We all have a wonder woman inside us. As we celebrate women all month long, Saaki would like to introduce that Wonder Woman who has had an incredible journey towards designing a life she loved. She broke all the beauty standards in the fashion industry and continues to inspire us to celebrate the uniqueness in us. She is - More than what you see.
This is Varshita Thatavarthi's story. 25-year old, a classic exemplar, a true influencer, a body icon who is the talk of the town with her feature in Sabyasachi's iconic campaign shoot.
She shared insights with Sushruthi Krishna, the CEO and Founder of Saaki, on how she competed against social standards that defined beauty as the perfect hourly glass figure, only fair and lovely skin that deserves it all.
Challenges with Colour
In her conversation around her journey in the entertainment industry she mentioned, "It takes a tremendous amount of courage to persevere in an industry that has been conditioned to perceive beauty in a certain way. For the past five years, I had been attempting to set a mark in the entertainment industry but had been repeatedly rejected due to my curvy and dusky appearance. Almost every director I met in the Telugu film industry would point out my flaws and my skin tone. I don't understand why girls from Delhi and Bombay are hired and trained to speak in our language to act, but why not give a chance to all the beautiful Telugu women who deserve the role, as these characters are typically based on Telugu women's day-to-day lives, culture, and how it is portrayed."
The Iconic Sabyasachi Campaign
She was discriminated against during her childhood because of her dusky skin. Even as she grew older and began auditioning, she didn't have the confidence to face auditions.
Varshita: In fact, my parents keep bringing up the point during the conversation that I chose to work in this industry to seek the attention and love from people I missed when I was younger.
She talks about how she bagged her iconic shoot with Sabyasachi,
Varshita: "It was during his jewelry exhibition at the Taj Coramandel that I first met him. I had no idea he was going to be there and had butterflies in my stomach. I asked for a picture, and Mr. Sabya obliged. I recall a conversation with him in which he told me not to be insecure about my body type or skin tone because those are my assets. I was so taken with the compliment that I asked the designer for a selfie, which I later posted on Instagram. Two months later, in June, one of his team members, whom I had met at the exhibition in Chennai, contacted me and asked if I'd like to come to Kolkata and do a trial shoot with him. I immediately agreed, and I was flown to Kolkata to meet him for the shoot, and the rest is history."
Now that really is what dreams are made of!
Here's what she had to say when asked how things change for her...
Varshita: People now compliment my skin when I go to shows in cities like Bombay and Hyderabad, and they love the fact that I am unique in that I am able to celebrate my own skin.
She says she often feels that God wanted her to be an instrument of change, so he didn't give her an opportunity in the film and she found her way through modeling.
Varshita: I'm flooded with messages from women all over the world thanking and admiring me for being a part of this massive shift. And this is what I want to do now.
What's beauty to her, we asked.
Varshita: Beauty is defined as when you're authentic to oneself and knowing and knowing that you're worth it, nothing else can come in your way if you want to be successful.
There are many women out there, like Varshita, who are attempting to break all the stereotypes. All you need to know is that beauty comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. All that matters is that you love yourself and have faith in yourself and others! Let's define success by inspiring each other. We're strongest when we cheer each other on !!!
On this note, we conclude our interview with Varshita!
Varshita: The lesson I've learned over the years is about confidence. There's nothing you can't do if you're comfortable in your own skin!