5-minutes with Vinitha Shetty, Independent Brand Consultant and Blogger

Growing up, blogger and independent brand consultant Vinitha Shetty was made to feel very insecure about how dusky she was. In a country obsessed with the fairer skin, Vinitha was one of the many millions of young girls who were made to feel different purely based on the colour of their skin. To say she channeled that positively is true and empowering, but it also took her years to come to terms with it. “I grew up in a very south Indian household and the colour of your skin was always a big topic. Because of that, I hadn’t dared to wear colour for a large part of my life. I think I discovered the colour yellow when I was 21-years-old! Wearing make-up, short skirts or shorts and so much more that’s normal for most teenagers seemed very unnatural to me. The shortest skirts I’ve worn in my life have been over the past 4-5 years. So, it’s taken me a really long time to be comfortable with who I am, just the way I am.”


Today Vinitha is a real woman’s woman. She’s smart, beautiful, creative and extremely comfortable in her own skin. Of course the journey to here hasn’t necessarily been easy – she’s had to overcome shyness, battle her insecurities, and really step out of her comfort zone. But she’s better for it. She also credits her confidence to two things. “I remember I was super contained as a child. In a weird way, the scar (on my arm) totally turned everything around for me. Purely because I told myself, ‘Vinitha, you either live with this scar or live it up with this scar’. That’s what got me to start talking about it and it just made things so much easier. Another thing that really helped was my move to Singapore in 2015. Those three years changed so much for me, because there was no one to please in Singapore, I was doing whatever I wanted, and doing it for me.”


And while her move to Singapore helped her become more her, it was also pivotal in her finding out the career path she wanted to walk down. During a not-so-inspiring career stint in the corporate sector, she found herself questioning what she was actually doing with her life. “I remember being in a meeting with a client and having this realisation that this is not where I see myself years down the line. I literally walked away from that meeting and went straight to my boss and told him I was done. Obviously I was filled with fear at that moment. I was 22, had never done something like this before, and didn’t really have anything to fall back on either. But in a strange way it felt really good, like I’d done exactly what I was supposed to do. It was that day that I bought my domain name and published my blog online. I had researched blogging for six months by then but never really pushed myself to do it. It was so new for me and I really just wanted it to be a gateway for something bigger.”


And ‘something bigger’ is just what she got. She now works with a variety of independent brands and has a “mammoth project” ongoing with Flipkart. Her blog has also given her a platform to express her views and meet other women who feel/ felt the same way as she did. “Blogging has definitely been a boon for me because there’s now finally a space where I can say whatever I want to say without having to apologise for it. I was one of the first bloggers to talk openly about dusky skin, being curvy, scars, having curly hair and the blogosphere has been so open and accepting. I mean, I do understand how the Internet can be a nasty place and people are bullied ever so often, however, for me, fortunately, it’s been different. I’ve been very fortunate to have people who have always been very kind. And the number of times you see women standing up for other women online is just special. That’s definitely a big positive!”


Being Nita, Vinitha’s blog, talks about fashion, trends, make-up and what’s personal to her. She also uses it to touch on topics that help and empower women. One of these projects was ‘The Lal Project’ that she started a few years ago. The project focused on stories of women who have managed to get over insecurities that they faced for years and spoke to them about how they did it. “We spoke to a lot of women who either didn’t like the way they looked or the way they were shaped and we put their stories out there in a bid to help other women going through the same things. I think just opening up the conversation makes such a difference. I get a lot of DMs from women who are dusky, particularly in India, who tell me “We saw you wearing pink so now we’re more confident to try it” and so on, and that really hits me hard each time. The fact that we all relate to and help each other. And I’m so glad to be able to do that through my work today.”

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