“We might be in the 2020s but there are still certain topics where people’s perceptions haven’t changed much.
I’ve seen it pan outright from childhood where thin was considered ‘fit’ and fat, ‘ugly’. Starting there, that judgement penetrated into my school grounds where students and even teachers revolved my whole identity around how much I weighed. And all this slowly but surely took a major jab at my personality. From a vivacious kid, I became one who started going on an all-bread diet at just seven! Everything, right from opportunities, to internal traits like confidence went for a toss and this feeling subsequently invaded other areas like my studies too! The peak of it was when I flunked my math examination in my boards. It felt like the world had ended, with everyone avoiding me. Even relatives told my parents to marry me off since I didn’t fit the basic tag of being a girl with neither beauty nor brains.
But you know what they say about life- ‘when one hits rock-bottom, the only way is up!’ So I decided then to take charge of life and churn myself into a version I’d eventually be proud of. And I took the first step by learning to groom. It was a very small but one that profoundly carved my base in newer avenues, including modelling and anchoring. Next, another significant step in my journey was when I participated in the Lakme Plus size modelling competition. Having heard the word ‘plus size’ for the first time then, the platform was where I saw beauty truly being celebrated in all shapes and forms. What was even better was hearing that it was my individual style and expression that appealed to the judges. It proved to be the biggest boost to my morale and peddled me forward in the right direction with multiple iconic photoshoots thereon as South India’s first plus-size model!
Today, all these have indeed helped me redefine my journey with a positive outlook on life. Nevertheless, with perceptions playing a big part in our world, people suddenly feel I’m too successful with zero hassles now. But the truth is that I still have to live with my realities- both financial and familial! While I might be the model grazing prestigious magazine covers on one end, I’m also the loving granddaughter who has to change her granddad’s diapers from time to time! And I have no qualms in admitting to it. In fact, I’m happy I know my stance and that I’ll give my all in the areas I set my mind to!”