Lakme Fashion Week: Paralympian Deepa Malik on Body Positivity and Rising Above Disability
“Fashion should be for all, just like sports is for all, ” says Paralympian Deepa Malik, who believes that people shouldn’t judge one by the way he or she looks. Deepa, who has many accolades to her name in the world of sports, is all set to conquer hearts with her persona in Rina Dhaka’s digital showcase at FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week.
Elated to be a part of Rina’s fashion film revolving around the collection The Unstoppables, Deepa says, “It was a great experience and Rina took such good care of me. Rina is such an easy going and patient person. She embodies a new liberated woman who knows how to follow her passion and never give up and that’s why I find a common foothold with her.”
FASHION IS FOR ALL
Deepa, who is paralysed chest below, feels that people have a fixed notion about beauty standards and end up judging individuals based on that. “I have encountered people finding the body not beautiful just because it is paralysed. So, when you are criticising me because of my body, you are definitely judging my looks and my personality as well. So, this film was an opportunity to break some stereotypes. I still feel grateful to my body because it has given me purpose to rise above my disability. I feel beautiful.”
LET’S TALK INCLUSIVITY
A woman extraordinaire, Deepa wants to add the words fun, fashion, frolic, festivities, and travel to the word wheelchair or disability. Calling it a step forward into the world of inclusivity, she believes that when designers start designing for all it will reflect on how we want to see India at 75. “There should be equal opportunity for all irrespective of gender, body size, disability, age. Each one of us has a right to feel beautiful from within. And only when acceptance in the right manner, equal opportunities and respect is given we will feel beautiful from within.,” expresses Deepa.
MAKING A FASHION STATEMENT
As a woman who loves to keep it simple, Deepa believes that one’s style mantra should reflect who you are. “I believe that if what you wear makes your soul smile then that’s your style. I feel confident in anything which is comfortable. I don’t need to have a cliched body type to be fashionable,” adds Deepa.