Watch any movie, ad, TV show, or music video, and you’ll see a general characterisation of the ‘pretty girl’. This girl most likely has one or more of the following: a slender body, fair skin, long hair, and a flawless complexion.
Growing up, most of us went along with what society defined beauty as. If we were anything different from the conventional beauty standards, we believed the opposite sex wouldn’t find us attractive; we couldn’t pursue a career on camera; and brands would generate millions in revenue by advertising how they could fix what was ‘wrong’ with us.
Over the years, the definition of beauty has been on a course correction, thanks to the women who strive everyday to make the world a more accepting place – accepting that beauty comes in all forms.
Whether you’re dark skinned, chubby, or have a skin condition, there’s a place for you in this world.
Here are 7 influencers who break beauty norms and make us feel comfortable in our skin.
1. Jovita George
Jovita George is an Indian YouTuber with more than 600,000 subscribers on YouTube. She started her journey by posting makeup tutorials and has never shied away from talking about the prejudice against dark skin. Her easy-going personality and easy-to-follow make-up tutorials make her subscribers fall in love with their own skin tone, and that’s what makes her so loved.
Right from bullying to prejudice, Jovita has covered topics on being a dark-toned woman, recounting personal experiences. Her aim is to help women in their journey of self-empowerment through hacks, tutorials, chit-chat videos, and vlogs.
2. Sakshi Sindwani
When it comes to proving that you don’t need a zero figure to be considered a model, nobody does it better than Sakshi. She’s one of the most influential plus size models around, and sets trends with her style.
From being featured in magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan to working with fashion and lingerie brands, she’s proven that the only accessory you need to rock any outfit is confidence. Her channel features videos that address sensitive topics like bullying, and the personal experiences she recounts make her audience relate to her journey. If you’re looking for a confidence boost to rock that outfit you’ve been eyeing forever, head over to her channel for styling tips and more!
3. Prarthana Jagan
Unrealistic beauty standards and the stigma surrounding skin disorders have affected women for eons, but that didn’t stop this Bangalore girl from pursuing her dreams.
She developed vitiligo – an autoimmune disease that causes white patches on the skin – at the age of 11 and initially hated her skin, forcing her to hide behind full coverage makeup. But eventually, she developed the confidence to celebrate her skin and began her career as a model.
In interviews, she speaks about dealing with isolation and insecurities, her journey with ‘corrective’ procedures, and eventually starting a dialogue on vitiligo through her channel. The family of followers she’s gained online speaks volumes about the mark she’s made in destigmatising skin disorders.
4. Manjri Varde
Behold, probably one of the coolest people to exist on social media: Manjri Varde. At 65 years, she’s shown that age is no bar to living your best life. She’s a painter who creates colourful, abstract art, and her Instagram feed gives you a glimpse into her creativity.
As she’s said in videos with her daughter-in-law, actress Sameera Reddy, she’s fabulous at 65, and living her best life with her family, friends, and art. She’s the other half of the Messy Mama and Sassy Sasu duo with her daughter-in-law, whose videos play a part in shattering the negative stereotypes around the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship in India.
Manjri is quite the jack of all trades, and also manages her label, Samanjari, that promotes ‘wearable art’. If you’re wondering if you can have any fun in your 60s, go watch her videos.
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5. Prableen Kaur Bhomrah
She’s India’s very first skin-positive influencer, and her confidence will make you want to wipe that makeup off and showcase your skin in its natural glory too. Prableen is a content creator who began her journey on YouTube. She started a #NoFilter campaign that encouraged women to embrace their skin even during the harshest times, which is incredibly important in a world where ‘flawless’ and ‘glass-like’ skin are worshipped, and ‘textured’ skin is hidden behind filters and pore-minimising primers.
Prableen has opened up about her struggles with PCOS and her channel is a safe space for women to relate to her journey and speak out about their experiences too. Her raw and original content is so heartwarming to consume, and you can rely on it for that little confidence boost.
6. Natasha Noel
Healing and confidence take centre stage in Natasha’s content, and you’ll often find her sharing secrets to living a peaceful and happier life in all contexts. From overcoming and rising above mental health issues to eventually finding her calling in yoga and meditation, Natasha’s aim has been to uplift women.
Her content touches topics of body positivity, mental health, and feminism, and she believes that every woman should have the opportunity to take control of her life with confidence. From the start, she’s set out to redefine what society defines a ‘feminine’ body to look like. Head over to her handle for that daily dose of confidence and real talk.
7. Supriya Joshi
Also known as ‘Supaarwoman’, Supriya Joshi is a force to be reckoned with on the internet. She’s unapologetically herself and insanely hilarious, to a point where you’d binge-watch her content for an hour straight, if you could.
While on the one hand she talks about subjects like body neutrality and skin positivity, her aim is to spread joy with her slice of life content. Plus, her makeup and fashion videos give the audience relatable styling tips (make sure to turn up the volume because her voice overs can’t be missed). She’s come a long way, she’s here to stay, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.
It doesn’t matter how old, fit, or flawless we are; we’re all beautiful. And that’s the message these influencers strive to give their audience. Beauty comes from having the confidence to be your most authentic self.
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