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July 05, 2018

The Women Driving India’s Digital Revolution: Ragini Nag Rao

Text by Zaral Shah

With her “fat fashion blog”, A Curious Fancy, she uses her online presence to throw light on the reality of being an unapologetically fat Indian woman

Ragini Nag Rao, 32

Armed with a master of arts in Cultures of Empire, Resistance and Postcoloniality from the University of York, Ragini Nag Rao started her “fat fashion blog, ” A Curious Fancy, in 2010. She wanted a space where she could talk about “being fat and loving cute clothes” — a combination she doesn’t think you see a lot of, especially in India. While the soul of the blog will always be her personal style journey and identity, she’s lately branched out into beauty blogging as well.

“I use my online presence to throw light on the reality of being an unapologetically fat Indian woman. Growing up, I wish I had someone like that because that would have helped me feel more like a person and less like the subhuman creature my family and peers made me out to be.”

“Instagram is my preferred online platform. Even though it’s primarily visual, it’s been where I’ve had some of the most enlightening conversations about fatness and culture, and met fascinating people working to spread awareness about body and fat positivity. The visual medium is important to me as my primary goal is to create the kind of imagery which typically doesn’t feature fat women. It’s important to be able to see fat bodies in order to normalise them.”

“I think that social media has changed the structure of society in the way newspapers changed it back in the 18th century. There are concerns now about how social media creates echo chambers and dumbs us down but social media is bound to get trolled thanks to its ability to give anyone a platform. However, in the long run, I feel that it’ll make a lasting change in current and future generations’ ability to form movements and make their voices heard.”

“I don’t think campaigns like #MeToo could have existed in a pre-digital era because of the simple fact that back then there wasn’t a way to spread information with this kind of speed and volume. In our era of social media 2.0, everyone is online — it’s no longer a thing for weird kids who spend all their time on computers as it was when I was in my teens. It’s how we, as humans, communicate.”

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