Eyes that speak a thousand words while a smile calms,
shoulders relaxed while holding the weight of innumerable lists and tasks,
legs crossed, poised and elegant, ready yet to will walk a thousand miles more,
words like a lullaby and yet are the strongest sounds when she takes a stand.
Women, the world is their oyster, the world is their stage.
The world we know spins around, but a woman will always be, an enigma.
Althea Vanderveen :
Carrying my curls – “I used to really dislike my hair. It was always more fuzzy duck than defined curls. Finally I realized that my hair wanted to be this way. It was fighting to hold on to it’s character. And I let it be. When I look at myself today, my hair makes for my signature look.”
My skin: “It’s been almost a lifetime since offensive words rang in my ears. About my race and the colour of my skin. But you know what? I’m tall, dark and exotic. My colour and ethnicity are my identity and I’m in love with them. It’s not a challenge or a drawback anymore, I take it as a compliment that I stand out in a sea of people!”
The name blame: “Any name brings a certain image to your mind. That’s why mine, Isis, is a tad problematic. Facebook even ended up deleting my profile! I had to submit a whole bunch of documents to prove I wasn’t part of the eponymous group, to get back my identity online. People thought I’d let this and the constant mocking affect me. Quite the contrary. I’m over it completely because a name really doesn’t change who I am.”
Flaw Free : “Here’s to the honest truth. I didn’t grow up thinking about or embracing a flaw. I feel lucky that way, because I know of several people around me who harbour insecurities about how they look. Self -love was a very natural thing for me. Maybe it was because of the people I grew up around? I wish more people grew up feeling that way.”
Being fair to my hair : “I despised my unmanageable curls throughout my childhood. I hated it so much that my mother had my hair cut to almost a crew. I think I never really gave my hair a chance after that. Until college that is, when I finally let it grow. The locks that grew out looked gorgeous and unique! I couldn’t believe I had sentenced my hair to non-expression for such a long time. I’m glad I gave it a chance, for life for now.”
This month, we feature 5 women who I had the good fortune of shooting with, for AJIO.com. For a new series launched on AJIO, to celebrate those who live fearless, who live without doubt, who break patterns and fight that’s wrong. Women, who are flawless even if they were at some point made to believe otherwise.
5 women, some that I have had the fortune of spending a great deal of time with, learnt from, inspired by and grown to love. Some that I hope to know better. Always room for a new world to look at, through their eyes.
Clothes and accessories : Ajio.com
Photos by Lalit Atal
Make up by Marianna and Vishruti Vinay
Concept, execution and Styling by Namita Gautham
Interviews by Jacob Anand
Editing by Jageer Singh
Special thanks to Saravanakumar Raj, Swati Agarwal, Ameet Bhuvan and Varun Sharma
Take a bow