Life is all about the next step

Social media is a big platform in today’s world. We see so many influencers and content creators and are always amazed by how beautiful their profiles are and automatically interpret that their lives would be equally amazing. I have always wanted to get a close picture of their journey and experiences.

When I thought of sharing a social media influencer’s story, my school friend Mansii Arora popped to my mind. Initially I was too hesitant to ask her to share her story for my blog as we hadn’t been much in touch after school and were just social media friends. But thinking the worse that could happen was she saying a blunt no to the idea, I messaged her, told her what I was planning to do but she informed me that she doesn’t do social media influencing much now and is about to launch her own brand, Kocoon, a range of Luxury Ayurvedic Cosmetics. Even more curious as to what made her change her direction, I insisted I would still love to hear her journey and she happily agreed!

Mansii started by sharing her journey from the scratch. She told that her mind was pretty clear after school that she wanted to go for the Beauty Pageants and would do her graduation side by side. I asked if her parents were supportive about this decision of hers to which she replied that her parents have always been supportive in all her decisions of life and she herself believed that letting kids fly and chase dreams on their own terms is a wonderful aspect.

I asked her how the Beauty pageant journey was to which she said that she lost an enormous amount of weight just after schooling, worked hard on toning her body and groomed herself thoroughly on every aspect to participate as a strong contender. Unfortunately she couldn’t make it. And the next obvious question I asked was how she handled the rejection to which Mansii replied with utmost honesty that it wasn’t very easy to see her dreams fall apart and she was extremely heartbroken. However, she gave a beautiful reply (and I quote) “I have learnt the most important lesson that life will defeat you end number of times but you must not be defeated. Rejections are a part of life and every kid must be taught how to deal with failures, right from a very early age.”

When asked if she could suggest something to people trying for beauty pageants, Mansii suggested that one should be confident but not overconfident. And that it’s wiser to prepare yourself while being affiliated to some pageant school or coaching.

What happened next? Refusing to give up, she decided to go to Mumbai for a Diploma in Fashion Designing and to try her hands at modelling. I asked her how she found the city of dreams to which she replied that her one year in Mumbai was the most challenging year of her life. She had to consistently follow her daily routine, juggled between the two careers and alongside faced unnecessary harsh environment which made her surroundings not very peaceful.

I asked her to share more about her modelling experience. Mansii told that it wasn’t easy. Sometimes you get rejected by the agencies and sometimes you don’t even get a response. Sometimes things don’t work out no matter how hard you try. When asked what advice she would give to people thinking of pursuing modelling, Mansii advised that networking is the most important. That’s only how you can go ahead in a career like modelling, you need to know people and people need to know you. She added that the industry is not easy and “metoo” is not a myth. One needs to keep their dignity high and themselves protected.

After a year full of hardships, she decided to come back and since she was quite passionate about fashion and styling, she started making fashion videos or vlogs. She told she was amazed by the kind of content influencers were making and thought she too could probably contribute and earn a living out of it.

The videos were appreciated and slowly and steadily she knitted a family of about 20-21,000 followers. She worked with a few brands, created fashion and styling videos for them. However there was always a delay in payments, sometimes the payments were not honoured and she was paid less than promised. These instances broke her bubble and made her realize that social media influencers lived a superficial life. She concluded that this could not be a mainstream career and eventually stopped creating content.

Was she a victim of hate and mean comments? Did they affect her? The answer was a big yes and to my surprise, most of them were girls. She said that some of them didn’t like her choice of styling, some didn’t like her face and some men didn’t like her bold choice of clothing. But what she answered next amused me, (and I quote) “It used to affect me for some time but then I would get normal because someone’s hate is a clear sign of how unhappy they are with themselves and their life, it has nothing to do with you.”

Mansii concluded by saying that the road has been quite bumpy and the journey has been challenging but she has learnt a lot over the years, the most important one of those being discipline. She told that her only support system were her parents and her friend Tejas on whom she truly counted upon.

It takes courage and a lot of strength to keep on trying even when things don’t go in your favour. From trying for the beauty pageant to modelling to being a social media influencer and now to finally step onto the path of entrepreneurship, Mansii got success in some and learned a lot from the ones in which she didn’t and that’s why it’s rightly said, life is all about the next step!

Link to Mansii’s instagram account : https://www.instagram.com/mansiiarora/

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