Having been addressed as golu, moti, and haathi my entire life, it's been challenging to reach a point where I'm comfortable enough not to let people bother me. People still pass negative remarks about my weight, but what they say doesn't define my worth; my body is a particular structure.
It was difficult for me initially; people judged me for being fat without knowing why I must have put on the weight. Without even realising how much damage they were actually doing, they just speculated, "Oh, you're lazy, your eating habits are terrible and much more!" They disregarded me for having a specific body type, which made me depressed.
Our society hardly prioritises mental health because what matters most to them is one's 'physique.'When every person passes nasty remarks and gives useless suggestions, including your family members, it becomes very human to start feeling that way. The same happened to me. Those words were eating me from within.
Until one day, I decided to fight back! I overcame these by only keeping positive people, family, and friends around me; if I felt someone was toxic for me, I eliminated them, family included, because
no one has the right to make me feel inferior or worthless.It gave me space to grow and learn to be confident.
My confidence soared when I auditioned for the All Fashion Show at Lakme Fashion Week. I could see a new glamour in me. Honestly, I loved being in front of the camera after that.
It changed my life and helped me embrace my natural self.It motivated me to explore my boundaries as an individual, so I collaborated with a photographer and did shoots that made me feel beautiful and empowered. I came across talented, good people who were supportive and pushed me to become stronger. The people I worked with were always as excited as me to try something new.
I never decided to be an influencer; I never knew there was a community of plus-size influencers until I came across someone who said that I reminded them of an international model and sent me a picture, and that's when I was like, 'Woah!' What is this? There are famous women who are confident and advocate for this community. It gave me the zeal to start my influencer journey. I started slow because, initially, I wasn't sure how people would react, but the response I got was overwhelming. People told me I inspired them, and they started loving themselves. It made me proud. I am happy to be a part of someone's journey towards self-love, and I love that I can inspire anyone. Such moments are the pinnacle of my work and show me the power of self-love.
Confidence, which I lacked for many years, has become my greatest strength and accomplishment in the last few years. I have been part of fashion shows and featured in articles by the Times of India, the Deccan Chronicle, Femina, the very prominent Vogue, and many others. Fulfilling one of my dreams to address people in TED talks was extremely rewarding. My recent interview with BBC News multiplied my faith in myself. It reminded me of my capabilities and the strength of my convictions.
Today, I am an entrepreneur, an activist, an influencer, a model, and a professional Bharatanatyam dancer. It would be an honour to be on the cover of Vogue, represent myself at international fashion week as a model or designer, and grow as a brand. I know I'll grab all opportunities to make myself heard in a community that is still growing slowly.
If we all had to look the same way, God would have had a different outlook on the world he created.
We're called individuals for a reason.If we were all supposed to look the same, we would have been inanimate objects manufactured by a company to look similar.
Remember, your worth is your individuality; you are beautiful because you are! The best and longest relationship you will ever have is with yourself, so always love yourself to grow into a confident person.