It is said that “All our dreams can come true if one dares to pursue them,” and this has majorly been the mantra of Shilpa Bhagat’s life. She is an image consultant, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and the winner of Mrs. India Pageant 2013.
Having a very conventional childhood in a middle-class, patriarchal family, Shilpa Bhagat outweighed all the challenges that came her way and fetched her goals. Today she is an image and body fitness consultant and the creator of Yasham- an educational organization.
In her interview with Storiyaan, Shilpa talks about her profession, work-life, and her experience at the Mrs. India World 2013 beauty pageant. Read this exclusively curated interview to know more about Shilpa Bhagat.
Questions and answers
How did you first conceive of the idea of trying out for Mrs. India World 2013, and could you provide us with a few glimpses of the most memorable moments of this journey?
Being a geek, I never thought of becoming Mrs. India World. One day I bumped into a friend and she complimented me saying that I should apply for Mrs. India. I dismissed it at first, but then she was so convinced that she made me apply for it. My husband too supported this decision. So I think it was all meant to be and it was for good.
You started your career as a banker and currently, you are an image consultant and on the path of starting your entrepreneurial journey. How did you prepare yourself mentally for this transition?
I was born in a middle-class family within a patriarchal boundary and I kept embracing opportunities and kept growing. It all resonated with the core values that helped me achieve all that I ever wanted. Being open-minded and having the principles and values lined for everything is what helped me prepare for this transition.
How do you aim to help people develop a healthy body and a healthier body image?
We should be able to internally motivate others to stay fit and healthy. I work on creating intrinsic motivation. A healthier body image will come from a healthy mind. I work on helping people develop that.
What is one thing you wish you would have known as a young professional woman just starting in her career?
I have always believed that failure is a part of success. I think we should always accept criticisms which are the loopholes that help us better ourselves. I have learned the importance of criticism over time, and it’s very useful in self-construction. This is something I wish I would have known earlier.
What are some clothing staples you recommend for someone in their first job?
I would say seamless underwear is extremely important, following a black sleek dress which can fit any purpose, a piece of jewelry, like a pearl necklace and a handbag which doesn’t need to be branded but should go with the outfit are clothing staples for someone going for their first day at a job.
How big a role do you think the fitting of color in one’s wardrobe has and how can one play it up to their advantage?
Colour makes a reflection of how you feel every day. It has a very important role to play, as some colors lift your mood and the way you’re thinking. Also, your favorite color speaks a lot about how you feel when you wear it. Considering all this, one can play it up to their advantage.
You believe that image makeover is not just external but a deep dive within to cleanse, beautify and groom one’s image. Can you clarify that a bit and how you work with your clients to achieve it?
Makeover very much determines how you feel about yourself, how comfortable and confident you feel in your skin. Self-appreciation is very important because it’s easy to criticize ourselves. When I speak to my clients, I listen to them patiently and try my best to remove their self-doubts. My motive is to make people feel good about themselves when they look up in the mirror.
Travelling seems to be an active part of your life. Would you say each exploration provides you with a better insight into the life and its meaning, what changes do you feel in yourself after each trip?
Traveling or exposure to various experiences is both humbling and widening and there is something you realize is more than your preconceived notion of the world. It makes you grateful for what you have in your life and it elevates you. Whenever I go to a place for a trip, I get all the experiences from the mainstream city as well as the local places.
Can you speak to us about what your dreams mean to you and if ‘Dreaming’ is simply an overrated concept?
Dreaming is not an overrated thing at least for me. The day I stop dreaming will be the day I die. To me, a dream is everything. My dreams are what get me going through life. I have one life and I never want to stop dreaming. And I feel it is the same for all of us!
1. The best form of workout – High-Intensity Training (HIIT).
2. Fad diets- yay or nay? – Nay.
3. The best alternative to jeans in summer? – Linen pants.
4. One cheat meal you can never avoid – Mom’s homemade lunch and baked gur rasgulla.
5. The only thing that can make you skip a day of workout – If I’m sick. I can’t ever skip workouts.