#ELLEVoices: Sakshi Sindwani On How She Is #ImaginingTheWorldToBe
For ELLE India’s 24th Anniversary Issue, we decided to feature select women (and some men) who have stood out as strong role models in their fields. We were keen on knowing their thoughts on how they perceive the future to be, how they see their individual industries evolving, how they intend to meet the challenges and what their hope for the world is.
For India’s first plus-size model who walked in a bathing suit at a fashion week, and launched her own clothing line, 2019 was a year of highs. Sakshi Sindwani opens up to us about how she tackled the starkly-different 2020, and her hopes about the future.
ELLE: How has the pandemic impacted you? How has your introspection been, and what are some of your self-revelations and discoveries?
Sakshi Sindwani: It was a cultural reset! We realised life has changed; so have our priorities. I think there is a lot of power in togetherness, even when we are not physically together. Nobody was stepping out, nobody was having a gala time…nobody could! The struggle was faced by everyone; there was some sort of relief in knowing that you are not in this alone. The one thing this year has taught us is to not give up hope. Things like standing up for your community, educating yourself and looking into your soul have been the biggest discovery for me. I also learned how I want to move ahead creatively. If 2020 would not have happened, I doubt I would have given so much time and put in so much thought to my content creation.
ELLE: In the coming years, what do you see as challenges in your field?
SS: Digital media, fashion and content creation keep changing; you have to reinvent yourself with it. Another challenge is surrounding body positivity—a lot of designers and brands are basically following a trend. I don’t want my body type and body positivity to be a trend. We need to remember to not look at diversity and inclusivity as something that’s trending; we must look at it as a long-term change in the industry and way of living. Brands and media need to be mindful, and not go back to the old standards of living, and what we thought beauty and fashion was. This must be a change for good. We should see plus-size as just another body type that must be acknowledged, accepted and catered to.
ELLE: How are influencers evolving their content to accommodate people’s changing mindsets?
SS: This year will be a stepping stone towards how you see beauty, fashion and overall living. And this will have a mirror effect in media, digital storytelling and the world of influencers.
ELLE: You are one of the earliest Indian women to champion body-positivity and acceptance, publicly. How can people support their family and friends who have just begun their journey of self-acceptance?
SS: I think the biggest way family and friends help in your journey of self-acceptance is by just letting you be—giving you room to shine! Don’t criticise or bring them down; even the most generic comments can be hard-hitting. Being conscious and aware of your words and understanding when and how to communicate highly important.
ELLE: The world is moving towards making conscious choices. What are your views on ‘thoughtful fashion’?
SS: I show a lot of people how I re-wear my clothes, to ensure that the viewers know that it’s cool to re-wear clothes. And there are ways in which you can re-wear clothes which won’t even look like you’re re-wearing them. Despite creating fashion content, in the last three years, I’ve got only three pairs of trousers which I team with everything. I take baby steps towards sustainability in my personal life, but in my profession, it’s not always feasible to become completely sustainable. Hopefully, I will be brave enough to do that in the future!
ELLE: How are you #ImaginingTheWorldToBe post COVID-19?
SS: There is not going to be an overnight miracle. We need to remember the things that helped us the most – masks, washing hands, sanitising and keeping human contact minimal. That should still continue being the required normal. Yes, we are all waiting for the vaccine, and yes, there has been progress to come up with a cure, but remember we have to still fight the fight.