What started off as a simple collaboration between model Sameea Bangera and photographer Mobin J Kurien has sparked quite the debate in the city.
For Sameea, a simple shopping trip to the mall to pick up swimsuits for the summer, combined with her workout routine and newly SINGLE status (Chennai boys listen up!) resulted in a photoshoot that was #bodypositivity goals for many on Instagram.
Hey, if you look that good and you have spent hours at the gym, I say show it off!! Mia, as she is known amongst friends, grew up in Australia, where swimsuits were what you wore to the beach, not sarees or salwars.
This was normal and culturally accepted, and she wanted to bring that to Chennai.
To those who say she did this to get 75k followers on Insta, Mia says she did this for herself; because she was comfortable in her own skin and proud of how hard she had worked to get to this shape and had no idea it would blow up like this. “I know I’ll never be stick thin and I’m curvy and I embrace it. Curvy or skinny be comfy, confidence is the sexiest thing,” she says.
Her favourite responses to this shoot are the women who reach out to her and her friends to let them know that these images have helped them come to terms with their bodies and that curvy women can wear bikinis too! If one photo shoot like this can make all the difference, I say it’s about time someone gave this girl a swimwear campaign!
He who must not be named
At a recent film press event,a certain infamous actor, known for his rhyming one-liners, took off on actress Dhansika for forgetting to mention his name while on stage. He called her out on it (a bit unnecessary) and she graciously apologised repeatedly, even explained to him how she is not used to public speaking and gets quite nervous.
I’d say it takes a big person to apologise, that too on a public stage and an even smaller person to dismiss that apology with a sexist remark (”You have come here without wearing sari and now asking sorry.”).
He proceeded to go on a tirade that was longer than his appearance in the film while the other men on stage seemed to find his remarks entertaining. Good for you girl for standing up for yourself and doing it with so much grace while being accused of not knowing stage manners. Oh the irony! Maybe I should take his name before I’m given a hard time for forgetting to do so.
‘He who must not be named’ later claimed that he spoke that way to garner the film some publicity. Seriously? To sum up public opinion in his style – ‘Let the people give you some advice, it’s about time you apologise!!
Sisters before misters, always and forever
Contrary to popular belief that models don’t get along, in Chennai, we are practically a sisterhood. What started off as a group on WhatsApp to look out for each other, verify potential gigs as freelancers, has turned in to this beautiful friendship. From party plans, to sharing selfies, to planning first day first show viewings of our movies, it has blossomed into something beautiful — a support system.
How did this start? Well, a few years ago an ‘event organiser’ called a few of us models for a ‘fashion show’ in Ooty for a product launch. Each one of us assumed that the other knew the guy so we agreed and upon reaching there we find out that it was all a farce and they had brought us there under false pretenses. A few quick phone calls to friends from Coimbatore and they got into their cars, rushed to the venue to pick us up. We ended up making a dash for the car, all decked up in lehengas with makeup and heels, dragging our suitcases behind, while being chased by a drunken mob.
You know when you watch a movie and you wonder if you will ever have a filmy moment in your life? You are hoping for the airport scene or the kissing in the rain scene, not the one where the villainous gang is chasing the heroine and her friends. Phew! What we learnt from this experience is never to let anyone play us against each other and now we have each other’s backs. Always and forever! So my first column goes out to all my ladies; here is to more women supporting each other and us growing together!