From being the most ridiculed person in school to becoming the runner up in the Ms Plus Size India 2018 beauty pageant, 32-year-old Megha Singh’s journey has been no less than a rollercoaster ride.
The only woman to represent South India in the contest, Megha shares, “I have always been chubby and am now a plus size adult. I have been humiliated, made fun of, and even called names like ‘ugly fat cat’, ‘elephant’ and ‘sumo wrestler’ among others. People never ever accepted me the way I am.”
However, she confidently adds, “I have moved on and evolved into a better human being. I am not ashamed of my body now. In fact, I’m quite proud of it. I am perfect in my own imperfections.”
Born in Jamshedpur and settled in Hyderabad, Megha feels that body shaming exists more in the South than North India while in the West, people celebrate plus size beauties. She says that she took part in the beauty pageant to change the mindset of people towards plus size individuals and become a role model for others.
“Despite all the negativity I’ve faced, I decided not to hide myself behind curtains. I want to put the spotlight on plus size people and let the world know that we are no less than others,” says Megha, adding, “I was not allowed to wear western clothes because of my weight, but even plus size people can be fashionistas too. For instance, Rita Gangwani, the person who trained Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar, is just four-feet tall.”
She feels that society has been manipulated by outward beauty, especially because of a few ads that promote fair skin. “Inner beauty is forever. People need to love themselves. But it’s society’s fault. Indians are consumed by the slim, tall and fair look,” rues Megha, a former dentist.
When asked who inspires her the most, she states, “I’ve had my share of hiccups in life, so I am my own biggest inspiration. I’ve always been positive about my weight.” She adds, “Being positive is the best policy ever.”
Megha’s future plans include giving talks and counselling people around her. “During a photoshoot for the beauty contest, the photographer actually photoshopped my pictures to make me look slim. That’s when I decided to start a campaign against body shaming. I want to give talks, and counsel not only plus size people but also those who think being slim is perfect.”
Megha says she wants to be a voice against body shaming. “I want to bring about a change in the society and people’s mindsets towards a plus size woman,” she concludes.