An Exclusive Fashion Interview With The Rising Trans Model- Bonita Singh Rajpurohit
Ladies and Gentlemen! May I have your attention please ?
Today’s blog is a very special one! Whenever we talk about fashion we talk about style, glamour, creative exploration and confidence. Fashion is a language which tells a story about the person who wears it. We absolutely can’t ignore how the Trans models are redefining beauty and grace . The way they beautifully carry themselves demonstrate renewed versions of beauty . They have given the fashion industry a completely new edge .
It’s no coincidence that style is the lens in which the trans community, are amongst the first to be able to explore and express their true identity. So in honor of that exploration, we have an extremely special guest and an supremely talented model with us today.
Presenting before each one of you reading this, Let’s welcome Bonita Singh Rajpurohit – Miss Trans Queen India, 2019! who has stood out by daring to break away from the shackles of stereotypes.
What she’s achieved at the age of 20, is what most of us don't achieve during our entire lifetime. She's not only a stunning model who has walked the ramp for amazing designers at the fashion week, done shoots with the biggies like the Cosmopolitan but she’s also a trans woman activist who has written a number of articles, been in the headlines of so many publications , addressed the youth at educational institutions and led many campaigns supporting the Trans community.
Well, I've been lucky enough to get a chance to phone this inspiring woman and you're lucky enough to get a chance to read it .
She was so humble , so affectionate and soft spoken throughout the interview. She's the kind of person you’d love to know . So without any further ado let's get into it.
1.Tell us about the time when you just started your journey in fashion ..What does fashion mean to you?
Ans – Fashion is the only field where I see my representation and visibility .
While I was growing up I had to deal with a lot of complexities at a very young age, but fashion has always worked as an art healing therapy for me, you know! It boosts my confidence and gives me a platform to express myself , explore my tastes, explore my inner self and most importantly be my authentic self . So that’s when I decided I want to pursue fashion as my career. I came out to the world about my original Identity with an article which was published online (That was so brave of you Bonita! ) It was definitely not easy , but what I can surely say is that it was worth it! And growing up in a State like Rajasthan , where not everyone is sensitized about it you know. There are a lot of times people make you feel like there’s something wrong with you and you need to change , but when I came up online and read stuff I realized that yes! My feelings are valid. I can be a strong person just the way I am . I don't need to change for anyone. I don't need no acceptance or validation from anyone . That's when I decided I want to live my life for my own self and not for others. If I’m gonna continue my life , I’m gonna continue it with my original Identity of who I am in real and nothing fake. And indeed, internet has been a great help for me . I got a very positive response from the youngsters of Delhi, Mumbai and all the people in general who are well aware and appreciated all my efforts it takes to come out. And also I have a few photographer friends . So gradually I started to collaborate with them and entered the fashion industry! (You are so inspiring! )
2. Did your parents ever make you wear something you don't like ? (Haha it happens with almost all of us !)
Ans- After I transitioned , NEVER. They have been quite supportive in my journey . But yes , before I came out to the world as a trans woman , not just clothes it felt like everything was put up on me . Literally everything from expectations to activities , everything felt like it was being imposed on me.
3. Who is your fashion role model ? (And why ?)
Ans – Uhh that’s a tough question, but I would say Sarah Jessica Parker! And maybe Victoria Beckham. But I would say Sarah Jessica Parker, as a person, has more influence over me. I remember watching Sex and the city . It was all about fashion and dating and the modern culture. I have a great respect or what can I say, umm I was totally obsessed with Sarah Jessica Parker and her looks in the film. I love how graceful she looks in the Met Gala as well.
4. What is your favorite style to wear ? Traditional or Western ? Your favorite outfit in your favorite category ?
Ans – It depends actually, on where I am going. If I’m going to a party or you know out with my friends I will definitely not wear salwar suits or Indian clothes for that matter. I would prefer something more fun or party kind of look. But if I'm going for a wedding I’d love to get dressed up in traditional clothes .Infact I really enjoy wearing traditional clothes like sarees and suits. But I can't really say that I prefer any one over the other. I love both of them equally.
5. Does fashion allow people to express their individuality or does it force people to conform ?
Ans- I would say fashion has allowed people to express their true self , your actually identity. But if you are working for an agency or walking for a designer, at that time you are not allowed to do what you like, because now are a mannequin displaying the designer collection. At that point you might be bound by a certain set standard and the designers expectations, but apart from that fashion allows you to embrace yourself just the way you truly are.
6. If you had $5000 dollars to spend on any one fashion item , what would it be ? (Sounds exciting right !)
Ans- Haha! These questions are really killing me.(giggles!) SHOES, yeah I’ll go buy shoes for sure. I love shoes. Jimmy Choo or some designer shoes for sure!
7. We have seen a lot of models representing ' Bald is Bold ' , where in they chop off all their hair and set fashion statements. If given a chance to shoot for an high end fashion magazine , how open are you to going all bald ?
Ans- I won't mind that. If it is a high-end magazine and I know it’s going to create some impact, then definitely yes! I will go for it for sure. It’s a part of my profession. All these things are to be discussed with the model prior to the shoot. Like if it’s for a local shoot I may not prefer to do it. But I can understand that very few models are open to such things, but c'mon it’s 2020 and we live in a modern culture. After all, life is all about creating and leaving an impact, so why not do it.
8. Do you feel that the clothes we wear reflect what is inside us ?
Ans- For me, personally, YES. It has always helped to me express my true self . Its all about expressing your attitude, your fashion sense and your authentic self through clothing. So yes, I do agree with this statement. You just have to have the confidence to embrace yourself. Don’t pay much attention to your insecurities.
9. It is extremely heart breaking to see how some trans people are bullied , criticized and thrown tantrums at by some morons in the society . Have you ever faced bully or been discriminated in the fashion industry on the basis of your sexual identity ? If yes , how did you overcome it ?
Ans – Umm.. I’ve to think about it. I can’t really recall something like that . Gradually the fashion industry is changing a lot . Infact it’s the least judgmental field than other fields . There is a lot of acceptance in the industry and they are very welcoming when it comes to main stream media.
Yes, there are some selection criterias in the modelling industry like your height, weight, size ect. Particularly talking about me ,I never had to face problems because of my height and physique , but yet there are a lot of other models who have to face rejection or embarrassment in the auditions like- oh your height is only this, you have to leave or you can’t quality. I wish that could change .
10. Who has been your biggest and strongest support system through your journey ?
Ans- It is difficult to name just one person . But if a really really really have to, Then it’s my elder sister Jyotsna. She was the first person whom I came out to when I was a kid. She was the one who helped me come to terms with my own identity. Whether it was coming out to the world , or moving to another city , my profession she has always been a guide to me.
My parents have been a huge support as well . Like I've 4 sisters- 2 my own and 2 cousins. We are like best of best friends. These girls have also had my back always
But if it comes down to just one person, it’s definitely Jyotsna for me.
11. And finally one tip you’d give to all those people in the LGBTQ community who are still struggling for acceptance (from friend’s , family , society and even their own selves) and are insecure about stepping a bold foot ahead !
Ans – First of all you need to accept yourself! That’s is very important. You have to know that your feelings are valid . You don't need anybody’s validation for survival. You were born without them and so you can survive without their opinions. You have to learn to be the Hero of your own story. Be your own protagonist. Learn to speak up for yourself and take decisions for yourself. You can't be influenced or enforced until you want to. Start working hard towards your goals and things that make you happy. Just keep putting in efforts and one day it’ll definitely pay off and you'll be so happy inside out and surrounded by like minded . Just never give up on yourself and your dreams is what I'll say. Be I little selfish and love yourself a little more !
It was such a fun interactive session with you Bonita! This girl , oh my God! Her confidence and the way she expresses herself without any hesitation or fear left me in utter surprise. A woman who knows what she brings to the table is not afraid to leave alone. She is the perfect example and a great inspiration to all of us.
It has been such a beautiful learning experience with her. She taught me so many things I never had any knowledge about , for which I'll forever be grateful ❤️
ALWAYS REMEMBER – It’s always better and more respectful to use the terms 'Trans man' or ' Trans woman' or just 'Trans person' rather than 'Trans gender person'. Trans gender sounds more like pointing towards a certain gender and we don't want to sound disrespectful and hurt the sentiments of anyone. (A suggestion from Bonita).
So Thank you so much Bonita for being such a darling and so friendly . Keep shining, you beautiful one, the world needs your light.
Barkha and Bonita.