The Indian beauty scene is becoming more inclusive by the day, and even though we have a long way to go to see more representation, champions of body positivity are constantly making strides in the right direction. We love to see relatable, curvy queens represented in the fashion and beauty media. Which is why we are currently obsessed with the adorable Appoorva Rampal. The curvy beauty’s Sabyasachi campaign has become all the rage since last week, and she has been drowning in praises and recognition. We reached out to her for a quick chat, talking about the campaign and what body positivity in the modelling industry means to her. Here’s what she had to say…
BeBe: For starters, give us an insight into baby Appoorva…
Appoorva: I was born in Faridabad and grew up in a joint family. I was quite average in studies when in school and completed a B-Com degree from the Indira Gandhi National Open University. I grew up with two older siblings, and my family has always been supportive of my dream of acting and modelling. They pushed me to do better, motivated me, and were there with me when I started my career and didn’t have much work. Even now, I know my family has got my back, and that makes me feel so blessed!
BeBe: How were your early days in the modelling industry?
Appoorva: When I was starting my career it was pretty hard to tell people I am a model because according to them only thin girls can be a model. I was a freelancer three years ago, and when I got my first job, the designer told me how ugly I am because I didn’t fit her conventional body type requirement. I was called unprofessional when I told one brand on the sets that I cannot fit in a size ‘medium’.
The industry likes to categorise women who have fuller bodies, while thin models are referred to as models. Years of under-representation have created certain beauty standards, so it takes a considerable amount of time and patience to represent ourselves. According to them, thin models represent their work better.
But these obstacles didn’t dampen my spirit. People still address us as a ‘plus-size’ or ‘curvy’ model. We have not got much representation — a few runways and designers are trying — but people should know and understand that we are normal and have normal bodies.
BeBe: How does it feel to be a part of the new Sabyasachi bridal campaign?
Appoorva: I’m still not over with it; it’s been almost a month, and I’m still getting so much love from people on social media. I never thought this campaign would change my life so much. People are still messaging me, asking me for guidance, and telling me how motivated they are after seeing me. Even mothers who were afraid of their daughter’s future, a cancer survivor who was bullied by people around her because she couldn’t lose weight, got in touch. I am so overwhelmed and grateful to Sabya sir, for giving me a big break to let people know who I am!
BeBe: What did it take to reach the point where you are now — absolutely in love with your body?
Appoorva: I was often told I was fat and that I should get liposuction done, as otherwise, I won't survive in this industry. I was always sent back from casting because of shape. To reach where I’m today has taken almost three years, and I believe no matter what size, shape, height, colour you have, you should live a happy and healthy life.
Incidentally, my confidence actually bloomed on the Sabyasachi set. Sabya sir was so impressed by my work; it made me think that what I am doing is good, that I’m good and beautiful! That instantly boosted my confidence. That's when I was so confident to show my side rolls. He made sure I was comfortable in all his clothes, both on and off set. He is so humble and gentle, and even the other models and Sabya sir’s team around me were cheering me up.
Whatever confidence I have today, it didn’t happen overnight. It has taken a lot of time. But once you start to believe in yourself, the magic starts happening!
BeBe: Before we leave you, share your busy-model skincare, hair care routine and makeup faves with us, please…
Appoova: As part of my skincare routine, I like to start my day with a gentle cleanser and then pat it dry with a cotton tissue. I then moisturise my face with a thick moisturiser because I have very dry skin, and to keep it hydrated, you need a good, thick moisturiser. Finally, I top it off with sunscreen because you know your skin gets damaged under the sun. Sunscreen, hydrating mist, and lip tint are my absolute must-haves! Once a week, I apply Vaseline on my lips and a homemade face pack made of curd, besan and haldi.
As for my hair, I like to wash it three times a week, followed by conditioner and hair serum, and a hair spa at home, twice a month. My go-to makeup look for busy work days will always be lots of moisturiser to keep my skin hydrated and a glowing cheek and lip tint to add some warmth!
Images courtesy: @appoorva.rampal