Lakme fashion Week held its first ever plus size model auditions. They’ve sent across a strong message that beauty is beyond size and that it is confidence that matters.
Whenever I come across the term ‘model’, the image that comes to my mind is that of a tall, skinny woman with a frame unattainable to the common woman. Having said that, Mumbai witnessed aspirants from all over India at the auditions of the winter-festive edition of the Lakme Fashion Week which will be held from 24th to 28th August in Mumbai.
There were no age, sex or height barriers for the auditions. The only barrier was size – a minimum of 34 inch waist size for women, and 40 inch waist size for men.
“Embrace who you are and what you are. Confidence is all that matters to carve your identity and niche,” said actress Divya Khosla Kumar, one of the judges at the audition. “Designer clothing should come in all sizes, why just for a certain body type? Why must plus size women not be categorized as models. Happiest girls are the prettiest” she added.
Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Head of Fashion, IMG Reliance Ltd. believes that the show will eventually take a life of its own, “where plus-sized models walk the ramp as part of the common model pool.”
33-year-old Amber Qureshi was one of the winners at the audition. She has previously done an ad campaign for Talwalkars, a chain of health clubs.
“Unfortunately, most assignments for plus-sized models perpetuate that tone —that we are clumsy, unfit, caricatures. So, I avoid such offers… I don’t want to give the impression that I am someone you can laugh at,” said Qureshi who is working on her own clothes label for plus-sized women. “I am not here to be TunTun or Bharti, no disrespect to them.”
Similar thoughts were shared by Anjali Anand, the brand ambassador for ALL – The Plus Size Store.
“The other day, someone called and told me I had been picked for an ad I hadn’t auditioned for. It turned out to be an ad where Sania Mirza would give me a pill to lose weight. And they were stunned that I refused; I mean why would I do that? I am six feet tall, I have broader shoulders than anyone I know, and love the way I look.”
The idolization of an unrealistic body image along with body shaming has become a part of our culture. Many Indian movies and Indian television unapologetically and insensitively ridicule fat people. As a society, we love to see women married and with kids. But when the same woman inevitably puts on weight after pregnancy, she is made to feel unattractive and pressurized to lose weight magically.
Single women, or women who are not mothers, yet on the heavier side are not spared either. They are expected to be answerable for being heavy and their weight is cruelly attributed to poor lifestyle choices and laziness!
Why should anybody provide justifications for the way they look?
This fashion show is a great initiative in building a healthy body image and most importantly spreading the message that an individual is more than his/her size and need not change to be accepted.
Image Source: Youtube