Our next stop around the world takes us to India, as we connect with plus size blogger Aashna Bhagwani of the Beyond That Bouffant blog. Aashna is a full time blogger, dedicating her life to fashion, and other lifestyle trends, a commitment she's been tied to for almost 3 years now. While she always had an affinity for posing in pictures, she definitely had to find her way to self love and her subsequent career.
As someone who has always been plus sized, Aashna remembers the days as a young chubby girl, getting her cheeks pulled by strangers. She opened up about growing up in India and being made to feel like being chubby meant something was wrong with her. "I remember one instance in school where one of my teachers got all of the chubby girls together after school and we were made to run in the middle of the school ground so that all the other school kids would see us bigger girls run." She explains this was a tactic to make the girls feel shameful about their size by giving the other kids an opportunity to publicly laugh at them. So if school couldn't be her solace, where could she go?
It seems that Aashna has gotten her flare for fashion from her grandmother who owned a boutique that she grew up in. Here she was able to really develop her passion for fashion, and even work on her posing which has come in handy as a blogger. She says she was a ham growing up, "I had an eye for fashion and posing in front of the camera at every opportunity I got!" She says 10 years ago she would've been stunned to find that she could really have a career combining her passions, but she is beyond grateful to be doing what she loves for a living. Particularly now, as plus size fashion is on the rise, globally and in her own community.
She explained to us that the plus size clothes available in India are still baggy and basic, forcing her to be creative as she looks for trendy and stylish finds. Slowly but surely more viable options are being developed, and just as slowly plus size women in India are coming out of their shells. She's excited for when more women stop, "hiding themselves behind straight fits and baggy clothes... and [grow] outside their comfort zones and try out new trends."
Still, finding self love within herself was a process, and she says it took time and practice. She says she knew that she was meant for bigger and better things and, "me doubting myself would only stop me from achieving my goals." She started her growth with positive affirmations, confirming herself everyday of various features she loved about herself. She's so grateful to have been able to find love within herself because she believes this has enabled her to "give and spread love".
She's definitely able to do this through her blog, but she knows it's a lot of responsibility. It's no secret that lots of girls and women are susceptible to comparing themselves to the bloggers and models they see online and on social media. She's worried that the messages being presented aren't always the right thing, and that, "body confidence and women empowerment are not just things to say." These are real issues, not just hashtags, and influencers have a responsibility to lead by example. She wants her followers to know that, "body confidence does not come from trying to achieve the 'perfect body', it comes from embracing the one you already have."
We're so lucky to have been able to collaborate with this beauty, and provide her with trendy fashion despite being so far away. That's the true beauty of offering international shipping!