being different

{being different} via chevrons & éclairs

touching upon diversity

in collaboration with ROHET GARH and KALKI FASHION

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I’ve been taking advantage of my time being jet lagged. Waking up incredibly early before the streets are full of people and the children’s laughter fill the air as they walk to school. I sit in bed, instead of migrating to my desk, and peruse the parts of the internet that I’ve missed since being away to India. One thing that I came across was Kristabel’s video on racial diversity in fashion blogging and luckily for me her creative energy has kept her awake at random times of the night including that morning I watched the video and read through some of the comments.

I’ve spoken to Kristabel a bit about my frustrations about the blogosphere and how everyone can fit themselves in a niche and that niche was a very typical, broad “niche”. For myself, however, I’ve found it a bit difficult to fit in and continue to find this issue in blogging and the greater society too. As you know, I’ve refrained from sharing too much about my culture because I’m trying to find more relatable content to share with all of you. The more I open up about my culture, I believe that only focuses on a certain number of people and in turn will exclude more readers.

As my blog matured, I’ve come to know that bloggers with a small number of followers tend to have a stronger community than others. So I stuck with that and didn’t budge too much to get that fame and prestige most bloggers seek. I’m proud of the community I’ve created around c&é and even prouder of the friends I’ve made. And in critical times, my blog has even saved me (read: made friends through it when I first moved to London). With that said, blogging still hasn’t felt as inclusive as I would have liked since I started just a little over 5 years ago.
 

{being different} via chevrons & éclairs
{being different} via chevrons & éclairs {being different} via chevrons & éclairs

I grew up…

I’ve always been incredibly different from every setting I’ve been. From going to private school growing up in a completely American society to undergraduate and graduate school set in conservative towns. Being Indian was very different, so I assimilated to my surroundings and suppressed my true identity. Contrastingly, I assimilated so much so that my Americanized Western identity even scared off most of the Indian community. So I sit here at a crossroad, not completely fitting in anywhere… almost.

At home, I grew up with a family that predominately spoke in Gujarati and thus I learnt to read, write and speak it too (better than most Indian children you will ever meet). I grew up participating in cultural activities like training in Indian classical dance, Bharatha Natyam for 8 years. I grew up eating proper Indian meals at home with my hands. I grew up regularly visiting India. But kept all this behind closed doors so I could feel like I’m part of a greater community, feel a sense of belonging.

And since starting the blog, I’ve felt that I needed to keep those doors closed. It wasn’t until when I moved to London, adapted and made friends of all sorts of backgrounds did I realize the opportunity my background provided me. Meeting bloggers like Kristabel, Sade and Shini demonstrated the importance of showcasing who you are-does that make sense? Provided I was born and brought up in the Western world, one can still instill elements of their past and background into work today. It’s how one creates a niche, a uniqueness, not shared with anyone.

I’m going to conclude on that note as I can go on for day and days about this topic and take a pledge that I hope to routinely share this side of my world with you…
 

{being different} via chevrons & éclairs
{being different} via chevrons & éclairs
{being different} via chevrons & éclairs

  • You Know Who

    These photographs are stunning and the model isn’t bad either ; )

  • olga_lostindaydreams

    Your photos are always so beautiful! Amazing post!

    http://www.lostindaydreams.com/

  • I’m incredibly glad you’ve chosen to open those doors. I may write a blog on a similar yet inverse topic – being to generic. Hahaha I find you captivating and encouraging, supal! Glad to know you.

    • HAHA! Growing up on a farm though is different too! Probably just like the villages of India 🙂 You are the sweetest! Glad the blog brought us together <3

  • Paige Allison

    You’ve been blogging for 5 years?! You’re a pro! And how cool you got such a diverse experience growing up. To be able to speak multiple languages and have the “Indian experience” within the context of the Western world makes you so well rounded!

    • Yeah! Well, unofficially 5 years ago. Only started taking it seriously like a year ago. It didn’t hit me until a few years ago that speaking 3 languages regularly is really different from most people I know. So I get it now 🙂

  • Really love this post and the fact that you opened up about diversity in “popular” blogosphere. Glad to have gotten a little glimpse into you and your thoughts around this. Thanks for being so open!

  • sarah

    Really loved this post supal! So well written and a good look into your life! xxx

  • Tiffany {A Touch of Grace}

    Supal I’m so glad you’re sharing more with us about your culture and upbringing. I love the diversity you bring to your blog and your life. And the fact that you can speak so many languages is amazing and inspiring.

  • Yes yes yes!! Your combination of cultures is part of what makes you unique and wonderful. I would love to learn more about this side of your life, and I’m sure many others would as well! 🙂

    xx Hannah // http://www.HomemadeBanana.com

  • lingo10

    Gorgeous, just like yourself I am quite content w/o that fame other bloggers seek, just carving out my own little space.

    http://beehonthelook.blogspot.com

  • What a gorgeous look!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • Really love this post. You look great!
    Good vibes, FOX
    check out my blog http://www.rochellefox.com.au and my latest post

  • Supal, I love hearing more about your childhood and your upbringing! I have always been curious! And I love that you have such a different background and well I will say it–eons more style than so many other bigger fashion bloggers out there! Your aesthetic is amazing, and your stories are fantastic. Love that you keep it true to you!

    • Ah what a compliment, thank you! I think my background helps me with my style a bit, me thinks at least 🙂 So happy to share more of this world!

  • Lindsay Katherine

    I love the honesty in this post, Supal, and I completely agree with you about the quality that comes with a smaller blogging following, though I believe everyone will love, embrace, and celebrate YOU and your beautiful differences.

    • Thank you so much, Lindsay! Means a lot, really. It so easy to get caught up with what we think is “normal” sometimes, but happy with everything! x

  • Who each of us is, culturally, is what makes us different from the next person (or blogger!). And as someone wise once said, all in good time. 🙂

    Needless to mention, LOVE the photography 🙂

    ❥ tanvii.com

    • So true! It’s crazy to know how much this modern world is evolving and graduallllllly becoming more accepting 🙂 x

  • Totally appreciating this post right now! I’ve definitely felt that implication of excluding people when I emphasize my Indian side in my work, and then feel suppressed when I don’t. I suppose we all just have to find and accept our own balance? Ah, well, I’ve been loving your exploration of India on this blog! It’s refreshing, meaningful and fun! <3

    • So happy you’re enjoying it! Unfortunately, only 2 more posts from India, but a lot more heritage to share in the future 🙂