Tired of being told that she didn’t look like an Indian woman – her hair bleach blond and her skin heavily inked – Sapna Bhavnani set about challenging the notion of what an Indian woman should look like.
“Nowadays people have put this big burden on women that you have to be fearless,” said the Bollywood stylist. “How can anyone in the world be fearless? You can’t be fearless! Everyone has fear. But the beauty is to have fear and still move on through.”
Sapna is one of eight unstoppable women that Levi’s® India is highlighting in honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month for the #IShapeMyWorld campaign. The women have diverse and distinctive stories to tell – with one common thread: They are all women who have boldly shaped the world on their own terms.
Also in the spotlight is Anjala Lama, a model whose path has taken her from a childhood in a Nepalese village to fashion show catwalks – all while tackling deep-seated social prejudice. Last month, she became the first transgender model to walk the runway in India’s premiere fashion event.
“A modeling agency even told me, ‘We’ve never seen a transgender model before, so don’t bother,’” Anjali said. “That’s when I promised myself, I’m going to become one and prove you wrong.”
After many failed attempts, @anjalilama00 became the first transgender model to walk the ramp in India. #IShapeMyWorld pic.twitter.com/pguwFJng6s
— Levi's India (@Levis_IN) March 27, 2017
Actress Huma Qureshi has spent her life battling a different kind of bias: body shaming. She has been criticized for her curves ever since she launched her Bollywood career, but the unflappable star has a message for her detractors: “There is no one ideal of beauty. You can be any body shape, you can be any skin color – you’re still gorgeous because you’re unique.”
To those who say she doesn’t fit in with the super skinny celluloid norms? “I don’t want to fit in. I want to stand out,” she said. “Who wants to blend in when you can stand out?”
In an industry where size zero is the norm, @humasqureshi has challenged stereotypes and silenced skeptics with her talent. #IShapeMyWorld pic.twitter.com/vwkjQuS9OL
— Levi’s India (@Levis_IN) March 9, 2017
The Story Behind the Campaign
According to the Levis® India marketing team, the idea was to focus attention on the powerful stories of self-made women influencers and achievers who have taken charge of their own lives and shaped their own world, and not the other way around.
The marketing team carefully selected women from different age groups, backgrounds and professional fields – and, because the campaign features the Levis® 300 Shaping Series , they also looked for women who proudly sport a variety of body types.
The #IShapeMyWorld campaign has garnered a huge response – far exceeding expectations for consumer engagement. Readers have logged on to comment and tell their own stories, and shared the video stories thousands of times over.
What resonated with consumers was that they found each of the stories very relatable, the India marketing team shared. Consumers could see a part of them being mirrored in terms of challenges. The inspiring narrative struck a chord that revolved around the daredevil attitude to shine through no matter what – whether it’s tackling body shaming, an offbeat career decision, or the power to just be who you are.
The #IShapeMyWorld campaign honors not only these remarkable women, but also LS&Co.’s own pioneering legacy as the company that created the first jeans for women.
We have a proud history of supporting women’s rights around the globe, and we’re particularly proud to lend a platform to these changemakers, who are standing up, speaking out and reshaping the world for women everywhere.