Ashley Graham has become our Favourite Body Positive Hero with her latest Instagram pic

Plus Size Supermodel, Ashley Graham has been breaking many of the furiously practiced standards of beauty, for a while now, tearing down notorious (unrealistic) body size perceptions along the way.

Sporting an animal bikini, and trinkets in her latest Instagram post, Graham posted a rather unflattering picture of herself (and her cellulite), in stark contradiction to social media standards of photo uploads. The picture was accompanied with an inspiring message from the model –

“I workout. I do my best to eat well. I love the skin I’m in. I am not ashamed of a few bumps or cellulite, and you shouldn’t be either.” 

 

The 29-year-old model, first sauntered into the fashion industry, in a bold (totally real) size 16, in the year 2001, when she executed a contract with Wilhelmina Models, post attending a model convention. Since then, she has been profiled across leading beauty magazines, and publications that include Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Elle, and Glamour, in addition to leading campaigns for top apparel brands such as Levis and Lane Bryant.

More recently, Graham became the first plus-size model to be featured in the 2016’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and was also featured in the British Vogue edition, as part of the magazine’s 100-year anniversary.  Her powerful work on breaking body images, and emerging as a positive fashion influencer for millions of women, the world over, also earned her a place among the 2016’s Forbes 30 under 30 List.

Apart from being a leading voice against the rigorous standards of an extremely body conscious beauty industry, Graham has been an active participant of humanitarian missions as part of the Themba Foundation, in South Africa (The organization is known for its work with children in the African region).

Interestingly, some of the model’s recent work had drawn flak from her fans (and social media followers), in an agitated (almost worried) response to the Graham’s thinning waistline, and pictures that went against her plus size status. One fan had commented, “This ain’t plus size to me”, on an Instagram post that showed off her toned figure. But clearly, fans’ worries are largely misplaced, as Graham continues to remain a powerful figure defying, thinner than real body imagery promoted by the global fashion industry.

In her recent post, Graham confidently spoke about her ongoing efforts to work out, towards a healthier body, which has apparently never encouraged any new forms of self-doubt over her body or its size, and consequent attempts to adhere to traditional body size aspirations. Thus, placing the importance of fitness over weight loss while exercising one’s body.

In one of her recent interviews, the supermodel recollects being told over and over on how she would never be able to move beyond a catalog model, for plus sizes. Today, Graham has owned cover pages of iconic fashion publications, as the most coveted cover girl – size 16 or 6, notwithstanding.

 

 

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#Stories- The Woman Behind Priyanka Chopra’s Slaying of US Entertainment: Anjula Acharia Bath, Media Scion & Pop Culture Creator

At this year’s People’s Choice Awards, draped in soft pink, Priyanka Chopra, let out an irresistible, shy victory wave, on being announced as the winner of the Favourite Dramatic TV Actress category. Amidst the standing ovation, one couldn’t miss the unforgettable, melt-your-heart, expression of triumph that erupted on Anjula Acharia Bath’s face, as she did a euphoric spring, next to a gloating Chopra.

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Counted in the lists of Billboard International Power Player, Forbes Most Powerful Women, and ELLE’s #WomenInTech, 43-year old Anjula Acharia is not just the woman behind “the breakout star from India” – Priyanka Chopra, but among the most powerful, new age pop-culture creators of today. Rightly called as the “unstoppable force” in bridging the gap between technology, pop culture, and Hollywood.

An entrepreneur, investor, and now a full-time partner at Trinity Ventures, Acharia has always had her heart set on pulling South Asia into mainstream (Western) media and entertainment. And with PC claiming two People’s Choice Awards over the past 2 years, becoming a member of the Baywatch crew, slaying the red carpet at the Golden Globes, between singing alongside Pitbull, being featured in the National Football League, and becoming the brand ambassador for the iconic American fashion brand, GUESS – Acharya seems to have done more than just fine.

Growing up in the UK as the daughter of Punjabi immigrant parents, Acharia suffered during her school days, at the hands of gross misrepresentation of South Asian culture, in the West (and consequent bullying that accompanied such presumptions). The desire to break away from stereotypes, and reintroduce Desi culture, coupled with her husband’s serious love for mixing bhangra beats with Hip Hop, led the couple to start DesiHits! in the year 2006 (Los Angeles). Starting out as a side project, they developed DesiHits!, initially, as a podcast to create and mix, Bollywood and Indian fusion music (it later grew into a full-fledged content website about Indian, American celebrity news and music). The couple quit their jobs shortly when they were given the opportunity to raise their initial rounds of investment $ 6 Million, by Trident Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and American hedge fund, DE Shaw.

Acharia’s vision for creating a “dent” in the popular culture, was shared by Interscope Records head, Jimmy Iovine, who eventually came on board (along with Israeli venture capitalist, Aviv Nevo) as a mentor and investor, for the company, and Acharia personally. The company became a full blown media and entertainment outfit in the year 2010, in a Joint Venture with Universal Records, taking Acharia’s original vision of introducing western audiences, to South Asian artists, as part of mainstream media, to a dizzying level of execution (as proof, PC was signed the very same year by the company). Acharia by then had already organized a slew of successful Indian collaborations with international artists that included Britney Spears (with Sonu Nigam), Lady Gaga (with the Salim- Suleiman duo), and Rihanna (with Culture Shock). 

She started out Priyanka Chopra with collaborations across the prominent music circuit, first with an English song release (In My City), and consequently, the Pitbull featured collaboration, Exotic. While Acharia had to work extremely hard to maneuver around both the Indian and American markets, which had wide differences from the way business functioned and the schedule of a supremely busy artist, the larger challenges had not yet emerged.

During an interaction at one of your typical Los Angeles styled evening entertainment circuit settings, Acharia bonded with Keli Lee (TV & Casting, at Disney, ABC TV) about the shift of pop culture towards TV, and desire to move away from all white crews, and promote talent from other cultures. This resonated with an earlier conversation with her mentor Iovine, about the growing importance of TV, demonstrated by soaring popularity of series such as House of Cards,  Game of Thrones, Suits, among others. While Acharia emerged crystal clear with her vision on the next steps, it was altogether another challenge to convince a Bollywood big screen start to even consider TV. As discussed by Acharia in one her recent interviews with Mint, Lee apparently sent out over 25 scripts to Chopra, before the star decided to go with the character of Alex Parrish, falsely accused of committing a terrorist act on American soil.

Over the past decade, in addition to working on her own venture, Acharya has actively acquired the role of being a passionate mentor to budding startup founders, and has invested in companies herself, that include TheMuse.com (a career search site for well educated men and women in the age group 22-39), The Hunt (an online shopping portal), and more recently ClassPass (platform for booking gym memberships). She is most famous for her afternoon “Earl Grey Tea” sessions with entrepreneurs, tech co-founders, and media enthusiasts, where she animately discusses the latest in technology and entertainment.

Amidst her vibrant, affable, Instagram feed, Acharya, has posted a quote that reads – “What If I Fall? Oh, My Darling, What If You Fly?” She remains true to the words, not just by soaring the high skies with her stories of success, but also by giving flight to others, working as hard, under her mentorship. 

@payal222 love this. Thx u!

A post shared by Anjula Acharia (@anjula_acharia) on

Pics Courtesy: Pinterest/Elle, AnujaAcharia | Instagram/anjula_acharya | Twitter/anjulaacharia

#PhotoStory – Patriarchy Begins Suffocation of Women’s Rights in the Newly Installed Trump Regime

Did this really happen?

While the world witnessed an Inspiring March for Equal Rights over the weekend, one that not just drew out bright, pink hats, but voices from all professions, locations, religions, and sexual orientation, we went right back in time at the start of the work week with this photograph.

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Photo Courtesy: Guardian

 

What do we see in this Photo?

The world looked on in shock, disgust, and increasing fear as US President Donald Trump, executed documents that banned federal funds towards non-government organizations (and agencies), that discuss, promote abortion as a family planning measure (or even generally) outside the US borders. For the uninitiated, this piece of legislation was revoked under the Obama regime (it was reinstated during the Bush regime and under previous Republican leadership). Among the most affected with the decision, are several organizations working with developing nations, which stand frustrated without the ability to openly discuss the use of abortion as a measure to initiate family planning, or even as a population control measure (especially in locations where resources are restricted).

Twitterati trolled the specific picture, to highlight the irony of the all-male body taking a decision towards a specific procedure, most central, critical to women.

 

 

Nicknamed as the “Global Gag Law”, the Democrats and Republicans have historically been at loggerheads over the issue, right from its introduction by former President Ronald Reagan in the year 1984. (It is officially called as the Mexico City Policy, as the information ban was first implemented in Mexico City at a UN Conference). The President’s personal views have oscillated right from the ’90s (when he had famously promoted the right to choose), till his campaign messages that attributed murder charges for women, who got abortion(s) done (owing to public fury he later on changed his stance to calling people performing the procedure as murderers, and not the women).