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  Life   Fashion  24 Jun 2017  Size does matter

Size does matter

Published : Jun 24, 2017, 12:13 am IST
Updated : Jun 24, 2017, 12:13 am IST

A plus-size fashion show hopes to take on notions of what makes one ramp ready.

Models shortlisted to walk the runway at the Lakme Fashion Week.
 Models shortlisted to walk the runway at the Lakme Fashion Week.

Fashion runways in India are ruled by models whose professional lives are controlled by the weighing scale. However, with the forthcoming summer/resort edition of the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) hosting its plus-size model hunt for males and females, the Indian fashion industry appears to be changing its thought process. It seems to be challenging the notions of beauty and glamour that it has cemented over so many years. The auditions have just been wrapped up in Mumbai, and out of 280 models from across India, 21 were shortlisted.

Celina Gadamandla, a 30-year-old participant from Hyderabad, was always obese as a kid, but today as she confidently struts down the ramp, flaunting her curvy moves she has never felt more liberated before. “I was always teased and bullied as a kid because of my weight. This is my first visit to Mumbai, and I had to borrow money to come here. It is just to prove and show all those who have mocked me, that there is a space for people like us as well,” she shares.

Aanchal TirodkarAanchal Tirodkar

At 115 kg, Kais Sundarani was as confident as a model with chiselled six-pack abs. He walked down the ramp sporting a black and white outfit and was his usual confident self, “Of course, it feels bad when the quintessential model hogs away all the limelight, but we are here because we are different and we want to change that mindset of the society. Flab can be fabulous, too. I don’t know if I want to pursue mainstream modelling as a career, but I want to join the fashion industry to break away from their size obsession,” says the 21-year-old.

The fashion industry appears to be veering towards the belief that confidence need not be tied to one’s waist size. With this move, the participants are now confident in presenting themselves according to their notions of beauty. “The West is so much more accepting towards all sizes, colours and creeds, but with India, we will have a long way to go. We hope it changes soon. Curvy is beautiful, and I don’t feel any less than a regular model,” enthuses 25-year-old Aanchal Tirodkar, who is among the 21 selected models.

Prince KhuranaPrince Khurana

The selected contestants are now poised to challenge the cliched notions of beauty that have been present for many years. “I guess it has also got a lot to do with the industry. They have never given plus sized models an opportunity and have only portrayed ‘slim’ as beautiful. We are real people, and these are real sizes too. From being sidelined for being fat as kids, and growing up as obese adults, to finding a space of our own, we have come a long way,” says Prince Khurana.

Ask them where they stand along with the regular model pool, and he says, “We don’t aspire to be like them, we have our identities and are glad that people will notice us too,” he says.

Tags: lakme fashion week, plus-sized women, plus-size model