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Home » From an insecure girl to a plus size fashion influencer: Neha Parulkar’s inspiring journey

From an insecure girl to a plus size fashion influencer: Neha Parulkar’s inspiring journey

Neha Parulkar is a plus size fashion influencer who has shattered years of societal conditioning to finally feel comfortable in her own skin. She has been a part of many successful events, including “Cosmo India Blogger Awards 2019”. The diva has participated in the “Lakme Fashion Week” four times! She collaborates with big brands like Myntra, Urbanic, Mango, Vogue, and more. She has also been a TEDx speaker.

Body-Positive Influencer Neha Parulkar

The Winged Women interviewed this beautiful plus size fashion influencer who is now an inspiration to thousand’s others. Here’s what she said:

Who is Neha Parulkar as a woman?

Initially, Neha Parulkar was a chubby girl who was highly self-conscious and liked to remain in her own shell. Today, I have crossed all insecurities and finally become comfortable in my own skin. I am a cheerful girl who has been through a journey of self-discovery and hoping for the positivity to radiate to others.

Body-Positive Influencer Neha Parulkar

Your Instagram describes you as a fun and goofy person, but what is that one thing that hasn’t changed in you from your childhood days till now?

Since my early childhood, I have always remained ‘indifferent’ to the opinion of others. People surrounding me forced me to believe that I should care about what others think of me, yet I made space for myself. Even today, I am an unapologetic person who supports the motto – ‘You do you’ and doesn’t care about the world.

What is your motivational motto in life?

When I was growing up, I didn’t have any support system. Nobody to fall back upon and share things with. I felt deep desperation to have someone as a supporter. I have felt how hard it is to grow and be without a supporter. I want to uplift other women and girls through my work. “I try to be that person who I wish I had in my life”.

Body-Positive Influencer Neha Parulkar

When did you decide that you wanted to inspire thousands of other women?

Even when I was in my 20’s, I struggled to figure out how do I break free from societal opinions. I wanted to be content with myself. I was in my mid 20’s when I started self-accepting myself and decided that life had to be my way from now on. You might be shocked to believe that at that point, I felt that I was the ‘only one’ who was struggling. The only fat person in my class, my family and everywhere else.

Neha Parulkar posing as an inspiring woman.

Eventually, when I explored the world a bit more, I realised that every other fat person faces bullying. That’s when I thought that I should be there for other people as a supporter and friend. Earlier social media was not there so it was harder to connect with people, but now its easier to inspire others and be inspired too.

There are many size-inclusive brands yet commoners don’t know about it. Are influencers privileged because they get everything?

As plus size fashion influencer we are privileged that brands come to us to promote their products. This way, we help many women and girls find plus-size related things that are otherwise hard to find. I remember how difficult it was for me to get clothes, and I had to get stitched. When I work as an influencer, I realise how hard it is for others actually to find things. Its because of my struggle that I connect with my audience.

Body-Positive Influencer Neha Parulkar in a swimsuit in Goa

Your family isn’t entirely supportive about your body weight, yet you dared to wear a swimsuit in Goa. How does lack of family support affect a body-conscious person’s mental health?

“Har cheez ki shuruwat ghar se hoti hai!”. According to Neha, confidence comes from what your family says as a younger self doesn’t have maturity. Our families have ‘conditioned’ us to believe that a person should be slim, petite and good-looking. I felt inferior because I couldn’t match up to their expectations like “girls should wear salwar-suit only”. I was always made to think that swimsuits are not for ‘fat people’. They said, “tumpe achcha nahi lagega” (It won’t look good on you). The first time I wore a swimsuit, it took a lot of courage. When people tell you to live a certain way, it takes a toll on not just your mental health but your overall personality.

Share one incident that shook you a lot mentally

I wanted to get admission into one of the most popular colleges of Mumbai. I was confident to get in with the sports quota because I was good in co-curricular activities. But I couldn’t go to that college because I had to take a train to go there. Yes, I left that college because of this fear – “patani main akele train se travel kar paungi ya nahi” (Will I be able to travel in a train?). I didn’t even apply to that college due to this fear. This explains that the humiliation and under-confidence starts breathing in you.

Body-Positive Influencer Neha Parulkar

Is there any woman who inspires you?

Nobody in my inner circle was so confident, but many in the western world have inspired me. There is no one woman, I have learnt many things from different women. Now, I have inspired myself…I look back at my own journey to feel inspired. Wearing a swim suit in Goa always works as an inspiration.

Neha Parulkar is like many of us who have faced various challenges in life, but dared to flutter our wings and become a part of the community – ‘The Winged Women’.

If you liked this story, check out some more inspiring stories of well-known influencers and warrior women on our website. Drop a comment if you enjoyed reading.

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