Tanesha Awasthi is an accomplished blogger, fashion designer, entrepreneur, and trendsetter. She created and now manages Girl With Curves, a fashion blog that promotes body positivity and mental and physical wellness. She showcases different clothing, makeup, and hairstyles, all while reinforcing the idea that all bodies are beautiful and worthy. Take a look at how she is inspiring women to up their style game and running her blog and business like a boss.
The Tempest: You describe discovering stretch marks on your body at a young age and feeling insecure about them for years. In that vein, how do you think, as a society, we can give young girls confidence in their bodies when there are advertisements and problematic beauty standards reinforcing the acceptance of certain body types all around us?
Tanesha: I think it’s important to introduce your children, friends, family, etc. to images of women outside of the media. Media’s portrayal of beauty is very singular, whereas the diversity of actual women in the world, including so-called “flaws,” are far more represented in places like Instagram and Facebook vs. movies and magazines. I truly think a healthy self-esteem starts with developing a healthy sense of realism in terms of being able to understand what’s real and what’s photoshopped or retouched.
Having one child and another on the way, how have you dealt with society’s obsession with an expectation for women to “bounce back” and reclaim their pre-pregnancy bodies?
Tanesha: I try to remind myself that as a person in the public eye, people will comment as they see fit, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to take my time getting to a place where I feel comfortable with my weight and appearance. After all, we’re all human!
Can you describe a time, if any, that someone doubted or tried to invalidate your work as a fashion blogger because you are curvy? What was your reaction?
Tanesha: I still get very annoyed with the “plus-size” disclaimer that often precedes my name in articles or interviews. It’s been something I’ve had to accept over the years, especially because I never identified as being “plus size,” until I started blogging and people were labeling me or asking me to label myself one way or the other. I simply see myself as a girl with curves, regardless of size or weight. When the industry gets to a place where a blogger is simply a blogger, a model is simply a model and so on, I’ll be very happy to see the labels dropped – they only create separation and alienation amongst women.
How do you continue to make your blog relatable, innovative, and groundbreaking amongst the ever-changing landscape of fashion, makeup, and ideas about body image?
Tanesha: I try to innovate every year with a theme of some kind. 2017 was the year of expanding content altogether to not only offer more throughout the week but cover a wider variety of topics outside of style and beauty that are important to me. This year we added a Wellness section, as well as the Real Talk column where I vent about things that are bothering me, as well as the Dear Diary column that’s written by GWC readers who submit their entries anonymously. My team and I have some exciting things coming in 2018!I truly think a healthy self-esteem starts with developing a healthy sense of realism. Click To Tweet
Describe the conception and inspiration for your clothing line that you launched in 2013. How has it evolved since then?
Tanesha: I purchased a tutu skirt for LA Fashion week back in 2012, and when I wore it to an event it was like the entire room went silent and all eyes were on me! In that moment I realized the curvy community (those over size 12) needed tutu skirts for Holiday. At the time there were none on the market, barely even in straight sizes, so I was lucky to find one for the event. Long story short, I designed a tutu in size 12-24 and had it manufactured locally in SF and offered it in two colors for Holiday 2013. Then in 2014, we launched a full collection, including Ready to Wear, Holiday and Casual Basics. This year I partnered with Dia & Co to design a capsule collection that’s currently available here.