‘DON’T LET YOUR FEARS KILL YOUR SPIRIT’
India’s first plussize transgender model Mona Varonica Campbell shares how she garnered courage to break stereotypes and live her dreams
Her identity never came in the way of pursuing her dreams. India’s only plus-size transgender model Mona Varonica Campbell tells us about her inspiring journey.
Before becoming a model, Campbell was a makeup artist. “I had worked with various designers for their shows. I used to look at myself in the mirror and dream of walking the ramp. I want to tell people that they should never be afraid of dreaming. It’s your willpower that can turn around your life,” says the 28year-old, who was born a man. How tough was it for Campbell to represent herself as a mainstream model?
“I have a plus-size body type and on top of it, I am a transgender. Initially, I did have inhibitions , but nothing could stop me from achieving my goals . I got to know that they were looking for plus-size models for one of India’s leading fashion weeks. I applied, mentioning in the form that I was a transgender. I was shortlisted! I was very excited to walk for Wendell Rodricks,” she says. Campbell says that the designer didn’t know that she was a transgender. “The moment he got to know, he became more keen on having me for his show. Now he wants to write a book about my life,” she shares. Unlike children with gender identity issues, Campbell luckily didn’t have a troubled childhood.
“I never faced any bullying unlike other effeminate boys. People around me were not mean, not even in my school. Everyone respected me for who I am,” she says.
The model credits her success to her upbringing. “When I told my father that I wanted to go for gender reassignment surgery, he was cool about it. He stood by me and took me to a doctor,” she says. Her message to young modelling aspirants: Never give up on your dreams, no matter how impossible they seem. Your willpower can transform your life.
I want to tell people that they should never be afraid of dreaming. It’s your willpower that can turn around your life MONA VARONICA CAMPBELL, MODEL
Mona Varonica Campbell is inspiring transgender models across the country