It’s the year 2002 (urm how great is that song!), I’m 5 going on 6 and in first grade. I literally have no clue about representation in media, all I know is that the faces I see on TV are nothing like mine. Well almost, Candice on Eastern Mosaic is literally my hero and the only person who looks slightly similar to me. Aside from South African television, Hollywood showed no Indian artists, and well, Bollywood leading ladies tended to be on the fair and lovely side of the skin colour spectrum, with the exception of Kajol and Rani (My Queen). I won’t lie, that never deterred me from thinking I could be a Charlie’s Angel, or a long lost sister of the 3 Ninjas, heck I would gladly sing along to ‘Rocky loves Emily’. But deep down even a kid knows that people like me never make it to the screen.
Which is why I am SO GLAD that Indian influencers, bloggers, actors and authors are starting to get the traction that they deserve. When Kajal Bagwandeen popped up on 7de Laan, I was thrilled. I mean sure Sanjay was already there but ehh he was kinda on the creepy side. Are Indian people as prevalent in the media as they could be? No. I mean Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone are killing it, but, slowly but surely the world is taking note of the Indian community.
I got the idea for this post from Jasmin Vanessa’s post Bloggers who inspire me, and I realised I am hella inspired by the Indian women I follow on instagram and recently, by the characters I’ve grown with in my recent reads. So here’s a breakdown of the current Indian women I am OBSESSED with. Feel free to add anyone you are obsessed with in the comments section. I’m always keen for inspiration.
- Kaushal (@kaushal)
I started watching Kaushal on Youtube about three years ago, and I was obsessed, can we just take a sec to marvel at her makeup skills? I remember finding her a day before a big exam and I just chilled for a few hours calming myself down by watching her videos. What she’s achieved so far is incredible and I think, is paving the way for more Indian Youtubers.
- Deepica Mutyala (@deepica)
I’ve only recently discovered Deepica on instagram and Youtube. Mama and Papa Pandu are so adorable I can’t. She addresses the pressure Indian parents put on kids to be a doctor or engineer (#relate) and keeps it so real. Her business Live Tinted seeks to turn things around in terms of the representation of people of colour (I am saving up to get a My Skin Is Not A Trend tee), and it’s just all round inspiring. She starts the conversations we need to be having, from cultural appropriation to what kind of SPF to use.
- Mira Patel (@mirapatel)
Hot diggity damn this girl’s makeup is on a whole ‘nother level and she serves up the proverbial middle finger to Indian society in how comfortable she is in her skin and what she wears. Basically my life inspiration!
- Allylla (@allynaidoo)
Okay, so she’s also a super talented makeup artist, but she is also a serious advocate for epilepsy and her recent post listing her ‘flaws’ and embracing them really resonated with me.
- Hamel Patel (@hamelpatel_)
Guys. The level of creativity this amazing girl possesses is astounding. From her makeup, the way she styles her outfits to the immaculate detail that is portrayed in her product shots. She makes me want to do better.
I was going to add the books that I’ve read this year by Indian authors, but I’m going to try and keep this post as short and simple as possible. So you better hit that follow button to read my next post!
Before I end this post, I would to say that in no way am I taking away from how amazing people of all races are in all industries. I’m just a little bit extra happy that I get to see people who look like me killing it!
Lots of love and light,