I am always excited when it comes to diversity within the modeling industry! You may or may not have heard the name Bishamber Das recently, but she has taken Britain by storm. 29-year-old Bishamber Das made history in 2014 as the first plus size model to win a title at the international Miss India Europe competition that year and she’s been on the continuous grind to normalize body shapes of all sorts ever since.
Here’s what Das said on why she wanted to become a model:
“I am of Indian/Malaysian heritage. All my life I have been plump, and growing up I would constantly hear comments on how I was pretty for a fat girl. Elders from my community used to feel it was their right to tell me that if I did not lose weight, no man would love or marry me. I was sick of people looking at my physical appearance and deciding I was not worth anything when in fact I was a bright young woman who had already achieved so much in her academic and professional life. It is about time a woman of my color came forward and showed the world real diversity.”
Growing up in a British-Asian community with an alcoholic, abusive father, she turned to food for comfort and subsequently struggled with her self-image. When asked if she had any advice for young girls and women going through the same thing she commented:
“Too often we are told how we should dress or look — just do your thing, [and know that the] best things come from when we’re out of our comfort zone. Explore yourself without fear, wear what you like, live your life. We’re so lucky in today’s day and age to have social media. There are so many public figures we can turn to for inspiration…or we can even put our own personal campaigns out for the world to view. Breaking into this industry can be very challenging, so just stay focused and offer the world your experiences. It worked for me.”
I am very proud of her and wish her the absolute best!