News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » Getahead » 'People call me a bombshell'

'People call me a bombshell'

By Hitesh Harisinghani
Last updated on: June 28, 2017 14:25 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Four contestants who competed at the Lakme Fashion Week's plus size model auditions tell us how they deal with body shaming. 

Text and photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/ 

Beauty comes in all sizes and shapes. But what's it like being plus size in India?

Four contestants at the Lakme Fashion Week Plus size model auditions give us a glimpse.

It's not such a pretty picture after all!



Dressed in a sheer black dress, worn over a red bikini, Varonica was grace and confidence personified. 


One among the 21 winners she will walk the ramp at the upcoming Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017. Way to go girl! :)

Profession: Head Crew Chief, celeb make up artist

Role models: Models Naiomi Campbell and Ashley Graham

Varonica is from Hyderabad and is currently staying in Mumbai.

She's pursuing a PhD from Florida University and came to know about the auditions from friends who work in the fashion industry.

In the first round itself, she managed to impress the judges with her walk and confidence. Panelist and designer Wendell Rodericks shared her audition video and wrote: 'The attitude and swagger'

Varonica ended up winning LFW's plus size model auditions, along with 20 other aspirants. 

She revealed that she is fond of modelling since she was a teenager.


Varonica spends a moment getting ready before the auditions begin. 

How do you deal with body shaming?

"People call me a bombshell. I don't bother about negative comments as I'm a very positive person."

"It doesn't matter what your colour is or how fat you are, just be confident in what you are doing."

Personal style: "I generally style myself, so clothing is never a problem for me."


Neha Panchal

Unlike the other contestants, Nehal was all smiles at the auditions. Unfortunately she didn't win the auditions. 

Profession: Hair and make up artist from Mumbai

"I got to know about the auditions from a friend. Right now, I'm not nervous and want to just go with the flow."

How do you deal with body shaming?

"Once I was wearing a short dress and one of my friends told me 'you shouldn't be wearing short clothes as you have thunder thighs'." 

"I replied, 'Dude, I'm very much comfortable in what I'm wearing and won't change that for anybody.'" 

I don't give a damn about people who body shame other people."

Personal style statement: "Nowadays, it isn't really difficult to find clothes that fit me. Just wear whatever you want to without thinking about what people will say and make sure to carry yourself well."



Four men were chosen as the winners to walk the ramp at the upcoming Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017. Amrit didn't make the cut. 

Profession: Public relations consultant from Delhi

"I took an early morning flight to reach on time for the auditions. I got to know about the auditions through social media."

How do you deal with body shaming?

"Every other person has an advice for me to lose weight. Sometimes I laugh it off and other times I say I will try.

"I have tried to lose weight but as you can see I didn't succeed."

"People think overweight people are less responsible as they can't take care of their own bodies and are looked down upon at work places."

"It's a personal choice whether someone wants to lose weight or not."

Leena Gokhale

Leena Gokhale

Leena, right arrived at the venue with her mother Padma Gokhale. Leena too didn't make it through the auditions. 

Profession: Company secretary from Pune

"I left from Pune at 5 am to reach the venue. I got to know about the auditions from Facebook. 

"I have come here for the experience." (Her mother nudges her and says not only for experience but to win as well.)

How do you deal with body shaming?

"I don't care about what people have to say about my weight. Lost a few inches but didn't manage to lose weight.

"Koi pyaar kare toh tumse kare, tum jaise ho waise kare. Koi tumko badal ke pyaar kare, toh woh pyaar nahi woh sauda kare, aur saheba pyaar sauda nahi hota (If someone loves you, he/she should love you for who you are. If they try to change you, then that's not love, it's a deal. And love my friends, is never a deal).

Where do you shop?

"I shop from aLL and 109F."

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Hitesh Harisinghani /