Inside Out

This is not a fashion post, sorry to disappoint. It’s a realistic glimpse into what these few months have been like.

A week.. or was it 2 weeks ago, time slips through my fingers these days and make no sense.. I had a breakdown. You know, the kind where you use your reserves until something inside snaps. And it came crashing down like a heatwave.

I prefer not to answer “How are you doing?” these days. It’s as if there is some expectation there from the person, to find out if I’m ‘over’ another depressive spell.

I am not okay and that is okay. There will be no facades. Those days of keeping up appearances to ease the discomfort of onlookers are gone.

Sure I hit a snag last year with busting the knee but it was a short one. This one feels all consuming.

I guess losing Hershey And trying to keep it together while facing social media backlash snapped the straw on this camel’s back.

In between curling up in bed and getting some sustenance during meals, I write to my therapist who I work with online. Which works better for me because the thought of dragging myself out of the apartment to see a therapist and interact with the world is not exactly reassuring.

As someone with chronic low grade depression otherwise known as Dysthymia, I make a concerted effort most of the time to banish the broody spells. But you do get beset with a major depressive episode more than the average person. So far I’ve been lucky that it’s reduced to once a year.

There were Years of a single episode. So I’ll take that progress and cherish it.

When you make a concerted effort to push yourself beyond the daily blues – meet people, be productive – it does take a little out of you because it Is an effort. So you go to bed wearier and wondering how you’ll do it again tomorrow but you take that leap of faith again and again everyday.

I give myself permission during this episode to be silent and to turn inwards. Not to make any important choices at this juncture. Not to make any plans. Setting very simple goals that will aid my daily functioning. I am listening in the silence. Accepting of the ebb and flow of pain in that silence.

Right now the most mundane efforts are victories. Writing this out is a victory.

When you’re not battling thoughts or emotions and have the ability to enunciate pain, that is indeed a victory.

I have been thinking about so much, too much lately. Am I a good human being? What am I unlearning? Where is this headed? Will I always have to keep these walls so high around me?

I’ve also been thinking about what I’d like to change.

I’d like not to be scared and tired. I’d like not to look down on myself. I’d like to construct a future and actually see it materialise. I’d like to stop seeing my failures as weakness.

To give you some history : I have been living with depression since I was 16. I began seeking therapy and medication from the age of 20. Didn’t stick to either forms of treatment for longer than 2 years at a time. Finally sought treatment again in 2009 and I’ve been on anti depressants ever since. The medication evens out the sadness by numbing it which is a boon and a curse.

The improvements over the years have been vast. In fact, starting this blog really helped matters for the first four years or so. Things began to get a tad difficult the more invested I became into my work and I guess this is some kind of burnout coupled with grief.

I refuse to be exhausted by the weight of my identity. So here’s hoping the grey disposition will dissipate with some rest and care.

If you ever need to talk or vent, please know that I am always here to listen. My troubles may feel all consuming but I don’t let it get to a point of an over indulgence. Self care does not have to be entirely selfish.

All my love, Aarti

How Chronic pain and Illness has Affected My Body Positivity

Hello loves!

Here is a write-up I have been meaning to post on the blog since mid-2017, but what with the injury there was a lot on my plate. But like I always say, better late than never.

Although most of 2017 was pretty difficult, there were some important life lessons that I picked up on and my personal body positive journey saw some amazing changes. That I need to be reminded of as I struggle right now with chronic pain and injury recovery.

While being active on the blog and social media was really fun and fulfilling for most parts of the years 2014-2016, there were some unfortunate side effects on my psyche and body positivity. As affirming as it was to be lauded for my advocacy, I realised that I was falling into habits from the past due to some unpleasant interactions online.

When I was bombarded by thousands of emails, messages, comments that harshly critiqued my work and appearance (mostly that), I began to hide. Hide from showing unabashed imagery and writing – let me just say that your specific brand of body positivity need not be loud, need not be about showing your body – but loud is always how my activism is done, and not for performative activism.

I found myself avoiding mirrors, hiding indoors and not wanting to meet people at all. I would break down at every negative comment and I would find myself thinking hateful comments towards my body while I posed for blog shoots. I stayed in bed almost all of the time. It angered me that I was so  weak and vulnerable that I would fall into these old habits but lets be honest: Its only been 6 years since I really worked on body positivity and I was bound to experience some lows.

It wasn’t as if I had completely spiralled to who I was before Curves Become Her but I found myself not believing a lot of what I preached. So I took a blog hiatus from the end of 2016 and the rest, is history. I needed to take care of my health, as I have been living with chronic health conditions from a very young age. What may be a regular day for you will probably take me a few days to recover from. When I did push myself in the past to live like everyone else, I would fall extremely ill after. With my previous injuries, with the PCOS and endometriosis becoming pretty unbearable from my late 20’s and a resurgence of asthma attacks thanks to adult chickenpox, I had also become a lot more introverted and house bound because of the inability to do the things I used to love without fearing a recurrence of illness or injury, or god forbid testing my allergies.

When I fell to the floor after injuring the knee from dancing last year, I knew this was a serious fall. As I waited for the ambulance to arrive, I sobbed so hard worried about what the doctors were going to tell me. Flashbacks to my injuries in 2004 and 2006 scared me even more. I was also in major denial, hoping this was not as bad as I was imagining it to be.

My knee specialist Dr Lee is an odd cookie but he is empathic and honest. He was very honest about what was required for recovery – naturally, I weeped while he told me I had to undergo surgery followed by a year of physiotherapy. In fact right after that appointment he sent me for physiotherapy immediately. He was unhappy I seemed so comfortable in the wheelchair. So my therapist got me using crutches, tears running down my face and all that very day. I was a bawling baby during this injury aiyayai.

This was the first time in a Long time since I had found myself in a gym setting. I have a history of orthorexia and to wean off the obsession that came with exercise, I had stopped exercising for quite a number of years. The damn rehab facility gym had a mirror on one whole wall where I had no choice but to look at myself while I rode the stationary bike, while I pumped some iron, did balance exercises and stretches. I was so shy during the first few sessions, I turned up at physio wearing t shirt dresses. This was Pre-surgery Aarti.

Post-surgery however, I found it ridiculous to even think about pithy things like being bashful in the physio gym. I was IN CONSTANT PAIN and I stared at my knees more than I ever had because I had to ice, stretch and watch my knee while it worked the bicycle, while I walked with crutches. There was no time for self loathing. I HAD to focus my everything on healing, staying as positive as I could despite the pain and discomfort.

It dawned on me a month post-op while I was sweating it out with the damn balance balls (they gave me hell, my balance has always been way off) as I looked up at my red, sweaty, pain-filled but triumphant face in the mirror: I hadn’t obsessed about my body, my eating habits, my reflection in the gym mirror for a month and I was actually in a gym without any obsessive thoughts running through my head.

Two months into living with my new knee at the folks place I decided it was time to return home and it was really scary because some parts of my apartment like my bathroom weren’t as accessible but I knew I had to brave it out. Plus, I missed my bed and my fur babies so much! That first night back home was so peaceful.

A few weeks into my return home however, I was saddled with the flu and my breathing was too ragged – I had to make another trip to the hospital and be on the nebuliser multiple times because I had sustained a pretty gnarly asthma attack. That took about 2 months to get over! I was so angry because I was in a good place mentally and emotionally. I tentatively started physiotherapy again 2 months later and braved my sessions alone, without assistance from my sister or husband. Admittedly, there were a few sessions where I cried very hard because of the pain and I was angry at my co-existing conditions affecting my recovery process.

I was still thriving though, in terms of improvement in mobility and I even signed myself up at a gym nearby so that I could work on my mobility more than my once weekly physiotherapy sessions. And it was going great! I was so surprised at how easygoing I was at the gym and with the only expectations being, improving my mobility and unwinding from the worries that plague me daily. It was Me time and I felt so blessed to be able to walk unaided, with more confidence.

My immunity was still struggling however and once again I found myself in the hospital struggling with an asthma attack. My sciatica was also beginning to wreck havoc every time I went for physiotherapy or the gym. It was difficult to stay positive and hopeful, but I really really tried. I gave it my all for a good 6 months or even longer.

By the end of the year however, my morale was very low and I experienced a depressive episode. It just felt like nothing was going okay and the medical, physical struggles were getting out of hand. I had a particularly harrowing sciatica flare one day and sought help from a clinic nearby. The appointment was going well until he decided to suggest bariatric surgery aka gastric sleeve surgery. I shut down and stopped talking. Tears began to stream down my face as I headed home, feeling more hopeless and helpless than I had ever been.

I ended up being bedridden most of November, December and although the holiday season was wonderful.. I felt my strong body positive experience that year begin to wane. Since the new year has begun, I have decided to seek a specialist for treatment for my back and then find another physiotherapist who will help me with my sciatica and knee rehab – while my therapist was amazing at what she did, I did constantly tell her how much pain I was in with my back and she only focused on the knee. Which I know was her priority, but my back trouble is an important priority too.

I am not going to let myself fall into the same old patterns of self loathing. While I certainly do not subscribe to diet culture, movement and physical activity for me is no longer part of that culture. It is an essential part of my healing, my ongoing rehabilitation and it sure helps me blow off steam. There is no need to cower out of embarrassment as I walk into the gym just because my body does not look like any of the rest. Just because I limp. Just because I am afraid of re-injury – thats the whole point of sitting on that stationary bike riding to nowhere!

To be perfectly honest, I know that with the amount of chronic conditions I live morale is bound to swing up and down. I need to watch for triggers and cues that might turn a low morale moment into a depressive episode.

If you find yourself struggling with your body image and self worth as you navigate a life with chronic health conditions, injuries, disability … Its okay to have times when you don’t love yourself or your body. Where you’re in a state of malaise because of pain or illness. What we can work on is not hating ourselves for who and what we are : as arduous as it can be to exist day-to-day. As upsetting and angering as it can be on some days. That we are still here, fighting and surviving everyday. And that counts for something.

It’s funny how the injury actually revived me in ways I never thought I could feel about myself. Through the pain and the discomfort, I felt more alive than I ever had. I had to pay attention and be kind to myself, and that despite the other obstacles and setbacks that came my way, there were some major breakthroughs:

I started wearing shorts again without flinching or wincing or feeling shy. Jeans or Pants were not an option until much later into recovery.

I was too busy recovering to bother about who was staring at me in the gym. And everyone is so busy doing their thing! My fears were unfounded. Sure I got the odd look or two but I was expecting that. A marginalised body will always be regarded with derision or skepticism.

This was the first Christmas season I allowed myself to enjoy the feasts instead of feel shy to eat among loved ones.

I may be struggling emotionally right now but that is because I don’t want to live in fear anymore and I am trying to fight back. And be as patient as I possibly can with waiting to see my back and knee specialists and therapists in February (damn these waiting lists and damn the strain on finances).


This is me today:


I choose Love over Hate. I choose doing things that make me happy, to help me recover  and keep me going instead of be embarrassed by my reflection in the mirror or be angry with myself.




I refuse to give in to years of hating everything about myself. I deserve better. I am worthy of happiness, love, better health. I choose not to hide in the shadows. I have better things to do than to be fazed by empty words because some people are daunted by someone who no longer fears living her life, existing in her body, with all its abilities and limitations.




A full face of makeup or not, this is me and I don’t hate what I see. This is a reminder because as I feel discouraged by the lows of last year, and the pain that I experience as I type this out, it doesn’t mean that I will not recover and that my chronic pain and injuries will not be worked on.




This is a reminder to stay soft, silly and strong. 

To keep Hope alive. 

To have faith in myself and the process.




Love, Aarti 


Its the most, fatphobic time, of the year

Welcome Welcome!

To the time of the year when resolutions are started on with great gusto. Losing weight and clean eating are one of the most common ones made ever year. Cue eye roll…

It is alarming how exceptionally well the diet industry is thriving, despite an increased awareness of the perils of diet culture. Everywhere we turn, we are bombarded by advertisements or newfound regime, or before and after pictures to start the new year in order to celebrate success stories from the past year and to reaffirm their resolve to stick to diet plans in the new year. It’s diet culture affirmation season.

Fatphobia is prevalent all year round but there are some particular seasons the fear of fat is at its highest. The beginning of a new year is one such season.

Not too long ago – hell it was only 6 years ago – I was one of those who got suckered into these resolutions because of the guilt from enjoying myself heartily over the holidays. Every year started the same way: lose weight, reach goal weight and fit into clothing I have been keeping far too long in the wardrobe because of this need to feel like a success story.

You see, until the day I decided to put on my boxing gloves to fight my weighty demons, I had gone through countless yo-yo cycles of bingeing, purging and about 11 goal weight finish lines. I could never maintain the goal weights, because those weight loss regimes were so tiring on my body and they took over every single part of my existence.

By the time I ended that 11th weight loss regime, I was so frustrated and so Done but I just couldn’t give in to the other fact – that if I did not keep up with these regimes, I would be fat and there was no joy in that. Even though the fact that I was not happy losing the weight so many times, was staring me in the face.

Fast forward to Aarti in 2018.

Did I have a hearty holiday season, enjoying food and drinks? I sure did. Did my mind start telling me to get ready to lose weight from Jan 1 2018? It did not. Did it cross my mind? It crossed my mind as a warning to the years spent struggling with enjoying a meal, berating myself for having rest days because I was unwell, cursing that I had food cravings when it was pms season.

6 years of exorcising diet culture from my life has taught me so much. The books, articles I have read that give me strength and have helped me stay the course of the one regime i Want to live up to: the regime of bashing beauty standards, flipping the finger at diet culture and understanding with more depth why this speaks of patriarchy.

There is so much more educating to be done. When your husband who loves you immensely doesn’t understand why every single doctor’s recommendation for bariatric surgery offends and upsets you, there is work to be done. When you hear straight sized young girls moaning about having lunch and needing to work it off for 2 hours in the gym, there is work to be done. When men think fat women are ‘easy’ to pick up because they must be so desperate for the male gaze. When online trolls feel it is their civic duty to shame a plus sized person, and then a skinny person because neither of them fit their idea body. When people are trying to incorporate weight loss as a part of body positivity, because they need to lose the weight but still want to be part of the movement. When thickness is celebrated but fatness is remonstrated.

There is work to be done.



My plus sized body and I are here to challenge your ideals of what is socially acceptable. My ideals are here to challenge your notions of how a woman should be. My advocacy, strength and vulnerability are here to show you that there is no one right way to live a fulfilled life.




This is Curves Become Her in 2018. Proud to be me. Always learning and unlearning. Navigating life with its twists and turns. Professing solidarity as a woman of colour. As an intersectional feminist.




So what can you do if you are simply fed up with the online ads and billboards in your hometown that support this idea that losing weight is the new beginning to a new you?

  Thats easy.




1. Protest in your own way

Report an ad that you don’t like online. Screenshot it and talk about why this upsets you. Get like-minded folks to do the same. Comment on the ad and let your opinion be known even if you are moving against the majority. Tag your favourite body positive accounts and movements, let them know about it. Educate and engage in discourse but do not engage in bullying or being bullied. Remember that every small deed that is done contributing against diet culture, makes a difference. That goes for any movement that you are interested in.

There are a few movements world-wide last year that took the world by storm because of the immense support behind it. Body Positivity needs that support more than ever, especially because marginalised voices are not being heard and the media and societally stereotypically acceptable spokespeople are churning the same old, same old doctrines that frankly benefit them more than anyone else.




Women of colour, people with disabilities, people with auto immune health conditions, folks who live with chronic pain, those who do not fit into accepted- stereotypical body types, the lgbtqia community, people who are 45 and older .. diversity is a very nuanced essential part of our communities and movements that still does not get discussed enough.

To summarise: body positivity is necessary to get diet culture to loosen its grasp on us, and diversity is a necessary aspect of the movement to ensure  nobody gets left behind.

2. Take a social media break or unfollow accounts

There is absolutely nothing wrong in giving yourself this break from unsolicited weight loss advice or to be mindful of your triggers. Some accounts you follow may mutate into something you do not particularly enjoy reading anymore and you are under no obligation to follow these accounts if they irk or upset you.

3. Dream bigger than diet schemes and weight loss regimes

Okay so if you think my post is utter hogwash or you disagree, and you do believe that diets will make you happy (remember, diet and fitness are not the same and I didn’t mention fitness was a problem only when it is excessive), id like to urge you to dream beyond diets, weight scales and small jean sizes. You are so much more than that and you deserve better.




I hope this was helpful in some way! Sending you hearty Aarti love 🙂

xxxo Aarti




Curves Become Her meets Moxi Blu: Intergalactic Indian Mermaid


I am typing this post out on Deepavali so to my friends around the world celebrating, Have a beautiful and illuminating festival of lights!

Thank you for giving so much love for the previous swimsuit post! This swimsuit is another gem from Moxi Blu and I loved creating the concept here as well!

Alright let’s jump right in 🙂 This is what I wore to the pool before getting started on the shoot proper.



Mid-October and it is still hot as heck out here people! But, its a good opportunity to lounge by the pool. I can never complain about extra pool time.



Strappy Halter One Piece in size 1X, Moxi Blu

Erm the wooden floorboards here were way too scorching hot for me to stand beyond this picture so I adjourned to the jacuzzi.



My eyes are always instantaneously attracted to anything vibrant and I knew I had to get this swimsuit – especially for those pretty straps!

Then it was time to cool off for a while ..



Followed by a few pictures at the lush greenery around the condo my folks live in




The pool was substantially more crowded today since tomorrow is a public holiday, there were some pesky judgmental onlookers – you know, those who stare at you from head to toe and regard you with a grimace – but after 2 years of shooting for swimsuits, I really couldn’t care less.

My existence as a fat woman of colour will always ruffle feathers and thats fine! Make a boa feather thingy while you’re at it 😉


I do not have outfits for Diwali this year and I have plenty of catching up to do with other posts so I know its weird to time this with Diwali but what the heck! Let a girl have some pool time.

My verdict for this swimsuit? Once again, this is roomy for my friends who are busty and the straps are not troublesome to wear, again there was no wrestles with this one piece. This is swimming lap approved as well for my water babies out there! Overall, this is a winner. Whether you choose to lounge in it, wade lazily, or get in a few laps.


Onwards to the Little Details


For makeup, I wore my Fenty Beauty foundation in shade 310 for the first time for the blog! I think I found the right match for my skin tone, and coverage is mild-medium. I personally love it, it works well on my combination skin. I didn’t highlight or contour, simply colour corrected and concealed my eye circles and the darkened areas around my face.


I found this bindi set in ASOS, and i chuckled “If the Westerners can wear these for their music festivals, why can’t I wear it for a swimsuit shoot?” I like the mermaid vibe it gives off and with the purple glitter on the eyes, It looked kinda Intergalactic to me for some reason and of course it gave off mermaid vibes hence the title!



Okay folks! My series for Moxi Blu swimwear is done and I hope you enjoy this post! Take care of yourselves and I will see you soon!

Love, Aarti xxxo


Child of Nature

Hello my lovelies,

I have had this vision for a fashion post for quite a while and this has been the most enjoyable one I have done this year (even though this is only post number 3, oh but it is special to me). I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I have in trying to create this.

When life overwhelms me – which it has done aplenty this year – I turn inwards or towards nature for solace. The sight of flowers, a beach, a lush garden or even a pool surrounded by beautiful palm trees help me forget my troubles for a while. It makes me stop to marvel at the world around us and I feel like a tiny spectator in this wondrous universe, losing myself in the beauty and pace of nature, I have not been able to unfortunately enjoy long strolls or be fancy free in nature for most of this year, with the exception of some short jaunts to the pool. All in good time, as the knee gains strength.

So during one of my daydreaming sessions as I oohed and aahed watching different terrains of our planet on the tele, I decided I was going to bring nature into my urban concrete jungle existence through the means of the blog.

Often times amusing but frustrating, I have not been able to venture beyond my usual safe spots (where I am comfortable walking around, devoid of crowds) or to my favourite places like the lush Singapore Botanic Gardens or the breathtaking Gardens By the Bay. While I really love flowers, they are a rarity in my house thanks to my flower-eating cat Bindi. No spot is too high to keep her away from gnawing contently at them. Again, another highly amusing yet frustrating fact! So I make do with curated collections of floral phone wallpapers, oh goodness that sounds a tad sad doesn’t it? Oh Bindi, you cute flower guzzler.

I have absolutely absolutely LOVED this new trend across fashion runways – face flowers. With a month of planning and patiently waiting for my needed purchases to arrive, I present to you my Child of Nature look:




Forever 21 Floral Mini Dress | 1X 

Pressed flowers on face | Flower Seed Paper on Etsy 


This was my first foray into attempting to place flowers on my face, so I figured pressed flowers would be easier to apply and thankfully Etsy came to the rescue! I fail miserably at DIY even though the intent and effort is genuine lol. I did not want to mess up pressing flowers on my own, that I can practice in my own time.



I did not focus on an elaborate dress for this post; to give the real flowers the spotlight instead. It is a really cute dress that fits awkwardly at the bust, but I love the summery colours and figured it would be a fitting canvas for what I had envisioned.

No footwear, because a child of nature does not need them 🙂


“Let us dance in the sun wearing wildflowers in our hair, and let us huddle together as darkness takes over. We are at home amidst the birds and the trees. For we are children of nature” 

The feel of grass under my feet is honestly the most grounding and soothing experience. Listening to the lap of waves is akin to how music stirs the soul. Being amidst flowers brings a smile that often has been forgotten with age.

When I say the injury took a toll on me, I meant every word. And as I tread each steadier step now, I reclaim the joys and serenity that I habitually have surrounded myself with as a means to survive.



“You are a child of the sun, you come from the sun, and that is something true with the Earth also. . . Your relationship with the Earth is so deep, and the Earth is in you and that is something not very difficult, much less difficult than philosophy”  Thich Nhat Hanh

I hold onto my childlike wonder and joy for the things that I love as a buoy to keep me afloat when it feels like nothing seems to help awaken my senses, when I feel numbed by physical and emotional pain. When I grieve for what can no longer be.



“The grass is not greener on the other side. It is greener where YOU water it” 


And so I tend to my heart and I tend to physical healing. To be the masterpiece and work in progress, simultaneously.




Thank you for being part of my little creative venture here, its a good step towards bringing my daydreams to life. I do not see daydreaming as idle, not when they are our realities in waiting.

I dedicate this post to my husband, Suresh for being my enthusiastic partner-in-crime. I love you so very much

Chat soon dear readers, I hope you find some respite from your everyday life when possible to soothe your senses for a while 🙂

Much Love,