Chennai: Mahalakshmi Mahadev, 26 years old, Bachelor of Technology graduate from Bengaluru has always dreamt of modeling but never gave it a shot until now.
Ms. Mahadev is here to break the stereotypes of a perfect body and body shaming. She will be India’s first differently-abled model to appear in advertisements.
Ms. Mahadev is a polio survivor. Speaking of her 13-hour long shoot for a textile Brand in Chennai journey, she said, “I was nervous first, now I’m so happy. Differently abled can do anything. If they dream, they can achieve it. It’s important our advertisements turn inclusive.”
Her 44-second advertisement shows young Mahadev beautifully draped and adorned with jewelry. She stands beautifully and at the end of the ad, the model is placed in a wheelchair.
Chennai based fashion designer Shalini Visakan, who specializes in designing clothes for the differently abled, wanted to feature a differently abled model for her clothing line along with her differently abled entrepreneur husband Visakan Rajendiran.
Ms. Visakan says, “No one was coming forward to feature a differently abled person as a model. We did not want to sit and complain about it. So we did one for our own brand,” adding that once they thought soon the things fell into their places.
Cinematographer Jerald Dinesh, stepped forward offering to shoot the ad for free so did the make-up expert Suresh Menon.
speaking of it Dinesh said, “It was an interesting concept. Mahalakshmi was very cooperative. None would have known she’s differently abled. But we showed her in a wheelchair at the end to motivate others.”
“We are now ready to do commercial ads with differently abled models for anyone. This could change the face of the advertisement industry,” he added.