A Model with an Activist cause. She discusses her growth as a Canadian-Indian model, tokenism and her beauty secrets.
MODEL . ACTIVIST . GLOBETROTTER .
Nateisha: Tell us about yourself and how you got into the modeling indsutry?
Bali: Although I was always interested in modelling, I only started modelling a little over a year ago. I grew up watching Canada’s Next Top Model and Fashion Television but I felt as though it was a career that I could only dream about. After seeing a greater representation of Indian models making it in campaigns and catwalks, I was inspired to reach out to modelling agencies. This is why representation is so important; I hope to inspire a whole new generation of girls.
N: Just over a year, and you have achieved so much already, have you found the industry hard to break in to as a woman of colour?
B: For me it wasn’t as di cult to break into the industry as a woman of colour. I feel as though I started modeling when the industry just started becoming more inclusive and diverse. My only concern is tokenism and diversity and being labelled as “a trend”. Representation is so much more important than ticking o a box; it promotes inclusivity. When people notice they’re being represented, it gives them a sense of belonging and identity.
N: I absolutely could not agree more and have you ever experienced anything negative whilst modeling or that has knocked your con dence?
B: I (thankfully) haven’t experienced anything negative whilst modeling. However, I follow Cameron Russell
on Instagram and have seen all the anonymous stories that she’s shared about her sexual harassment. It’s scary and sad to see how many stories that have been shared and how many people in the industry have turned a blind eye in the past. The victims that are brave enough to tell their stories now are breaking the silence and making safer working environments for everyone.
N: Do you nd with diversity being “on trend” at the moment that jobs are easier to come by?
B: It’s amazing to see that there are a lot more jobs now for people of colour and that companies are consciously making an e ort to be more diverse. I feel like there is still a long way to go, there is still lack of representation and tokenism.
N: I de nitely agree and what are your thoughts on being such a great representation to many women out there? B: It’s so attering when people say that I’m an inspiration to them. I’m just starting out and look up to other Indian models like Lakshi Menon, Pooja Mor and Bhumika Arora. I never thought that I would be in this position but I’m so grateful.
N: It is so amazing to see you do so well and now reaching out not just as model but also as an ambassador for Human Rights - what made you become a model with a purpose?
B: I was actually involved with Khalsa Aid (the Non-pro t Organization that I work with), before I started modeling. Now that I have a larger platform I want to use it to spread positivity and to help people in need. I volunteered at a refugee camp in Greece and in Turkey and have relied on social media to raise donations.
N: That’s amazing and have the bene ts been paying o ? B: Absolutely!
N: With all that you do, what do you do day to day?
B: Day to day I usually go to castings, or have a shoot. On my days o I spend with my family or work on charitable projects.
N: What has been the most exciting project to work on and why?
B: The most exciting project that I have worked on was the rst time I was own out to LA. It wasn’t just the rst time that I’ve been there but the rst time a company wanted to y me out for a shoot. I can’t say much about the shoot but it was a real pinch-me moment and I had a chance to spend time with my friends in LA.
N: Clearly a woman into her beauty, lets talk about your beauty treatments and regimes.
N: When do you feel your most beautiful?
B: When I’m in the sun or wearing an out t that really conveys my sense of style.
N: When would you be having an o -day?
B: When I eat too much junk food for too many days in a row.
N: Your favourite beauty treatment?
B: I recently had a mild chemical peel and my skin was glowing afterwards.
N: And nally, your “can’t live without” product?
B: For make-up it would have to be my concealer or lip balm. However, for my skincare it would have to be coconut oil.
“ My only concern is tokenism and diversity being labelled as a trend”
Photographer: Indy Sagoo