‘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

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - Time out - Ak­shay Kaushal ak­shay.kaushal @htlive.com

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

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