Photography by Melissa Gidney
Occupation: Registered Clinical Counsellor, Professional Speaker, Model & Mom
Describe yourself in under 100 words:
I’m an urban hippie on the pursuit of happiness. My family means everything to me. Hard work is in my blood. I am both an educator & student for life as learning is a fundamental value of mine. I have a passion for counseling and public speaking. Deep connections fuel my soul. Adventure keeps me interested. Laughter keeps me elevated. I love to love.
Beauty can be defined in so many ways. What is your definition of ‘beautiful’?
Beautiful is an energy. The most beautiful people are those that exude their inner beauty through kindness, caring & confidence. Sparkling eyes are beautiful as they reflect the person’s energy & soul.
When do you feel most beautiful?
I feel most beautiful when I’m dancing.
Aging is inevitable yet it’s something a lot of people fear. What part of aging scares you the most?
Losing my mind and losing those I love.
What part of aging is the most exciting?
The best part of aging is seeing my baby Soran grow and having new experiences together as a family!
On average how much do you spend each month on cosmetic items such as make-up, hair cuts/colouring, waxing, clothing, nails, tanning, creams etc.
Haircut: $70 every 3-4 months
Waxing: $15 for wax strips + $60 at the wax place every 3 months
Nails: mostly do them myself, so $50 every 3 months
Sephora: $30 /month probably, + day cream & night cream set: $80 every 4 months, eye cream: $60 every 4 months
Hair products: shampoo, conditioner, serum, Moroccan oil: $90 year: avg $30 every 3 months
On average: monthly = $151/month
Wow…that adds up quickly!
Have you ever struggled with confidence, body image or insecurities in your life?
Yes! When we were contemplating getting pregnant, one of the factors that caused me the most stress was thinking about my body changing…getting ‘fat’. So many things would change for me, and it felt weird to worry about that, but I did. The funny thing is that when I was pregnant, yes, my body definitely changed & grew, but I felt the most beautiful I had ever felt in my life. My advice: pregnancy isn’t only body changing; it’s life changing…for the better!
Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments? Please share your thoughts on this.
I haven’t had any cosmetic surgery. For treatments I’ve had braces. I’ve also had laser hair removal, which has been very convenient! It’s up to people to do what makes them happy. I think we feel pressure to change ourselves when we probably look beautiful just the way we are.
Let’s talk Photoshop. What are your thoughts on this cultural phenomenon? Yay or nay? Or is there a place for it sometimes?
I love editing pictures for effect. There’s a place for Photoshop just as there is a place for makeup. However, I find it disheartening that Photoshop has gotten so out of hand, especially in magazines. Do we really need to slim people down or move the position of their collarbones? It is leading us down a path of unattainable & unhealthy proportions & ideals of beauty. Real people are beautiful.
How do we ensure that the next generation of girls grows up with confidence and a strong sense of self when they receive so many messages telling them that they are not enough?
Movements such as this, RAW Beauty Talks, are a powerful step towards empowering and creating a more confident & strong generation of girls. We need to have discussions with younger generations on what is real & what matters in the big picture. Self-confidence must be cultivated & nurtured. Leadership programs in schools can have a positive impact. The media must take a role in creating a future of people unencumbered by the unrealistic ideals of beauty women and men are bombarded with today.
You have an adorable little boy who is eventually going to turn into a grown man. How do we raise men who respect women as equals?
My husband, Sharad, and I want to raise Soran in a home where there is mutual respect, encouragement, and love. We want to instill strong values of equality, as we both believe in the strength of both genders. Giving, receiving & appreciating are key. Soran has strong, kind and intelligent female role models all around him: his aunties, grandmothers (Dadi & Nani) and great-grandmother (Bari Dadi). He also has dynamic male role models that value and respect women. We encourage Soran to love & respect all people and all things in the universe. If he feels loved & safe, I believe he will be confident & have love to share with all.
We talked a lot about your beautiful hair during your shoot. We were all obsessed with it but you didn’t seem so impressed. Talk to me about your relationship with your hair. At what point did you start feeling more confident with it straightened?
My Biji (grandmother) braided my hair till grade 5, when my mom decided to do something different than the cultural norm & cut my hair. She also permed it. I was a curly mop with glasses & braces. When I was at university, I noticed my cousin ironing her hair (this was before straighteners were en vogue). I thought she was crazy. Then she tried it on me. People reacted to me differently. Straight seemed best. It felt controlled & shiny…and I felt more confident. It’s so funny how when I talk with women, that those with curly hair seem to want it straight, and vice versa. How did that happen?
When you were 5 what did you want to be when you were older?
I remember being asked this question in kindergarten for our year book. I sat at that table with my teacher for the longest time. I wanted to give the best answer, but I didn’t know what it was. Then I finally said Doctor, probably because I had heard my parents say that is what they wanted me to be. It would be amazing to go back & see what I really dreamt of.
Connect with Nisha:
Instagram Handle/ NISHAKHARE
Twitter Handle/ @Nisha_Khare