BY Stefania Sarrubba
November 15, 2018
|Model and coreographer Ivaanka Das|
Trans model Ivaanka Das is gaining momentum in India for her bold appearance and outspoken personality.
Behind her gorgeous, intriguing smile and her fierce look, however, there are years of confusion and discrimination.
Ivaanka now ‘proudly’ identifies as trans and is in the process of legally changing her gender, but her journey hasn’t been easy. Growing up in conservative West Bengal hasn’t helped.
Her baldness is her signature look
With her distinctive look, Ivaanka is disrupting another stereotype about femininity. Although her lack of hair made things more difficult at first, it has since become Ivaanka’s trademark.
‘My look is now a hot topic. Different people have different opinions about it, of course. I get mixed reactions and I have to face hate each and every day,’ she says.
‘I am not the only woman from India [being bald] as many celebrities have done it and looked stunning. But they also struggled a lot because here people want to see a woman with long hair and soft Indian features.’
Ivaanka explains that religion plays a big part in what is traditionally considered to be appropriate for a woman in India.
‘[It is] because of goddesses like Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati and the way we grew up worshipping them and also the appearance of the women in our families, wearing saris, having long hair and wearing lots of jewelry. We still don’t want women to come out so loudly and be so unique.’
Nonetheless, her family has fully accepted her transition.
‘My mom and dad passed away years ago and I stay with my mom’s family at the moment. They didn’t support me when I came out as bisexual at 17 nor when I came out as trans,’ she says.
‘But they have changed a lot and finally accept me as a daughter. And as for people who don’t, I always show my middle finger to them.’