Tuesday 18 November 2014

Celebrating Bloggers & Life Outside The Cubicle

There is a very famous quote that does the rounds on Pinterest: “Your dream job does not exist. You must create it.” 
Since the moment I have seen it, I know it was written for people like me.

As much as we all like to be creating our dream jobs, there is a certain set of people, known as bloggers, who have not only crafted their dream job, but have also made it into a successful business. 
From Perez Hilton to Miss Malini and from Bryanboy to Leandra Medine (Man Repeller), these new age self-made men and women have managed to make a career and life outside the cubicle.
As the blogging industry gets bigger and better, the blogger is often seen as the new age role model; an aspirational figure who is inspiring a generation to have it all. Most importantly, the blogger is breaking the age-old dilemma of dream job vs. real job. Instead, the blogger encourages people to pursue their passion and make it their dream job.

As a fashion and lifestyle blogger who is part of the thriving blogging community, I have always wanted to do a post about my fellow bloggers from across genres.  
Scullers ‘This Is Life’ campaign celebrating life outside the work space seemed liked the perfect opportunity to do a post featuring few of my favourite bloggers who have managed to make a career and life outside the cubicle pursuing their passion and living their dreams.

Meet Shreya Kalra, the uber-stylish girl from the blog For The Love Of Fashion And Other Things.
A lawyer by education, Shreya is a Fashion Content Writer at Creative Marketing Fix.
Tell us about For The Love Of Fashion And Other Things?
My blog is all encompassing. It moves from fashion to lifestyle and women centric issues. Primarily about my personal style, I also cover trend reports, a little bit of beauty, books and social issues.

Why do you blog? 
It started off as collating my outfit ideas and style inspirations on a digital platform, which is now so much more than just that. It is my nook to write as I wish for as long as I wish and to style outfits just the way I like them, without any other concerns.

What do you love most about blogging and working outside the cubicle?
It is extremely humbling when people you look up to appreciate your work and more than that, I personally feel flattered when I run into readers who talk about my blog as passionately as I feel about it. Of course, being approached for fun collaborations is an added bonus.

Here's the story of Dakshin Adyanthaya and how his blog Bhooka Janta (which he co-owns with Pranali Punwatkar and Eshaan Mathur) came to be.
A food at heart and an explorer in spirit, Dakshin is a Social Media Team Lead in a digital advertising company called iProspect Communicate 2.
What exactly is Bhooka Janta all about?
Bhooka Janta is a food blog and we cover everything from reviews to recipes to features. In 18 months, Bhooka Janta has had a burger in BURGS named after it, been featured on the show Highway On My Plate Hills with Rocky & Mayur, won the runner's up award for the best Group Blog at IFBA 2013, has its recommendations in the Times Food Guide and more.

Why do you blog? 
There are three ways to know about different countries: One by its people, two by actually travelling there and three by food. 
The love for exploring new cuisines and also informing other, led us to blog about it.

What do you love most about blogging and working outside the cubicle?
Connecting with people, understanding their taste and recommending them the best options in the city. It feels great when people read your blog, go by your recommendations and finally have a smile of their face when they love the food you have recommended. All this and plus the creative freedom you get to execute your ideas which might not be the case when you work in a cubicle.

Somewhere between making topics trend on Twitter and trying out the latest shade of red lipstick, Anu Menon’s Musings of A Bombay Girl was born.
Anu spends her days as a Digital Strategist- Outreach Specialist with DigitasLBi.
Introduce us to Musings of A Bombay Girl?
I've always been passionate about writing and my blog is an extension of myself. I blog about beauty, make up, food, short stories and poems. 

Why do you blog? 
Musings of A Bombay Girl started of as a poetry and short story blog. As I started discovering make up and beauty, I felt the urge to share it with my readers who have been reading and supporting my poems. I was pleasantly surprised when my posts were well received. My readers’ comments and feedback made me explore food as well. 

What do you love most about blogging and working outside the cubicle?
It gives me immense happiness when my readers share with me how useful they found my blog. They value my opinion and I directly or indirectly influence their views. The sheer fact of knowing that people look up to your blog gives me a high sense of responsibility. I learn and unlearn everyday. Each day is a unique experience.

Fondly referred to as the Grooming Guru, Riaan George of Urban Eye, is famous for three things-his impeccable style, his immaculate manners and his lifelong love affair with aviation.  
Man of many talents, Riaan is a Luxury Journalist, Magazine Editor and runs a weekend language school. 
At Urban Eye you will find?
 My three passions: Menswear, luxury travel and aviation. 

Why do you blog? 
My regular job as a journalist requires me to be far more serious about my approach to content, researching features, quoting people, statistics etc. Blogging helps me to lighten things up. Write or post on social media about my favourite things in life - fashion, airplanes and luxury travel. Moreover, it helps me add a personal touch to what I post. My personal style is brought forth. 

What do you love most about blogging and working outside the cubicle?
It is always so fulfilling and rewarding when men ask for my opinion on fashion, or even when some of my female friends take tips from me when shopping for their partners. I also love when people ask me for travel tips. It makes me feel like I am doing a good job. 

On Twitter everyone knows her as the sassy Caramel Wings, but Ashrita Chinchankar is many things- a commercial pilot (on the job hunt as of now), a pastry chef and travel enthusiast being some of them.
Share with us Caramel Wings’ journey.
I bake custom cakes and cookies, and I write about what is new in the world of food. I have had the chance to travel a bit around the world and I truly believe that the window to any new city and their culture is via food. With my day job including extensive travel and my passion for writing I hope to one day bring to my readers the perfect mix between travel, lifestyle and gastronomical delight, and every single day I spend is spent getting closer to my dream! 

Why do you blog? 
I started my blog as a diary for myself, but it grew into so much more; with all the nurturing it got from the readers. Once I knew that people out there are listening, it automatically made me want to write more often. 

What do you love most about blogging and working outside the cubicle?
Honestly, the best part is to be able to stay connected all the time. Whether I am on the go or multitasking, I can always access/update my blog. For baking I receive all orders via social media and being connected helps manage my content on various platforms all at once! 

By doing what they love, this is how these talented bloggers celebrate their life outside the cubicle. Your turn to share the same.
Head over to Scullers This Is Life Facebook page and celebrate life with them. Post your pictures and tag #ScullersThisIsLife. The person with the highest number of SHARES (for a particular picture) will win Scullers gift vouchers.
 Till then, tra-la,
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Monday 3 November 2014

My Body, My Rules; #ButtOut!

It is safe to say we live in a society that constantly questions its women. From the clothes we wear to the colour of our skin to the choices we make, everything is forever being scrutinized. 
However, if there is one thing, we as a society have mastered, it is the art of body shaming. 
What really is body shaming? It is labeling an individual with inappropriate negative terms and statements, based on the their weight, size and body type. 
Contrary to popular belief, it is not just ‘fat’ and ‘curvy’ women who constantly get mocked and shamed. Women of all sizes, shapes and body structure have to deal with it. 
Since childhood we are made to believe in stereotypes, ‘If you become fat, no one will marry you!’ or ‘You’re so thin, you look unhealthy and weak!’

Does a woman have no other identity beyond her physical appearance? When will people understand that an individual's identity is more than their body shape!
It is about time we stop shaming the body and start shaming the minds that mock it. It is not the body that needs shaming but the minds that constantly judge and labels it.
It is time to tell the society, my body, my rules; you need to butt out
Like me, many women across age groups, professions and social structures have had to deal with their share of body shaming. 
I asked a few women their personal experience with body shaming and how they handled it.

No one equates marriage and weight quite like the Indian society. Whether you are thin or fat, tall or short, something about your body will always be a negative marker.
“Nobody is going to marry you with that type of a body!” Like most of us, time and again, Bhavna has been told the same. 

People often equate beauty, personality and likability to being a certain body type, and very little to do with the person itself. 
One such individual dared to tell Ketaki: “This room is full of pretty girls, and Ketaki!”

Body shaming does not start with strangers. It starts with people we know and from a young age.
Teasingly called ‘fatty’ by friends and family to motivate her to get back in shape and for better health as well, a family member once told Aishwarya, “you better get in shape by the time of the wedding; you need to look hot and attractive enough.”

Parampara spent her childhood and early teens as a chubby kid who often got subjected to taunts like, “Aye Moti! Thoda kam khaaya, bhains banti jaa rahi hai tu!” 
Now that she has lost her weight; due to her current lifestyle, the same people ask her mother that does she not feed her daughter well or pester Parampara with comments like, “you’re heading towards anorexia due to rigorous dieting!”
Having been on the receiving sides of both ends, Parampara has learnt how to deal with her critics and has the perfect answer to shut them up.

If weight is the reason for women not getting married, then it has to also be the reason for a marriage not working out, right?
After her first marriage fell apart, an acquaintance chose to enlighten Pratishtha with these words: “If you had maintained your weight, he wouldn’t have had to look at other women.” 

It is no secret, that if there is one industry that has unrealistic body expectations, it is the fashion world.
A photographer, on multiple occasions told Roxanne, what most personal style bloggers have been hinted/ told at one point or another, “I'll do your portfolio, just lose 5-7 kilos, the pictures will come out nicer.” This was told to her when she weighed 50kgs!

While people can’t get enough of telling ‘fat’ girls to hit the gym, the minute they see someone like Tazeen at a gym, working out, comments like, You gym? You run? Hahaha, seriously just go home and eat food” come flying her way.

Take it from someone who has struggled her entire adult life with body issues, body shaming only makes matters worse. You are helping no one by labelling them with derogative terms. 
Every possible body shaming insult has been thrown my way. From being told, “with that body, you are never going to make it in fashion” to “you are never going to find someone to marry” to “have you even tried losing weight? It is not that difficult, trust me! Celebrities lose weight all the time.”

It has taken me a good amount of time to come to terms with my body. I now have one reply for every single body shaming comment.
To be very honest, not everyone who makes a body related comment is trying to shame it, but there is a very, very thin line between healthy, constructive criticism and blatant body shaming.
Whether it is for vanity or health reasons, it should be the individuals, and that individual’s alone, choice to either lose or gain weight.
This post is a part of Jealous 21's #ButtOut campaign. The campaign is all about breaking age old stereotypes and celebrating women the way they are.
Honestly, we can't really celebrate women without ending body shaming. One on hand you tell women to accept who they are and on the other hand you constantly shame them for what they look like.

Society needs to realise that the way a woman looks, her physical appearance and her body alone do not make her who she is. There is so much more to her than meets the eye.

Till then, tra-la
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