Let’s co-exist. Let’s make this world a better and safe place for everybody to live peacefully and on their own terms - Mahek Agarwal
Mahek Agarwal has a serene demeanor that immediately draws your attention, but behind it all is the warmth of a woman who has courageously and stylishly come into her own. Mahek is a multifaceted individual who is a plus-size transgender content creator, an advocate for the queer community, and a candid speaker for body positivity on social media. Our favorite thing about Mahek by far is the unspoken ways in which she's smashing ideas of conformity.
How did you go about finding yourself?
I don’t think I had to find myself, really. I think I always knew I was a woman. It’s just that when you’re a child, you really can’t put words to what you’re feeling. As you grow up and start questioning yourself, you slowly discover yourself.
My soul found me, I didn’t find myself. Me and my soul are one person. I am very proud of where I am at the moment.
What were the challenges you faced in this journey of self-discovery?
The journey has not been a struggle, it has been rewarding. It has made me a stronger person, the journey has made me who I am today.
In India, the main challenge was being looked down upon. The usage of the right pronouns and names in office space was a challenge. Dealing with society, in general, was a challenge. For example, going to a shopping mall to buy clothes for myself was a big problem, because the first question they would ask was ‘Who are you buying clothes for?’ and I proudly said ‘It’s for me and not for anybody else’.
What was the motive when you started your Instagram page?
When I started my transition, I had nobody to look up to - I only had people from the West to look up to. My motive for my Instagram page was to educate people, to tell people about my journey from the time I was a 3-year-old.
I wanted to create a space for the younger generation, the queer people around the globe, to come and see my journey and realize that it’s a road with challenges you can face as long as you believe.
Fashion has always been very close to my heart - I can say it’s my first love. When I did not know how to express myself, fashion gave me ways to express myself and when I saw a lot of responses, I wanted to follow my passion for fashion.
What’s the most fulfilling part of being a digital creator?
As a digital creator, the most rewarding part has been meeting some really gorgeous women in India and across the world. To be able to show my love for fashion and take the message of body positivity and body neutrality to its literal terms. To not only show fashion through body positivity but also show how to express fashion through your body and be comfortable with it.
What's your opinion on the industry you work in?
I looked up to a lot of people, I thought it would be hunky dory, an easy thing to be a fashion content plus size creator, but it’s not so easy! There are some great, great creators doing some excellent work.
Any opinions on the plus size sisterhood?
As a transgender, plus size content creator, I feel like I am boycotted by the plus size sisterhood community in India. I don’t think there’s any reason for such a thing to occur as I am a woman and I’m doing my best and I will not stop.
I would like to mention a few people who have really supported me and stood by my side - Janvi from Nasik (@janviii.jainnn), Anindita from Calcutta (@theplusgirl), Jenny from Calcutta (@slay_jen).
What’s beauty to you?
For me, beauty is skin deep. Beauty is taking care of yourself. Beauty is appreciating and loving yourself irrespective of what your height is, what your weight is, what your age is, what your gender is. For me, beauty is not just beauty exterior but beauty with a purpose and my purpose with regard to my beauty is to bring the plus size transgender women into the mainstream fashion.
What is the one principle you live by in life?
You’re born as a human being, you’re born for a purpose. You’ve not just come to this world to live a life and go, you’ve come here for a bigger purpose and you should live for that purpose.