A professor from Ahmedabad, Dr Falguni Vasavada-Oza, Teacher & Chair, Online Programs, Mudra Institute of Communications (MICA), dons many hats. The beauty blogger and fashion rebel inspires women to be body positive. the Social media expert, Falguni shares with SheThePeople.TV what prompted her to bring in the Falguni Fashion Fundas.
What inspired you to start Falguni’s Fashion Fundas? Was it drawn from a personal experience?
I love to experiment with my dressing. However, as a teenager when I used to feel very conscious about my body as I was fatter than girls of my age and was constantly criticised, advised, taunted. In this phase of body consciousness, I used to dress up conservatively and used to feel shy about my own body!
As I matured and started seeing and understanding the world around me, I realised that body shaming is a big evil which affects and it eventually breaks their confidence, outlook towards life!
Gradually, I started looking at gender and issues of identity and insecurity that women face. As a Professor, I was doing my own bit in influencing, but something inside me told me to go beyond my geographic reach and social media was the platform. This lead to the birth of “Falgunis Fashion Fundas” that proudly is a plus size fashion page with a difference, where I talk about body positivity, gender equality, women’s issues and in my own little way try to create a world full of happy and secure women.
What does body positivity mean to you?
Body positivity means equal stature given to all body types. It means social acceptance of all – fat, slim, short, tall, white, black and seeing the personality over the physique. There are multiple incidents that make you feel that body shaming is a subconscious act and the most alarming way in which it is done is in the form of jokes! All this led to the movement – making people realise that joking on someone’s body is not cool! Body shaming has serious impacts on the mental and physical health of the victim. My efforts are towards creating a space for all in this world.
What have been some of the high points so far?
The response on my page has been phenomenal. More and more women are joining me in my effort. So many women have started dressing up without feeling conscious. So many have written to me as to how I inspire them to love themselves. So many women have confided in me about pertinent issues they are facing in their professional or personal lives. Seeing this transformation in women has truly been the high point for me and I want more of this to happen!
You are a strong believer of social media and how it can be the platform to make the voice heard. How well would you rate social media sites when it comes to share, acknowledge and empower body positivity?
Oh, full marks! Social Media is a networked space and has tremendously helped in creating my personal brand. It has been my force to take my thoughts to a larger world, helped me learn more about body positivity and introduced me to body positivity advocates. The reach that my thoughts have today is only to the power of social media. Today, through my fashion page and all other platforms I am interacting with the thousands whom I have never ever met in person. It has given a global platform to my thoughts.
Joking on someone’s body is not cool! Body shaming has serious impacts on the mental and physical health of the victim. My efforts are towards creating a space for all in this world.
These days, online outrage is peaking high. Along with many positive campaigns, some negative remarks and online trolls are in the scene too. How often do you come across such judgement?
Many! I take this as a part and parcel of the networked economy. How do I manage? I adopt the strategy that I call as “Convert or Cut”. I will go for a long to converse with such negative/judgmental people in order to make them see the logic and finally convert them. But I can do this only if there is a scope to convert. In cases where there is no logic or zero possibility of converting I cut all forms of communication.
Any tips to call out body shamers as you know, women are rampantly facing such issues.
Yes! First and foremost women need to learn that they do not need to take jokes on the body if they are not comfortable. Start putting your foot down whether at home or at the office you need to be clear! Second, enhance your personality in such a way that people see you beyond your body and this is possible only by working on confidence and self-belief.
Your advice to women who are insecure about their body?
It’s your body – so either accepts it or work towards your aspirations! If you do not love and accept your own body, why would others? Insecurity is reflected in your confidence and behaviour and it makes you vulnerable. Be happy with your own self! Be secure. Focus more on creating a stronger personality rather than fret on those extra kilos. Always remember people will notice what you want them to notice!
How do I manage? I adopt the strategy that I call as “Convert or Cut”
Join Us on https://www.facebook.com/SheThePeoplePage
Follow Us on https://twitter.com/SheThePeopleTV