BRIDGE's Bishamber Das is interviewed by the #youareworthy project
July 6, 2021 • • Bishamber Das
Bishamber Das, model, actor, lawyer and founder of GirlLikeMe, is not only Britain’s first Asian Plus Size model but also, quite impressively, Britain’s youngest Asian magistrate. Nearing a whopping 140,000 followers on her Instagram, she is one of the pioneers of body-positive influencers and plus-size models. Bright as she is gorgeous, the #youareworthy project decided they had to ask her about her views and thoughts on multiple topics and were lucky to land a (virtual) interview with her!
What do you think “body shaming” is?
An act one conflicts upon another when trying to humiliate their body.
Do you think body shaming has increased or decreased in recent years? Why?
I believe it may have decreased. With social media people are free to openly broadcast their opinions without consequences when commenting on someone's body but with that has come a number of inspirational and pioneering influencers who have challenged this perception and educated so many too, hopefully leading to a decrease.
How do you think we can combat body shaming?
For me personally, I understand each individual comment's from their own state of mind (level). I am not allowing my body or peace of mind to take on the negative energy of another. Why would I cause pain to myself (emotionally) based on the thoughts of another person for my own body?
You’re a social media influencer. How do you think social media has influenced body shaming in general?
It's given a platform and voice to everyone, where people believe their opinions are facts. With that has come the comfort of saying anything without the fear of consequences, when in reality that same individual would think twice before making the same comments to someone face to face.
How do you personally deal with the negative comments thrown your way?
I always remind myself of a famous English saying 'you can be the ripest apple in the cart, but there will always be someone who doesn't like apples'. I am not made for everyone's taste and that's ok. If you tell a flower you don't like it, it's not going to stop blooming is it?
What are your thoughts on diet culture?
Its dangerous and toxic. It has caused so much harm to so many people. We need to stop exposing our children and young people to this thought process. There are so many other ways of promoting a healthy life style.
What were some of the difficulties you faced as a POC and plus size model in the industry?
It's a constant battle fighting for recognition. With the BLM movement you'd think publications and brands would become more aware of the importance of diversity, however I am seeing the opposite. Asian/south Asian women are still being ignored but the masses celebrating how diverse they believe a certain article or campaign might be. As much as I love the work and activism of Jamila Jamil there is more than one south Asian in the whole of the UK making major contributions too!
Do you think where you live has had any role in the way both you and others look at your body?
I am a south Asian woman who belongs to an Indian heritage. The concept of beauty in south Asian culture is damaging and toxic. Growing up I was made to believe I was never worthy of any man's love simply because I was fat. And because I was fat no man would want to marry me. My own community/culture led me to believe that.
Did you ever question your worth because of body-shaming and has it impacted your identity in any way?
I am only human, I have my good and bad days just like anyone else. There are days when I am a queen and others when I am full of self-doubt. How I pick myself up is the most important thing. I have achieved so many milestones that so many can only dream of achieving I remind myself of these and how I achieved it all being just the way I am! The self-doubt soon disappears.
What advice do you have for the young and bright individuals that look up to you?
There's beauty in being different. Always be proud of what and who you are regardless of your culture, language, ethnicity, ability or gender.
What do you think constitutes being defined as "worthy"?
Respect for everyone. We ALL deserve respect.
To see the interview in full, click here!