Tinka Bhatia, 32, hospitality consultant
The owner of former fashion store, Attic has never been the kind to follow style rules. And she’s actively avoided the tent-like clothes designed for large women. “I don’t restrict myself to trends either. I love wearing short stuff because I like how my legs look or a low-neck to highlight my décolletage,” she says.
Kritika Gill, 27, make-up artist
Gill, who recently worked on her first film, Happy Bhaag Jayegi, with Diana Penty has experimented with Spanx, overstepped style conventions and over time realised that she doesn’t want to hide behind unshapely jersey dresses. “My mom used to buy me clothes that covered my butt, but I never understood why I had to hide it. I like the way it looks — it’s well rounded,” she says.
Srishti Kumar, 26, stylist and fashion consultant
Kumar has been a part of the fashion industry since she was 16, first as a designer and now as a stylist and fashion consultant. And that in part has actually helped her find her own confidence, like when she rocks a pair of faux leather shorts or a crop top. She says, “I don’t dress for shock value, but I enjoy dressing in clothes that aren’t conventionally meant for my body type. I love my body and I won’t change it to fit what’s available in stores.”
Shikha Talsania, 30 actor
Since her first film Wake Up Sid, Talsania has made sure she doesn’t allow her body to become a peg for stereotyping. Despite the pressure “to look a certain way” as an actor, she confesses that acting has actually amped up her confidence. “When I started acting, my vanity blossomed and I understood my body better. I am what I am and I’m fine with it,” says the theatre and film actor, who you’ll soon see in the film Kaash.
Gia Kashyap, 25 fashion and lifestyle blogger
In the five years that she has been blogging, Kashyap has never identified as a plus-size blogger even as she received a good share of hate for her weight. She says, “I recently posted a picture of a pizza and a girl commented, ‘You should go to the gym’. Now I’m immune to such comments. It doesn’t make me feel ugly, in fact it’s pushed me to a stage where I appreciate myself more.”
Zahra Khan, 34, digital entrepreneur
Just the term ‘body-conscious’ is enough to make the most secure woman cringe. But the former fashion and lifestyle editor, who recently launched her own fashion website The Hauterfly, couldn’t care less. She says, “I’m just blissfully unaware. Even growing up, we never discussed it at home.” Though she isn’t sure if there is a polite way of saying fat — or if we even need one. She says, “Why aren’t we defined by what we do? You won’t define a business magnate like Mukesh Ambani as short and fat. I don’t see curvy men having a movement.”
Photographs: Sushant Chhabria; Styling: Nidhi Jacob; Art direction: Reshma Rajiwdekar; Make-up and Hair: Mitesh Rajani; Assistant: Vaani Kapoor (Styling)