Sangeeta Gharu, hailing from Jodhpur, Rajasthan, introduces herself as a dusky model who loves adventure. She comes from a defense background, which makes her more focused and disciplined towards her work. Sangeeta belongs to a middle-class family and is pursuing her dream in modeling. Her father is the chief in the Air Force, and like every other army kid’s life, her life has been full of rules, decorum, and discipline.
Yeah, I was brought up in many places but Jodhpur is my favorite. Because of my father’s duty transfers, I traveled to Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar, Pathankot in Punjab.
As defense kids, we have to be very disciplined and there are so many restrictions. But, I am happy my parents helped me with that. My experience was rough and tough, though. I was selected for my sports team and I asked my parents, if I should go. They completely said no you cannot go, you have to study and become an officer. And, I said I want to go and I cried a lot. Afterward, they saw me not having food and upset. Hence, they were convinced and allowed me to continue.
Sangeeta has faced issues, and apprehensions from her parents when she said she wanted to go for modeling. Her parents were shocked and confused as well, on why their daughter chose this particular field. She says this might be because of how the fashion industry is not valued highly in small places and people have their own assumptions in the industry. She says,
I had a conversation with them, but they were not at all convinced of this. Then, I thought, once I will get married I will go out of Jodhpur and will never look back. My parents stopped talking to me. Somehow, mom used to talk but dad ignored me, completely. As we are from a middle-class family and no one can explain about this industry much.
I still remember I did a show in which I got my hair short and pink, I informed my parents, my mom asked to stay away from home until I get my original hair back. I didn’t go to meet anybody at home.
However, now they have accepted me for who I am and what I want to do. This is the best feeling for me, to make them proud. Now I have informed and convinced them that whatever the perception is about the fashion industry that is completely false. Now they say do whatever you want to do and do it wholeheartedly. Although, it took me 1 year to convince them.
Sangeeta being a dusky model has faced racial discrimination throughout her life, but the way she turned it into a positive approach is worth appreciating.
Yes, I do and I am happy to share this here, as this might happen with other girls. And, I do know it might have happened with a lot of girls but they don’t say anything. They face certain statements like ‘Why you want to look good when you are already of dusky complexion?’ or ‘If you will use this cream, you will be fair’ and many more. TAll of these are very demotivating.
My experience was bad but I have learned a lot from this. Once, I was traveling in Jodhpur and a group of boys looked upon me and said ‘See that black girl is also putting on lipstick’. Then, I cursed myself why I am not fair. I wished I would have been fair and got some good friends. People would treat me nicely.
In school, I had friends as well but there were few students who use to say ‘She is kali (dusky), what does she think of herself.’
We are 5 siblings, 4 sisters including me and my brother. Whenever we attend a wedding, people use to talk bad about my complexion. I became so negative due to the dark color that when I went for the audition of Miss India. I faced rejection and decided I don’t want to go to give pageants auditions as they want beautiful fair-skinned girls.
Then my mentor pushed me and helped me in giving the audition. Once during that, a judge asked me about my strength, to which I replied ‘my color which makes me look different in 100 people and that is the reason I am standing here in front of you.
If I will not love myself and keep on cursing my color, I will never be happy. I have to be happy from the inside and I have to accept myself the way I am dark and tall with rough skin. I don’t have a problem now saying all these are my favorite things and I am happy because I love myself a lot and I appreciate that.
When I went to Mumbai, I was rejected at my first audition and that was a big heartbreak to me. As I had a lot of expectations that I will go and follow my passion. But when I went there the stylist said no and I asked myself is it because of my complexion?
My mind was full of different thoughts and at the moment they said sorry, I ran to the washroom and cried a lot. But once you keep trying, again and again, no one can stop you. You need to be confident in who you are, whether it’s your body, your color, your mind, just be confident, accept yourself the way you are. Feel good about what God gave you. This life, enjoy every moment with gratitude. And, trust me this can change everything in my life. I followed, I worked on my self, tried everything which makes me feel confident. Now, I am here happy and passionate.
Throwing light on social causes, there are certain issues that Sangeeta willingly wants to support.
The awareness of the fashion industry is that it has different platforms. You can’t only be a ramp model. There are criteria for every job in this industry. The awareness of being positive when your mind doesn’t work and you don’t understand the way of life. Everyone should be positive about their color, shape size whatever they like just do it.
Never compare yourself to others about their skin and flaws. Just work on yourself and be the best version of yourself so that you can inspire the other girl. The one who is going through this phase of life.
Moreover, the awareness of not hurting any animal. I see a lot of rape and people hurting dogs. Please help them. They are the creature of God and God said that helping them will add to your karma dairies, so remember what you do, will come back to you.
Describing herself in 3 adjectives, Sangeeta proudly calls herself very passionate, hardworking, and ambitious.
Moreover, she has worked with renowned designers like Tarun Tahiliani,
Shantanu and Nikhil, Suneet Verma, Abraham and Thakore, Rimzim Dadu, Nikhil Thampi, Prashant Verma, Rina Dhaka, Ken’s fern, Rajesh and Pratap, Amit GT, Bibi Russell, Sidharth Tytler, Felix bandish, and, Punit Balana. She has also worked with Royal Enfield. Later, she was featured in Grazia magazine for Shivan and Narresh. Sangeeta has been in the industry for the last 4 years, sharing her experience, Sangeeta says,
I feel if your life has no obstacles, it is a boring life. I feel good about having a life that is full of different adventures and struggles. It helped me to learn a lot and prepared me to face different situations. It is full of ups and downs. But I have faith and trust in myself. Moreover, patience is the key. Life is not an easy cup of tea. You have to work hard and have patience to achieve something. I face rejections till now, but I learn and improve myself every time, so it is totally okay.
Sangeeta also expresses her desire to work with some models and designers.
Although, I want to work with every model of industry, as I will learn something from all. But specifically, I want to work with the international model Kendall Jenner. Moreover, I also want to work with Sabyasachi and Versace.
There are few changes, which Sangeeta wants to bring to in modeling industry.
I just want to increase the demand for dark tones and I want diversity in this fashion industry. And, not only dark girls want to be models there are other girls who want to be models and follow their dream.
So everyone should have the courage to do what they want to do.
But this fashion industry needs people who are passionate about their work not only for time pass.
Because every model is unique and different in its own way. And, they inspire others to take this fashion industry to the next level.
Sangeeta also shared how she motivates herself.
If things don’t work the way I want. Then, I just stay strong, read books about the work, and motivate myself with all patience I have. Try other things which help to make you happy. As everyone has suffered from this COVID and impacted their work. So, I request everyone whatever you do. Always have plan B in your life. If plan A doesn’t work, then there is a plan B.
Adding on, Sangeeta also expressed how she felt after doing this interview with us,
Trust me, I feel a little emotional here because things have changed a lot and going through this journey is a good experience. I feel blessed for what you did today for me. Every question in this interview is worth giving reality and I am happy to answer these questions in detail as I felt like everyone should know.