Ms V Supreme : the Grand Finale !

Hey fam!

How has time whizzed by so quickly??

On Monday the 25th we found out who would be crowned 2019’s Ms V Supreme, and it was down to these three finalists  – Aarthi, Haleema and Devika. I got to interview the girls before the semi finals and you can check out their interviews Here.

The girls made some time for me over the weekend and we got chatting on Instagram Live.

 

 

Aside from the fun banter during the chats I asked them 3 pertinent questions:

How are you feeling this close to the grand finale? 

How do you think you have grown from the beginning of the show until now? 

What expectations do you have going into the finale? 

 

So let’s check out what they had to say!

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Ms V Supreme Finalist Aarthi

 

“I am definitely very nervous. We’re all prepping for it, we’re just going to give it our best shot! We were in rehearsal this afternoon and the entire group of girls have come together for group rehearsals as well!”

“There has been so much growth! First off, I have brushed up on my Tamil – I learnt Chinese in school – and I love that I get to embrace my roots. Definitely have developed more confidence and I am able to speak my mind with less hesitation”

“Of course my biggest expectation is to win the competition! I have been working very hard from Day 1 plus the sacrifices I have made, would make my winning this much more satisfying.”

 

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Ms V Supreme Finalist Haleema 

 

“My growth has been tremendous! I came into the competition only with experience with hosting but through the tasks given on the show, have tried my hand at acting, doing the catwalk, dancing – among other things – so it has really helped me grow. It’s not simply about proficiency in Tamil and being well spoken. ”

” It is an honour to share the stage with Aarthi and Devika. I cannot wait to slay the stage on the finale with them!”

“I just want to give it my best, without disappointing myself. Coming this far means a lot to me, the stakes are really high. Honest talk: I’m feeling unwell with a migraine so I am trying my best to stay motivated and not let it bother my frame of mind too much. Hoping to get some time tomorrow to prepare even more for the Finals”

 

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Ms V Supreme Finalist Devika

 

“I’m feeling oddly calm and I guess it’s because most of the competition has already been done and I am just going to do my best for the last lap. I had my freak out moment 3 weeks ago! Now that it is closer to the date and I have an idea of what’s in store for the finals, it doesn’t feel as scary. Also, doing this with Aarthi and Haleema helps – we’re in the same boat!”

“I have gained so much more than exposure from this. I have gained a sisterhood, friendships and perspective. It has been wonderful. This has made me a better person, helping me to evaluate the way I thought about myself, about competing and learning to be more open about my thoughts with my fellow contestants. As an advocate for sexual violence awareness, it emphasised that I need to practice what I preached”

“Much like what Haleema said, I expect myself to do my best. It has been quite the journey, having come this far. It is a privilege and responsibility to be in the Finals and to honour that, I just want to do the best that I can!”

Before we knew it, the weekend passed in a blur and Monday arrived, with so much excitement in the air!

I started off the day with a morning visit to meet the finalists in person, while they were rehearsing their respective skits for the evening with the rest of the Ms V Supreme family – former contestants who gamely joined the finale to help the finalists during their final tasks for the competition. That too, in front of a live audience for the first time!

After completing a quick live video to see how Aarthi, Devika and Haleema were faring, I took a gander at the main stage of the programme.

my announcement on Instagram for the finals

 

All recharged for the evening, I got ready and headed back to MediaCorp studios to meet the finalists again and interview the judges.

This time round, the anxiety was palpable with the girls. They were in the midst of getting their hair and makeup done, it was unusually quieter than their usual banter. The reality of being so close to being crowned was setting in. The other contestants were there in support and anticipation as well and they were dressed up to be part of the skits the three finalists had prepared.

 

During my interview with the judges Indra, Bharathi and Udaya, I asked them how their expectations differ today in comparison to the very beginning of the competition as well as what the audience watching from home should come to expect.

Unanimously, they expressed a great amount of hope and excitement for the girls, who have been preparing and working so hard for Ms V over the past 6 months. Which ties in to what the audience were to expect – a culmination of the finalists’ hard work showcased in the final tasks before announcing the winner of the show.

 

As we took our seats for the finale, I watched supporters of the three finalists get prepared to showcase their banners in support of their loved one. Their friends and family were there giving their full support.

We were hyped up before the show started with some help from local tv host and actor Elamaran Jr who definitely helped diffuse any tension by making us laugh the entire time, while briefing us on ‘live tv show audience etiquette’.

Lights, Camera, Action and the show began once the girls stood on stage! After the re-introduction of the girls and the host of the show Jaynesh entered the foray, we were treated to the individual acting skits by the finalists that included former contestants. That was followed by the judges comments on how they fared in the task.

Next up was a talent round that took me by surprise :O

Aarthi started off with singing in both Tamil & Chinese followed by Devika performing ventriloquism and Haleema performing a stand up comedy set. Totally unexpected and very refreshing.

Since this was a live tv show, I was surprised with how quickly time passed, how time was allocated for ad breaks and for prep in between the tasks like changing props on set etc.

To say it was nerve wrecking to wait for Jaynesh to announce the winner at the end would be quite the understatement. Friends and family of the finalists were making it known who they wanted to wear the crown.

I felt so much emotion because I knew how badly each of these girls wanted to prove their might in the competition:

Aarthi, the unassuming and young ingenue who worked through finessing her Tamil and growing into a young star…

Haleema, discovering that while hosting was a no-brainer for her thanks to her experience in the field, was adept at other aspects of what it took to win

Devika, who entered the show with no expectations to begin with, the gumption and amazing dance abilities to showcase as a bonafide personality ..

 

Meet the winner of Ms V Supreme 2019 – Devika !!!!

 

Tears of joy from beloved supporters in the crowd as Devika was crowned winner! A well deserved win for a woman with so much passion, dedication to her craft and enthusiasm!

And while Aarthi and Haleema did not win the crown, they won our hearts. I have so much respect and awe for the effort, sacrifices given to pursuing their dream. Well worth worth the blood, sweat and tears.

Like the contestants, I was not sure what to expect when I decided to be a part of the Ms V Supreme world. This was so out of my scope of work for the blog and I feared if I could take it on. I was cautiously excited to be part of a local initiative since support for my work in the local community has not been the best. Some view me and my body of work with disregard or disdain.

I wasn’t expecting to feel so welcomed. I wasn’t expecting to make friends and become so enthused with the entire process of the show and the girls. I wasn’t expecting to feel oddly sad after the winner was crowned because it meant I may not see some of these amazing people as often as I got to during this process. The judges, the production team, the contestants and their loved ones.

This was about so much more than about the competition itself.

Finding kindred spirits, working through my social anxiety to bring my own confidence forward to the foray. Pushing past fears surrounding my mobility and self esteem since the injuries. Feeling more connected to my people here in Singapore, especially the Indian community. Moving past fearing the backlash I thought would come my way as a big girl from said community.

Taking leaps of faith. Just like the girls and the entire crew did for the new and improved Ms V Supreme.

I truly hope you have enjoyed reading my posts about the show as much as I have enjoyed covering it. There is so much more in store for the blog and I look forward to sharing those moments with you 🙂

Sending you so much hearty Aarti love xxxo

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Much gratitude to Mediacorp Vasantham, Violet Tales Pte Ltd, Gami Media, the judges and contestants of Ms V Supreme for making this endeavour possible 🙂 

part 2: Curves Become Her meets Ms V Supreme

Now where was I?

Ah yes. I had to be a klutz. I was reassured very kindly that it was okay but it was a good indication of how I would ever fare if put in front of the cameras.

I got to meet some of the girls during their lunch break – lunch looked Yummy!! It was a relief to see them chowing down instead of setting it aside.

 

In Conversation With The Contestants

 

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Haleema

 

“This competition is a validation to the fact that beauty is diverse. It shows the viewers that we come in all forms and beauty does not know talent”  – Contestant Haleema

Beauty does not know talent. So that stopped me in my tracks because I do lapse into self-doubt, like we all do. Especially when constantly having to ‘stay relevant’ or include more aesthetically pleasing posts on Instagram. Aesthetics aside, I am first and foremost a writer and advocate. That will never leave me or ask me to ‘be cool’. Taking mental notes from these girls now as we talk!

 

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Hashwini

 

“It’s a good initiative and I hope it makes people more open to how they regard other people” – Contestant Hashwini

As a self-professed novice to the body positive movement, she was really enthused about it gaining more exposure. She was perfectly at ease during the interview and I was pleasantly surprised that she had taken a gander at my body of work before we met! It makes me really happy when people new to what I consider my life’s work, approach it with a keen interest to learn, instead of making snap judgements. If I had nerves before, they slowly began to wane as I realised the girls were just as curious and open minded to what our conversations would be like.

 

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Aarthi and Aarti

 

Selena Gomez does what she feels right about. Being her true self is what inspires me, because I want to be my true self wherever I am.”  – Contestant Aarthi

Always fun to interview your namesake 🙂 As the ‘youngest’ of the group Aarthi is doted on. She delights in how affectionate and supportive the other contestants are because it helps immensely with handling the pressures of the competition. I noticed through a peek at her Instagram account that she was a big fan of Selena Gomez and I asked her about it. Interestingly, what she said about Selena was what I thought about Aarthi – an unassuming free spirit.

 

 

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Pooja

 

“I was very apprehensive about taking part in this. Especially as someone who is quiet, and feels conscious about her smile” – Contestant Pooja

As a an introvert and bashful person, I could sense a likeness in Pooja. Introverts get such a bad rep – we’re too quiet and we like being alone .. we don’t open up as readily, you need to give us time. We are hard to read and we smile when we want to. As I watched her tackle the tasks in each episode and stoically take the criticisms presented, I could tell she was nervous but determined to give it her best. She spoke effusively of how this show has helped her work past her insecurities, in terms of confidence and how she views herself. Which made this Mama Bear very heartened because you don’t always get the pleasure of being uplifted and encouraged in similar settings.

 

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Parmitha

“It ideally means being confident with your body, regardless of how it looks. Building that confidence is important” – Contestant Parmitha

Given the time constraints between recordings, it was so good to see everyone looking forward to having a quick chat! Parmitha was a little nervous at first but I reminded her that this was really informal. What charmed me about her was her poise and as we got chatting, you could see her visibly feeling more at ease. The girls had an important challenge coming up right after lunch.

 

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Dashnalatha

“There needs to be more representation. We relate to media and social media a lot more than we used to. When you are able to see somebody who looks like you, you will naturally feel encouraged to” – Contestant

Dashna

You KNOW that I was celebrating when I saw a fellow plus size girl making it past the auditions. During auditions there were 3 plus size girls who gave it a shot and listen, that was a sheer delight to watch on the telly! Sadly, Dashna was eliminated in episode 2.

I was super bummed to see her leave so soon. There was quite an outcry over it and I was glad to see people rooting for her. It is a rarity to witness that outpour of love. We are either pigeon holed into specific roles in the media or used as a token fat person.. it is hurtful. Dashna was neither of those for the duration that she stayed in the competition. Watching her grace the runway, speak to the judges and commit to her tasks was a thing of beauty.

Like me, Dashna took a leap of faith to pursue a dream. A dream many would discourage us from having. We did it anyway. I cannot wait to see what is in store for her in the near future. Again, I was very humbled that she knew of my work. For the past 6 years, speaking about what I do always got me the wary side-eye.

 

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Devika

Content Warning: Childhood Sexual Abuse, Trauma

 

“Advocacy has been the biggest motivation for me, it helps knowing that what has happened to you is not in vain and there is good that you can make out of it no matter how terrible it might have been” – Contestant Devika 

Devika struck me as a kindred spirit. We are both dancers (well I await to be able to dance freely again) and we have lived through trauma to tell the tale. Unfortunately we do not know many women who have not been targets of sexual assault. With the #metoo movement, it was a collective battlecry. Assault and trauma is rough. Healing from childhood sexual abuse though?

There is something in all of us that pushes against pain and despair, channeling the anguish towards the advocacies we delve into. We find creative modes of self expression. Catharsis. That is what Devika is accomplishing. We are not the victims of our story. We are not what has happened to us.

 

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Shareen

 

“I got married at 21 and we told each other we were not going to stop pursuing our dreams. We will support one another, learn and grow together on this journey. So that is how it has been throughout” – Contestant Shareen

The South Asian culture is still rather patriarchal in nature.

As a married woman, I have always believed that my marital status should not deter the pursuit of dreams. People are still quick to say that we have an image to uphold, responsibilities to manage as married women. I am so glad to have learnt that this has had a minimal impact on fellow married woman Shareen’s participation. While I do not seek validation or permission from the hubster, it does make a difference when your spouse is supportive.

Cultural standards of beauty vary from region to region. Within the South Asian communities fairer skin tones, slim bodies, silky smooth hair textures are preferred, among other things. This group of girls wanted nothing to do with perpetuating these unfair standards. I was so chuffed! This was nothing like I had expected.

 

In Conversation With The Judges

Admittedly I was rather nervous to meet the judges because I was star struck and did not know what to expect from them, especially when broaching the topics of diversity and body positivity.

Indra Chandran, Bharathi Rani and Udaya Soundari have hosted, acted, performed dozens of tv serials, travel shows, foodie shows (we are Big on food here in Singapore) and performed for live audiences for Vasantham.

Between the three dynamic ladies, there is a wealth of expertise and experience. Which makes them the perfect combination to judge and mentor the contestants. While judging happens as a collective every week, the girls are mentored individually by Indra, Bharathi and Udaya through tasks and episodes.

 

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Indra Chandran

“We have a responsibility with how we present ourselves because the young girls are watching us on the screen. We have to put across messages to remind them that looks aren’t everything. Don’t chase beauty” – Ms V Supreme Judge Indra Chandran

I remember watching Indra win Ms V, quite a while ago! I was excited to find out her thoughts about this new and improved concept for the show.

“I specifically remember when I was taking part as a contestant, the first auditions started in April or May. There were 24 of us and the competition ended in November. So we had a long period of time to practice in front of a live audience, before we went to the finals” Ms V Supreme Judge Indra Chandran

Indra spoke with candour of how she may have subscribed to diet culture in the past but as the years have gone by, she has come to see beauty as a whole – regardless of size or aesthetic. It is in the way a person talks and carries themselves.

“I do not believe in standards of beauty. I have been plus sized and I was still beautiful then!” -Ms V Supreme Judge Indra Chandran

I had such an easygoing conversation with Indra and would have loved to pick her brain more. I’ll leave it for when I meet her at the competition finale! Once again, blown away by what I was hearing and really heartened.

 

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Bharathi Rani

 

I think I had the most apprehension in my interview with Bharathi.

She is a lovely person and that smile! But I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a pest with the questions because they had pressing work at hand. She graciously listened to my questions as I fumbled on. I wanted to ask her about her pet dog since I am a fur momma too but I think it escaped my mind out of anxiety! So imagine my shock when she said

“I still get very nervous when on stage, but with practice I have become more confident. I think it’s good to have a little bit of nerves so that you’re in control” – Ms V Supreme Judge Bharathi Rani

 

 

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Udaya Soundari

 

“With regards to body positivity I feel the only reason why people would feel bad about themselves is because somebody else makes them feel that way. It’s not like they wake up one morning and hate their bodies. You want to buy a dress but you cannot fit into it. That makes you upset and the extent of that damage is quite underrated” – Ms V Supreme Judge Udaya Soundari

Udaya and I spoke at length about the challenges of shopping and finding clothes that you actually like, when you are not a standard Asian size. For reference, a US size 0 would be the size XS here.

I listened on as she gave me her thoughts on body positivity. She was right, there was more pressure to be “put together” today than it was when she first started out on television. We did not have the advent of accessibility to YouTube makeup tutorials, online shopping.

We really lost track of time during the interview! I was told politely many, many times that Udaya needed to be on stage, the hubster had to give me the mutual sign we use to say – Okay, lets wrap this up – before I noticed. Perhaps it was a good thing I didn’t pursue my dreams of being a journalist or news correspondent.

 

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Sharon Roosevelt

“As long as you’re well presented, it does not matter if you are single or married, have kids. It does not matter what your size or skin tone is. At the end of the day, what we want is to create artists with versatility and talent. Anyone is welcome to audition” – Ms V Supreme Producer Sharon Roosevelt

Sharon was such a gentle, affable person to chat with. Just like the contestants and judges, it was such a pleasure to meet her despite her busy schedule. As she spoke passionately about wanting to find not just artists but role models, it made me wish there were more people like her in the region. More people like the girls I got to meet.

 

At the beginning, it felt like I was trespassing and found myself wondering how the reception would be towards me. While I have no qualms about existing in my space, it matters when you are regarded beyond your exterior. Much like that grey building haha! At the end of the day, everybody just wants to be accepted for who they are.

It gets tiring to be up in arms all day fending yourself against body shamers online and in real life.

I thought I might have to steel myself for some of that when I walked into the stage area. And sure, some of them probably went to check up on who their interviewer was. But the answers were genuine, with no sugar coating and over hyping.

Most of all, this introvert has found herself a few new friends in the process. Thats always a win in my books!

 

Catch Ms V Supreme on Toggle and my conversations on Vasantham 

 

Chat soon folks!! All my love 

 

 

Part 1: Curves Become Her meets Ms V Supreme

A very belated Happy 2019!

My goodness we are almost 3 months into the new year? I am sorry for being quiet but this post will be an update on what I have been up to since the year begun.

A show I have been following for quite a while on local television has been Ms V, on Vasantham tv. The spin off version Ms V Supreme has definitely caught my attention.

The format of Ms V Supreme has undergone quite the revamp – originally seeming more like a beauty pageant that happened to scout talent for tv, it has now become so much more. In its bid to be more inclusive of diversity in appearance and walks of life, auditions for the 2019 competition were open to all women.

Sure, prior experience is helpful but what they seek in the winner is someone adept with facing the cameras, has good hosting abilities, is able to take on the weekly tasks/challenges with grace and finesse, showing growth as they move up in the competition. You know, No Big Deal, Easy Peasy.

 

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I come in to ask pertinent questions and perhaps provide food for thought on my advocacies, as a plus size body positive intersectional feminist – whoo what a mouthful! It has taken a while for body positivity to be regarded as anything more than a passing fad here in the region. There is an awareness and I wish to find out if the movement has made more progress.

`My take on diet culture and body positivity among other things can be considered pretty radical but I remember how it was when I first learnt of the global plus size and body positive communities, so I always bear that in mind when I speak to people who have just been introduced or are skimming the surface of the movement. Where better to begin than a space like a pageant?

Introductions were made between me and the Ms V Supreme world. I had the pleasure of interviewing some of the contestants, all 3 judges and an important part of the pre-production team.Most of the interviews were conducted in the midst of live recordings so I had to steal the contestants, judges away for a while to have a quick chat. Having never been anywhere near a television production, I was floored with how much work goes into it!

It was DAUNTING.

Theatre has always been my thing and I have experience in major dance performances, hosting, spoken word so I always wondered – How difficult can a television recording be?

Somewhere in the heartlands, in an inconspicuous enough looking set of buildings I remember asking the hubster – is this it? Is this big enough? Do the contestants live here?I quickly was reminded not to judge a book by its dull grey, seemingly small exterior. I walked into a proper stage. Your girl was not prepared!

Also. Having watched Miss Congeniality a ludicrous amount of times I am too embarrassed to admit, relating to Sandra Bullocks’s snorts at becoming Miss Jersey’s Gracie Lou Freebush, I was apprehensive to say the least to meet the contestants. Would there be hostility among them like we’ve seen in other pageants? Sure the show says they want diversity but is diet culture still being practiced anyway in order to stay ‘presentable’ in front of the camera? Would I be welcomed or regarded at a distance due to my unapologetic petite fat glory?

You have to remember that fatphobia is still rampant here, there is little respect for personal space and people will blatantly talk about your body like you’re not even there. This goes for all of us who fall into the ‘undesired aesthetic’ category, but it gets quite brutal for bigger bodies and darker skin tones – thanks Eurocentric standards of beauty, but no thanks!

 

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like I said, a proper tv stage!

 

Before meeting the girls..

The first thing I noticed right off the bat was how unnerving this could be for someone who had no experience in front of tv cameras. I thought about how annoyed I get when doing an outdoor photoshoot for the blog – cursing the skies for unpredictable weather, getting the stylised angles that I had in mind and reshooting until I am satisfied, retouching my makeup and hair, worrying about my back and knee. Knowing that it is just a small portion of the work done, I need to head home after to load the images, brighten them and write with clarity.

I watched these young girls on the stage above with full faces of makeup, immaculate hair and outfits … wearing heels for hours on end, retaking shoots and having to smile the whole time even if they were utterly exhausted or stressed out. I have been following their journey through the competition with each episode. Vying for the title was no mean feat.

Having said that, it was immediately obvious how comfortable the girls felt despite the pressures placed on them. There was a familial feeling between them and everyone else involved in the show. This felt like their domain, their place to shine. It was a pleasant surprise to see how supported they were, regardless of how they fared in the tasks for the show. That space for allowing growth, is so important in any vocation.

 

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this is my ‘I’m trying not to freak out’ smile

 

I was watching the girls on stage and of course, I had to be a klutz. Right when they started rolling camera, I dropped my heavy phone onto the floor. My official emoji for winning at life should be the facepalm emoji. I hadn’t felt the oddly familiar rush of blood to my ears in a long time, from embarrassment.

 

……….. to be continued ………….

Part 2 is brewing.

Watch this space tomorrow! 😉

leopard prints

Hey fam!

I did an impromptu shoot over the weekend because I have been meaning to try this look.

Since autumn is upon us, I styled this up accordingly but without a sweater because  it’s still too darn hot here!

It’s a different look for me because I have typically stayed away from shorter skirts but what with being at ease finally in denim shorts and swimwear over the past few years, I figured this was not going to be too difficult to pull off!

Asos Curve denim skirt in leopard print, UK 20

Asos Curve tank top, UK 18

Animal prints are taking over for Fall 2018 and it comes in a variety of colours, textures and prints from zebra, leopard, cheetah and the most popular one this season – snakeskin. I love anything bold and vibrant so this skirt Had to be tried!

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I love that medium sized belts are in right now so if you wanted, you could add that to this ensemble.

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Clearly, this is not Fall weather *shrug* but I amped it up with darker autumnal shades with makeup. I accessorised this look simply with a pair of gold hoops.

Do you see yourself trying an animal print or two this Fall? Which print is your favourite?

xxxo Aarti

P.S :

Purchased this bikini last year from Forever 21 Plus and will surely be bringing it on holiday in November!

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chronically ill but make it Fashun

Hey loves!

So chronic pain and my injury have been kicking my ass this year and as a result I did not feature quite a few looks styled over the months, instead posting them on the Gram. But it is not fair for my readers here and I will make more of an effort to post them here first as I always have in the past! Not all of these looks were shot ‘professionally’ from the DSLR but I reckon you will like them all the same. Enjoy!

This will be in chronological order by the way. Also, most of them are sales items or outfits I purchased last year but never got around to wearing because of the injury. Life happens, expenses for my and the pets’ health cropped up a fair bit. So I will not add a link to where you can get the items unless they are still available because they will most likely be gone from the shopping sites.

 

Tomboy

The Midnight Wasabi lipstick from Fenty Beauty’s Mattemoiselle series has become one of my personal favourites!  

Both t shirt and denim shorts are from Forever 21 Plus. 

 

Night out with the Girls

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Forever 21 Plus in size 1X 

shirt dress with collar

Getting dressed up has become a little infrequent of late so getting some makeup on and cleaning up for dinner with my girlfriends was so very welcome 🙂

 

Valentine’s/Galentine’s Day

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sheer off shoulder blouse – Forever 21 Plus

Asos Curve jeggings in Uk 20 

Your girl does not find it terribly exciting to partake in Valentine’s Day but my girlfriends who own plus size retail store The Curve Cult had a neat event for their customers for the occasion and it was so much fun with some bubbly haha!

 

Women’s Day shoot and video 

off shoulder blouse and floral skirt – The Curve Cult 

I was so honoured to be a part of my friends’ from The Curve Cult’s passion project for International Woman’s Day featuring personal stories from a diverse range of Singaporeans.

Summer Lovin’

 bodysuit – Forever 21 Plus in size 1X

white jeans – Asos Curve in Uk 20

 

Geek Chic 

both top and shorts are from Forever 21 Plus 

cute comfy shoes from Hush Puppies

 

Polka Dotty

Asos Curve top and jeggings 

Oh I love this shirt so so much because it is so Yayoi Kusama inspired! Polka dots have been very popular this year in plus outfits and I have enjoyed wearing a few outfits in the print.

Cateye Help You?

 Sometimes we centre an entire outfit around an accessory or a makeup look right? I know its definitely not just me who does this! I have enjoyed getting myself cute pairs of glasses this year to add to my collection.

 

Baecation Please

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Hubster and I had a much needed staycation at the Fort Canning Hotel, for some relaxation time. Lovely place!

 

Hey Kitty Girl!

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The Asos Curve X Hello Kitty collection gave me LIFE!!

 

Heart of Glass

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A little bit of Blondie never hurt anybody 😉

 

Date Night Velour

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I love this suede-like dress from Rue 107. Purchased it in 2016 but never got around to wearing it!

 

Summer Blousey

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this Asos Curve blouse is so comfortable and because it has lining I can choose to go braless if I want hehe 

 

Flared Up

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The trend of flared, frilled pants definitely had me piqued too. Did l enjoy it? I’m not too sure. Also HAAAYYY Resting Bitch Face!

 

Pizza: a love story

this is an older dress from Rebdolls but I enjoyed taking these shots so much I had to share!

 

Uptown Girl

a look for a rare night out and about in town, wearing an Asos Curve tank top and pencil skirt

Pride 

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I adore vibrant Forever 21 shirt and gave the flared Asos Curve pants another spin!

 

I got it from my Papa

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Went purpley plaid with this Forever 21 dress for Father’s Day. The title is pretty accurate when you see the identical resemblance we share! Don’t believe me, check this out

 

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UNCANNY right?

 

Retro Chicky

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You know I don’t do flattering clothing – if I like it, I wear it. And this retro blouse was calling my name! Also, if I take pictures at home, rest assured our Jack Russell Schatzi will be in the frame. If she isn’t it is because she is being carried by the photog to get out of the shot! 

 

Weekender

 

 

Comfy in Crop

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Romping

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This cute romper from Forever 21 Plus was another purchase for summer of 2017 that I did not get to wear because of the injury so I styled it up here with this gorgeous blue lipstick – who else but Fenty Beauty! It’s a mix of 2 of the Mattemoiselle lippies. 

 

I was Beyond stoked to have this artwork of me from a talented artist made inspired by this look!

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I really enjoyed this impromptu shoot

 

Weekday Casual

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More Polka?

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Another impromptu shoot I did in this dotty Jumpsuit from Asos Curve! Love the earrings, they’re from Pretty Little Thing 

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Classic Combo

 

Tangerine Dream

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I really love this satin Asos Curve jumpsuit and should have done a proper blog shoot! If you’d like to more of this let me know and I will happily get a more professional shoot done 🙂

I quite adored the makeup for this look, even if I say so myself.

 

Day at the Beach

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Camisoles have been trending this year as well and it has been fun reworking it into my wardrobe since I only used to wear them back when I was straight sized. 

 

Aaaand that is a wrap for now loves! Which look/looks were your fav? What have you been styling up or added to your wardrobe this year?

 

xxxo Aarti 

 

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All of The Lights

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Hello loves!

After chatting about the unveiling of the beautiful Deepavali light up, it is now time to look ahead at the other Deepavali events You can look forward to in the near future, in Little India!

 29th of Sep – 6th Nov, check out the Deepavali Festival Village, Colors of the community 

(lets not forget – get some SHOPPING Done!!)

5th of Oct – 5th of November, at Hastings Road discover Indus Muses – A Sculpting Artistry 

27th of October will bring on the Celebrations through Dance

Detailed below are more events you can attend with friends and family!

Flavours of Deepavali, 13th of October, Indian Heritage Centre ( 2 – 4 pm )

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Delight your palate with creative food. Engage in a fun and interactive culinary experience while learning to make traditional Indian sweets and savouries for Deepavali.

The Spirit of the season, Naran – 20th October at Clive Street ( 7 pm ) 

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For the first time in the heartlands, a Campfire will be set up! Get up close and cosy with the spirit of the season, Naran. Bring your picnic mats, popcorn and sit around with your loved ones. Enjoy the campfire while watching the tale of Deepavali come to life.

Play Street After Dark – 3rd November at Clive Street ( 7pm ) 

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Draw your favourite food on our little lamps in reminiscence of Deepavali and watch your glowing chain of creations conquer the darkness.

The street will artistically illuminate the darkness within, bringing a festive glow throughout the festival.

Movie Razzmatazz – 10th November, Promenade @ Indian Heritage Centre ( 7.30 pm)

In the midst of the Deepavali celebrations, an outdoor movie screening will be held for all. A great way to wind down with loved ones and welcome the weekend.

The Silk Roots, a Musical Interlude – 17th November, Promenade @ Indian Heritage Centre ( 7pm ) 

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Inspired by the culture and spirit of the local community, The Silk Roots is a collective of talented composers from Singapore. Led by Raghavendran Rajasekaran performing the classical Indian flute, Shivanesh playing Indian percussions, Tim De Cotta playing the bass and Gildon playing the Pipa (a stringed Chinese instrument). Closing the Deepavali festival will be the spectacular art of fire dancing.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT For my folks with Instagram accounts : there is a Boomerang competition for ALL to participate and a prize of $1000 to be won! All you have to do is :

Create a Boomerang image that best depicts the Deepavali festival. To take part, you must first Like the Facebook LISHA page, tag Lisha when you upload the Boomerang on Instagram and Facebook. Contest ends on the 5th of November so get creative!

Told you I would be back with more goodies! I hope my fellow Singaporeans take some time out to bask in these festive events, all in the name of relaxation I say 😉 And for our friends abroad who will happen to be here during any of the events described, feel free to attend and immerse yourself in these cultural experiences.

I myself will be attending a number of the events so you will see photographs of them, and hear about it from me! In the meantime of course, ‘regular’ blogging will commence so see you soon my loves xxxo

Follow The Lights

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Hey CBH Fam!

How have you been? Thank you for your patience while I sorted myself out since the previous post. Now I’m back and ready to rumble!

Deepavali, the most important Hindu festival of the year is upon us and I was beyond excited when LISHA (Little India Shopkeepers Heritage Association) invited me to be part of a really momentous event to kick off celebrations for 2018. Every year, all of Little India lights up in its beautiful splendour to usher in the festival of lights. 2018 is particularly special as it marks the 30th year that these lights dazzle us with their ornate decor and colours and they will stay on until the 25th of November!

Having witnessed the lighting up event from the television for years, it was really special to be at the main event last Saturday 22nd of September. Now my blog always goes unnoticed in the local circuits since plus size blogging is not really ‘popular’ here so I was pleasantly surprised to say the least when I was contacted by LISHA. It is so wonderful to be able to speak about an event right here at home and close to my heart.

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marquee leading to the seats for the light up ceremony

Every year sees a new symbolic theme is displayed across Little India. Last year saw elephants featured in the light up and this year we are graced by the celestial swan, Annapatchi. With 2 main arches across the entry to Serangoon Road and at the Perumal temple, 62 sub-arches across the many little intersecting streets in Little India, 7 vibrant colours and 2 million LED bulbs, the light up on Saturday was a dazzling sight to behold!

Let us have a look at the activities that were happening pre-light up!

We were welcomed into the event arena with a popcorn stand, cotton candy and most importantly this reptile friend!

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Unfortunately, your girl was too chicken shit to snap a picture with the very friendly snake.. but the hubster – my official photographer – had a cute set of selfies with it!

I reserve judgement for the laughter that followed when hubster asked for the name of this yellow beauty. Mister Bean. Enough said.

Now, an Indian event simply cannot be had without singing and dancing so before the arrival of the President of Singapore Her Excellency Halimah Yacob to launch the light up, we were treated to lovely renditions of Tamil and Hindi songs from talented enthusiastic local singers.

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Before the Guest of Honour arrived, I had a look at the booths that were on display for art and sport. The first booth was aptly named Little India Heritage Play Street, featuring Indian Heritage games for all to take part in. A modified version of the famous local street marble game Goli and medieval Indian board game Pachisi (which the Western world has modified and now call Parcheesi or Ludo) can be had every 3rd Saturday of each month at Campbell Lane. Playstreet Sg is a fun initiative by Singapore Wellness Association in a bid to encourage playtime in safe open outdoor spaces for the young and old alike. I love the infusion of games from the ‘good old times’ as my dad says, back when Singapore was a rural shipping port teeming with villages and community games. Child of the 80’s here vouching for the hours wasted playing Street Fighter on the computer instead of interacting with other kids and being outdoors! The President gamely played a round of Goli when she arrived at the event by the way … very cool.

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The next booth was a sight to behold and a familiar thing of beauty to South Asians – the delicate art of Rangoli. Much like the Buddhist mandala, Rangoli/Kolam is a spiritual passion project that involves creativity, patience and a keen sense of concentration. Mrs Vijaya Mohan, founder of SingaRangoli is a multiple Guinness World of Record holder for creating the largest Rangoli pattern here in Singapore and she showcased some of her work at the booth that evening.

Us being lazier to actually take the time to create a kolam outside the home, typically purchase a plastic or stick-on version of it but there is something so ornate and compelling about the Actual work of art. For this event, Mrs Vijaya and her team creatively came up with rangolis created from clay. She has dedicated her craft to the various voluntary welfare associations or community projects and individually as a professional art therapist. You can access more of her work here. I am very motivated to create my own little kolam for Diwali this year!

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Just like the mandala, the sky is the limit with the colours and variations for each Rangoli but the designs are symbolic of what we find in flora and fauna like flowers, birds, fish or pretty creepers. The Rangoli exhibits will be featured at the POLI site in Hindoo road until the arrival of Deepavali. Project Oasis in Little India (POLI) is a wonderful nook that features art installations and cultural performances. Fret not, my non-Tamil/Hindi speaking friends : the performances are carried out with subtitles if they are not done in English! It goes without saying that if any of the booths’ pique your fancy, do head down to the places I have mentioned that will be hosting them! Also, if you find yourself travelling to Singapore a month before Deepavali – this is just a smidge of the events to soak in the spirit of the festival, if and when you come to my little red dot island!

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Mrs Vijaya Mohan and her wonderful team

The final booth at the event was yet another beautiful showcase of Indian art – that of sculpture and painting. The sculpture and artworks displayed were created by local sculptors from Thiru Murugan Sculpture & Arts Pte Ltd, whose work you can view firsthand as they work live at the Festival Village at Hastings Road. This will be LISHA’s exhibition at the Festival Village in collaboration with the sculptors and will be exhibited from the 6th of October to the 6th of November.

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Meera, a Hindu mystic poet who referred to Lord Krishna as her Husband
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Lord Ganesha – remover of obstacles, patron of the arts and sciences
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Annapatchi – the Celestial Swan

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After checking out the booths and watching the live singing performances, President Halimah Yacob was welcomed to the event with a garlanding accompanied by a beautiful welcome dance by Manimaran Creations,  local Indian performing arts troupe that was formed in 1979. Lord knows I tried to snap clear shots of the dance welcoming the President but everybody else was doing the same! Check out the link to the group’s facebook page I have added above for a better look at the dance.

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Her Excellency President Halimah Yacob, along with her husband and other distinguished guests
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I TRIED

After Her Excellency was seated, a beautiful neo-Indian classical dance was performed by dancers from local dance institution Bharataa Arts, and you can view the performance Here . As a former student of the classical Indian dance of Bharathanatyam, this was a sight for sore eyes!

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After the performance, plaques were presented to organisations like LISHA, the Hindu Endowment Board and temples. They also pooled together a $100 000 donation to help the underprivileged communities. These tokens of appreciation signify the dedication they have in serving the local Indian community and the immense support they provide for events and festivals like this one.  Mr Rajakumar Chandra, chairman of LISHA in charge of organising the various events for Deepavali gave a speech and hopes that this year’s festivities will be interactive and fun for everyone.

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After the plaque presentation, we had a little countdown to the light up and it was Glorious to see all of Little India lit up all at once!

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The lighting up was followed by a Little India Deepavali  video and another stunning dance performance by Bharataa Arts’s dancers that you can view Here.

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With that Her Excellency President Halimah Yacob took her leave and we were entertained by local Indian channel Vasantham‘s group of artists.

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As much as your girl would have wanted to sit there to enjoy the live performances from Vasantham, her chronic pains kicked in and it was time to call it a night. BUT there are so many activities and performances ahead to check out .. and SHOPPING to be had so I will be a frequent visitor to Little India over the next month and I Will have more pictures and events to talk about so Stay Tuned 🙂

Deepavali and the major Hindu festivals celebrated in Little India, Singapore are predominantly celebrated the South Indian way. As a Northern Indian who was born here in Singapore and brought up wearing paavade daavanis, watching Tamil movies on the telly every weekend, and hey now even married to a South Indian .. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning over the years the unique ways different parts of India celebrate the same festivals. So some of what I saw during this event and learnt was novel even for me. And I look forward to learning more! We may speak different languages, eat different kinds of foods and drape our sarees differently,  but ultimately we belong to one. And for that, I will always be ever so grateful for my rich cultural heritage both from India and Singapore.

Aaaand here is a picture or two of yours truly from the event

Chat soon my loves!!