Home INTERVIEW Neha Parulkar

Neha Parulkar

by Muskan kapoor

‘Plus-size models reflecting Plus-size woman’

This is the kind of representation that is the need of the hour. A single-size model, be it a size 6, 12, or 18 cannot represent the entire scale chart. We need to be more definitive rather than general in our approach towards different size models. A plus-size model wearing plus-size clothing is the need of the hour. A single model cannot define or cannot be the primary model for all sizes. So, I stand by the fact that a plus-size model should reflect a plus-size woman.


I never had any motivation or inspiration factor when I was growing up. There were no social media and no power of the internet when I was struggling with body image and confidence issues. When I was growing up, I was unaware that there were plus-size models. It was always told to me that models are supposed to be thin, petite, and tall girls. I realized the influence of plus-size models very late in life. When I was growing up, the glamour industry was hardly open to plus-size modeling. 

I was always fascinated by modeling, but it was a dream. When plus-size modeling was introduced in India, I was one of the lucky ones to have begun my journey. Since then, I have walked the ramp 4 to 5 times, and I have been doing great, representing brands, and representing the plus-size community.

 Overcoming difficulties and challenges

Being fat is still considered taboo in 2021. Plus-size people face challenges in their lives because of societal expectations of how to look. The typical & stereotypical beauty standards are still given added importance. I have been bullied, fat-shamed, body-shamed all my life. I face it even today by random people on social media who don’t even know me. 

There was a time when I was at my lowest because I was struggling with my insecurities. However, when I hit a breaking point in my mid-20s, I realized that I will have to walk on the path of self-love. If I won’t step up for myself, no one else would. People are always there to criticize and put you down. You have to protect yourself and carve out space. This is not a one-day journey. Gradually, challenges stop or you stop being bothered by them. It’s like taking baby steps, one day at a time. Every day I used to remind myself that I love myself, I don’t care about what other people think and it’s high time that I start living my life the way I want to, and slowly that confidence started building.

Now, I am extremely comfortable in my skin. However, it took a lot of time, patience, and determination to land here. The essence is to pick yourself each time you fall.

 Impact of Plus-size influencer or blogger in today’s time

Looking at the impact the plus-size models and influencers are having on society today, I wish I had that when I was young. At that time, we didn’t have plus-size blogging or plus-size influencing. If it was present in my time things would have been very different. I would have been more confident, self-assured, or not insecure throughout my life but that didn’t happen. 

Due to body-shaming, every second person today is dealing with body image issues. We live in a world where we are criticized for our body type. So, to have body-image influencers is a step in the right direction. This is something that we need in the world. We need people who spread such types of positivity and love. And people are receiving that sort of positivity and love, and that is helping them grow in life.  

Emotional pressure of Plus-size women in Indian society

Honestly, I see this in two ways. one, that is still dominant is the one where people are not aware of body positivity. There is a large population that has no idea about plus-size influencers. Our parent’s generation has nothing to do with body positivity, plus-size influencing, or plus-size modeling. They are still rigid and bear an old mindset of beauty standards. Emotional abuse in terms of body size is faced by thousands of women on a daily basis. 

Then there is this other part of our society, which has now become aware of plus-size women. Most of them have accepted that beauty comes in all sizes and they’re okay with the way you are. What truly matters is to be happy and satisfied with what you’ve. 

Everybody is allowed to feel or be the way they are so they are two sides of the coin and right now we are in a generation where we are seeing both these sides of the coin.

 Society mindset about Plus-size women

I think the societal mindset about plus-size women is changing for good. There is still a lot of doubt, backlash, and stigma around plus-size women, about body positivity, but that will change over time. Changing something that we have been taught since childhood, takes time. It is changing gradually with more awareness, more education, and the world coming closer as more people are exposed to it. But there are still people who are rooted in their old ideologies and mindsets.

 At the same time, I have seen that even our older generation is changing the way they look at people, in terms of size, shape, and color. We still haven’t reached the stage where it’s all equal. But I still feel that we are getting there today. I know for a fact that if 10 people are standing and if I pass by them not all of them will comment on my looks. With time the ratio has become 70-30. 70% is that category who will keep mum on how a person looks or speaks. They might be having a difficult time accepting it, but they’re exposed to the concept. The rest 30% fall in the category of fat-shaming or negativity dwellers.

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