots.

KUCH TO LOG KAHENGE!!

People in India were receptive to the messy size and trend of the industry in the past. I used to rely on my tailor for any fashion decisions, but now I can easily shop online in India. However, we still have a long way to go because this needs to be normalized, which is a long process and yes, some people are always opposed, but it is a given that there are ‘log kya kahenge’ individuals.

Avneet Kaur

I am AVNEET the crown holder. There are many many plus size people who get ignored and just because they are plus size. I wanted to break that stereotype and prove to the world that true beauty lies within.

 

Me taking a step in this industry is an attempt to put an end to body-shaming and to make the world understand that plus size people are just as much a part of society as everyone else. I am beginning to see a lot of body positivity in people around me and people in general, which is the first step of mine in the right direction.

This industry has shown me that there are multiple ambassadors of body positivity and I don’t mean the celebrities, but the people in the world. There are many and they are looking for ways to spread that word to the masses to bring about a necessary change.

HATEfOR FAME

Hate comments and backlashes are common. People post hate comments to get their 15 minutes of fame. The best thing to do in this situation is ignore it and not let it impact you. Addressing people’s desperate attempts at getting noticed only validates them, giving them the courage to do it again.

PLAN B  I am a mother and a wife, my Plan B would still have been to make sure that my daughter understands that no one has the right to saying anything about someone’s body. Each person is their own individual personality or shape of body  and we should respect that. I still want to do is get fashion designs specifically for plus sized people making sure they get the same love as everyone else.

Vanita Bhatia

Divalicious is a fashion & lifestyle exhibition with a global presence. We are a platform for established & emerging brands to showcase and sell their products to a larger audience around the world. My venture is the only exhibition to have a strong presence both in India & internationally. The brands listed on the platform have got access to a global audience.

Challenges! 

I was the first in my industry to create a concept of exhibitions in Dubai.

The exhibitors were nervous about traveling outside India and uncertain if they would generate sales. In about a year, this picked up & I decided to take the brand global. We were successful in launching ourselves in most cities, and the ones that did not work out were a great learning experience.

Covid has also proven to be an extreme challenge for this industry. Just like others in the field, I have faced limitations to grow & sustain during this period. However, I used this time to be with my family and especially dedicated hours to my daughters. I also utilized this time to enhance my personality and academic knowledge. Now that things are getting back to normal, I am striving to achieve an equal balance between my work and family.

DREAMS COME TRUE

I believe that the ‘sky is the limit’ to measure success. Divalicious is my success story. From a vision to making it happen, I have loved every struggle & look forward to more challenges to soar higher. I am known to be determined. As a teenager, I took some impulsive decisions & over the years I have learned to deal with stress with patience and maturity.

FASHION IS FOR ALL

Fashion is for everyone. A petite person could carry off the same outfit as a plus-size person. Sometimes the plus-size can carry it off better if accessorized well with make-up. Eventually, confidence and your personality make you stand out. I believe that people in India are accepting messy size fashion and other similar trends going on in the industry.

Ankita Kochhar

I am a formally trained fashion designer so, the inspiration to blog came from within. Also, my passion for styling ignited it further.

My page talks about comfort wear and is primarily about different looks one can carry throughout the day. I am striving hard to bring the real and relatable versions of ours (bloggers). I feel influencers should give time to the audience to adopt and adapt, so I post few times.  Also, I feel we should show the real version more often than the reel version.

I love how colorful and ever-evolving the fashion industry is! I am liking the way we have begun normalizing color and identifying and respecting body type which plays a vital role while dressing and accessorizing. Backlashes, trolls, and memes do affect me sometimes but the love I receive is way more and helps me overcome it within seconds. Sometimes these things even act as a source of entertainment for me and my family.

I always planned for a backup. I learned the lesson of having a Plan B early in my life. The beauty of my life is that presently my plan A and plan B are active. I am working at Design Circle and manage International Portfolios besides many other things.

Messy size fashion

Believe me, this discrimination should not exist.  Everyone should be accepted irrespective of their shape and size. However, the bitter reality is that from early childhood, we are taught about certain body sizes as the perfect size.  If you are healthy, you have the perfect body. Measurements can never define perfection.  We all should accept what we are blessed with because everyone is beautiful in one’s way!

Size doesn’t matter

I am super happy and proud to see so many designers having models and influencers of different body sizes. Be it a plus size or size zero, they all look fabulous in their way.

At present, my favorite designer is Rahul Mishra. I strongly believe that if you are determined enough then, ‘ Nothing is impossible!’.

SOUMYA JAIN

My mother always thought that I should showcase my life journey on social media as it can inspire people. Hence, I started creating dance and acting videos during the lockdown on my social media channels. My main aim and purpose are to bring a change in how society thinks.

CHALLENGES IN MY LIFE

I have suffered from Hemangioma as a child. It is a rare and deadly condition. My biggest challenge was to beat it so that I can get another chance at life to pursue my dreams. After numerous struggles and self-belief, I won a new life and a new face in 2011. It was possible only after a couple of advanced and complicated surgeries.

After graduation, I applied for a job in more than 200 organizations. I was rejected by all these companies. Once, an employer gave feedback which shook me. He said that only a girl with a beautiful appearance can get a job at his firm. I was shocked as I realized the bitter truth that our society prioritizes beauty over talent, skills, education, and qualifications.

FROM TIKTOK TO YOUTUBE

During the first Covid lockdown in March 2020, I uploaded some dance videos on TikTok. I got a large number of views and likes within a short period. As TikTok got banned, I had to begin from ground zero. However, I soon had a presence on YouTube, Instagram, and Moj.

The quality of content matters the most to the audience. People loved my videos on other platforms as well. I was encouraged to innovate and create videos in a variety of genres. At present, I have over 250 K followers on YouTube. I even receive innumerable dm’s and comments from people who are motivated by my videos.

WHY JUDGE 

Just like every other content creator, I too receive hate comments. Most comments are related to my facial features. But I feel that these are those who have issues with God’s creation. God has created me in a certain way, and I love myself. I chose to ignore these comments. My goal is to spread positivity through my content.

MESSY SIZE FASHION – AN INSPIRATION

Thankfully, messy size fashion has given confidence to healthy girls to try out the latest fashion trends. People are now positively accepting plus-size fashion choices.

There are many positive examples of celebrities like Bharti Singh and Anjali Anand who are endorsing plus-size brands. Bharti is healthy, and she wears the most stylish and designer clothes. Even social media has positive role models like Instagram influencer SayaliValame. She wears amazing plus-sized outfits, and people love her confidence and dressing sense.

ANU SINGH BAGAL

I am the founder of LE AMANAH. It is a platform under the management of A.B Consulting. It recognizes brands and industry experts who have made substantial contributions to the development of our society. It is the extra mile to recognize the efforts of deserving individuals, groups, and organizations. LE AMANAH will be hosting the upcoming Achievers Awards 2021, which aims to appreciate those who have contributed a lot to the local community.

MESSAGE FOR MOMS

Moms are great, wonderful, and strong. They can achieve a lot of things by being goal-oriented and driven. They can achieve a lot of things by being goal-oriented and driven. It is undoubtedly a long process but if you keep treading the path & keep doing what you love, you will eventually get there. Just be loyal to your work, be honest to people around you, love yourself, and keep up the grind. This advice is for all the women out there, trying to make it on their own. If you love and like what you do, then go for it, as long as you love your work. We all have our paths to walk on. However, with determination, focus, hard work, loyalty, honesty, and humbleness, you will gradually get to a place of success.

The best thing for me about being a mother is being able to provide my kids with the best facilities as they are growing up. They are my inspiration. I also believe that if I achieve success, they will be motivated to learn from me and do much better when they grow up. Being a mother is not an easy task. There are some rough days, but it is the most fulfilling job in the world. I believe that I am doing well bring them up. I suggest all moms out there to keep working towards their dreams & aspirations.

CHALLENGES BEING A WOMEN

I faced a few hurdles in launching my business. The biggest challenge was being a woman entrepreneur in a male-dominated society. When I began my journey, there was discrimination. However, I woke up each day with a positive attitude and kept focused, determined, and driven. Every day I ensure that my heart & soul goes into my work. I have chosen to focus on my capabilities & ignore remarks and thoughts about myself & my work. If anything, it encourages me to deliver credible work and accomplishment.

The journey for LEAMANAH is going great. We have held a successful event in promoting and unveiling our brand, a ceremony to unveil our icons and sponsors. So far, we have received positive feedbacks and blessings from different companies and industry experts.

ADVICE TO YOUNG WOMEN

Do not be afraid to walk on your chosen path. There may be humps and bumps that you will encounter but keep going because you will manage to get over it. This process will make you a better & a stronger person. Just believe in your abilities and take chances.

Chetana Chauhan

MODELLING IS NOT ABOUT BODY SHAPE

Modelling was never on my mind. I worked in a corporate organization where a Punjabi production house identified me and offered me a small role in there YouTube series. That was just the beginning as I realized how much better I can do in the glamour industry. Thus, began my journey.

By being a plus-size fashion influencer, I have inspired many women who are unconfident about themselves. Many women face the pressure of losing weight to achieve beauty standards but are otherwise healthy. I think I have influenced them to love themselves no matter what.

HATERS WILL HATE

I like the creative aspect of the industry and feel that there is a place for talent to get recognized and grow. However, just as a coin has two sides, social media has two sides- one is positive, and the other is negative. I cannot expect positivity every time. I do face negative but the only thing that I have learned is, if there are 10 people, out of which 8 like you and 2 hate you, better concentrate on those 8 people and ignore the rest.Modeling is the most important part of my life. I cannot think of any plan B at the moment.

PREFERENCES of Chetna Chauhan

Book advised by Chetna-Tea for two & a piece of cake by Preeti Shenoy

Proud Achievement– Bagging the crown for Maven Ms. Plus Size West India 2019

Drawback of being a plus size Model-Limited clothing options

Stereotype thatshe hates around Plus-Size Models or Modeling-That plus-size models do not workout

Jeesha Chawdhary

I am a Plus Size Model who was asked to give up her dream of being a model because I was on the heavier side. The dream I had as a young girl which was murdered by the society inspired me to go ahead and make the young JEESHA proud and prove it to all those out there battling their insecurities that are developed because of the ill mindset of the society. I always believed in myself but yes I did not have anyone to tell me it’s ok to be this shape so it was difficult in the starting but I am glad I never gave up growing every day as a model. The model has faced body shaming at a very young age and was bullied for her weight. The day I fell in love with myself was the day I realized i was beautiful inside and out.

JOURNEY FROM DESIGNER TO MODEL

As I always wanted to be a model I was inclined to fashion so I took up fashion designing.  I was always daring, experimental and explored fashions which lead me to start designing for myself and my body type, that was mine Baby Step!.. I did shoots of my garments on me meanwhile my other classmates looked out for models who of zero figures. In the beginning it was hard for them to accept me as a model ,But many people who connected with me and appreciated my efforts and work so I decided to go on and on without giving up and always stood up for myself and my dreams. I still have people telling me if I lose little weight I’ll make it big in the industry but what’s wrong with the way I look? I am beautiful, confident and so in love with myself.

MESSY FASHION ACCEPTANCE

Messy Fashion still has a long way to go because slowly I can now see brands coming up and finally designing decent, fashionable garments for Plus Size. It’s really a challenge to find good plus size clothes and brands in the market. But now since things are changing, I am happy that good brands are coming up and catering to all different kinds of body types. people are accepting Messy Size Fashion and trend.Finally we have clothing brands, lingerie brands for Plus Size. The market has finally become aware of real body needs and the body positivity movement has really brought a big change.”

SELF LOVE IS IMPORTANT!!

 I had  faced body shaming at a very young age that crushed my confidence. The biggest challenge was accepting myself for who I am, for loving the body I am in. I did stupid things I starved myself as I was told I am not beautiful because I am not a certain shape or size. It took me years to accept myself, my body and tell myself I am beautiful inside and out. I tries to focus on the positivity and ignoring negative comments and how I can grow, do better in life, stay healthy and keep going on. My plan A is modelling but I have plan B also in case this plan hadn’t worked out, plan B was Fashion Designing. And the best part is, both my plans seem to be working really well. As a model I am proud of myself and keep inspiring others to not give up on their dreams and as a designer I want to cater to all body types so no one feels left out.

Shilpi Uppal

I am a single mom with professional experience in the hospitality industry and 20 years of experience in General administration. I am an independent woman and run my own educational business focusing on rural areas. I firmly believe education has been and is a way out of poverty, especially for minority students.

An Inspiration Message

Ever since I was a teenager, just like every other girl, I have loved the idea of a tiara over my head. I want to share a message with all plus-sized women that whether you achieve that tiara or not, be the best version of yourself each day. Work hard, believe in yourself, and even if people judge you, do not let it affect you. I did not achieve success easy in life. However, I fought for myself and stood strong. I wish that all women, despite their body type achieve success in life.

ARUNA GOUD

Aruna Goud is one such extremely talented lady who expertise in fashion and can make you look your best on any occasion. She belongs to Hyderabad and has her label ALMARA.Aruna Goud is a Businesswoman also.

ARUNA GOUD

Aruna Goud is one such extremely talented lady who expertise in fashion and can make you look your best on any occasion. She belongs to Hyderabad and has her label ALMARA.Aruna Goud is a Businesswoman also.

Aruna Goud is the founder of Indian Glam Fashion Week. Till now, 7 Editions of IGFW were held in different states and countries.

She offers designs that are unique, fashionable, and functional. The Unique selling point of the clothing range of Aruna is that she makes very comfortable outfits and also keeps in people mind the fashion. Artistry and Creativity are kept as two major pillars in the Brand Label.

Aruna is the One and Only Indian Fashion Designer who made her collection showcase at the Cannes film festival 2021.

ALMARA

The Brand Label ALMARA by Aruna Goud can be defined as a Classic Couture Store.

This label is known for its bridal couture showcasing Indian aesthetics with a modern sensibility which is inspired by India’s rich Heritage. She has her Label Store ALMARA Located in Goa and Hyderabad where her designs put the fun in functional fashion.

 Label Store ALMARA by Aruna Goud located in Hyderabad, and Goa, where her designs functionally put the fun factor.

SOMYA DIXIT

 

Being born and brought up in a traditional Brahmin family helped me to become an occultist. I started practicing tarot card reading professionally while I was still in college. I am  proud of myself that what I had achieved since starting of my practice. I had some great insights, Tarot card is a form of cartomancy use of these cards to gain insight of past, present, future conditions of an individual for any problems in a relationship, career and in many problems

CHALLENGES!

There were no challenges as such. I have enjoyed my journey of becoming a tarot reader wholeheartedly. My followers have a belief that I am blessed with the knowledge of tarot.

 Honestly, there was no ‘low’ that existed in my life ever because my family is very supportive when it comes to me. My family and the Almighty blessed me with all that I want. After, 5 years of this magical journey nothing is left unachieved. From being featured in a newspaper to writing articles for media and receiving so many gifts and blessings from my clients, predicting for celebrities made it all extremely special! I feel so blessed.

IT’S ABOUT HOW YOU CARRY

It’s not about oversized people it’s about fashion. Fashion that can be opted in any way and can be carried in any sense… Everyone has an independent choice and can go for anything they want to pursue. However, people in our country are still receptive to ‘Messy Size Fashion’ because they cannot think beyond a certain level. But an individual should have the freedom to wear anything. Gradually they are going to accept this trend. In the end, it is not about being oversized but about the growth of fashion possibilities,

NIVEDITA 

My inspiration has to be my parents honestly, they’ve followed their heart in life, while doing the hard work, and I think that pushes me to be a personal best.

Scarlet by Nivedita is an online bakery with over 1000 clients, innumerable bakes and a Social Media Influencer. It’s a way of showcasing some different cakes and bakes to everyone out there. “I’ve also teamed up with several NGOs around the country to serve those in need. We recently worked with CovidmealsforIndia to provide food for covid affected families, free of cost as well.

INSPIRATION FOR THE VENTURE

It happened out of the blue to be honest. One day I had randomly uploaded one of my cakes on my Instagram and bam! I had so many orders coming in, I’ve had some mishaps too, I won’t deny that, there’s always a learning curve but the response has been mind blowing so far.

Being a young single woman

There’s always the question of whether I’m too inexperienced, some people ask if they can speak to my father or husband instead which is demeaning in its own way. Producers and sponsors have also had issues in backing me up due to my age and sometimes gender. But through it all, my family, my friends and all my Instagram followers have been a source of immense strength and motivation.It’s been such a beautiful journey.The lows, the highs, all of it, even the bad days, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

ACCEPTANCE ON MESSY SIZE FASHION

We are in a time where women thinks they need tobe in a particular size or according to them messy size people are less attractive. Although we are seeing great change on messy size fashion I think people have now started accepting it or we can say the acceptance for the same. The perception is changing which is a beautiful change . This is also making women more empowered and that is what the world needs. 


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