Meet Daksha Agnihotri, a model with Down syndrome, who is out to shake the beauty industry
Just 21 years old, Daksha Agnihotri has the poise and passion needed to make it big in the competitive world of modelling and fashion. Daksha, who has Down syndrome, is one of the faces chosen to model a well-known range of organic beauty products.
It was a photo shoot scheduled for three hours. Daksha Agnihotri wrapped it up in just 45 minutes. Remarkable given that this was 21-year-old Daksha’s first modelling assignment.
Daksha, who has Down syndrome, is a student at Evoluer Solutions, which conducts educational and skilling programmes for children and youth with disabilities. Founder-Director Shaloo Sharma, who had noticed how well-groomed and poised Daksha always, thought of her when an assignment came up.
First Indian model with Down syndrome
“I heard that The Earth Rhythms was looking for a model for their latest range of organic beauty products and Daksha came to mind”, says Shaloo. “She loves to model and is very self-aware”.
Harini Sivakumar, Founder of The Earth Rhythms, loved the idea. Daksha captures all that her brand represents.
We want to showcase that beauty is skin deep. There are segments of our population that our beauty industry does not even acknowledge, and I want to change that. People with disabilities like Daksha are among those who are not touched upon. Through The Earth Rhythms, we want to show that these products are for everyone, regardless of disability or age. – Harini Sivakumar, Founder, The Earth Rhythms
Daksha’s comfort and ease in front of the camera was a surprise to all.
A natural before the camera
“I went with her as she is comfortable in my presence”, says Shaloo. “I guided her by striking the pose that the photographer was looking for”. After the first 10 minutes, Daksha took charge. “I didn’t have to do anything but just get her to look at the camera. We barely did any make up either on her, all that she had on was a neutral base and a light-coloured lipstick”, says a proud Shaloo.
‘Mind-blowing’ is how Harini describes the shoot. “I was a little sceptical about how the shoot would pan out but from her poses or the way she held the lip tint, she was a complete natural”. The shoot was for three hours and we were done in 45 minutes”.
The new range will be launched once the coronavirus lockdown is lifted. There is also a video where Daksha will say a few words.
Daksha’s sister Gunjan Agnihotri is excited for her sister but also matter of fact. “We have never looked at her like she is disabled or different or special. Some children are inclined towards certain interests and should be encouraged. In Daksha’s case, she has always been into beauty, make up, and fashion. She is always on YouTube trying to copy make up tutorials and keep up with the beauty trends”.
Gunjan is happy that her sister has found the opportunity to follow this passion. “She was she excited about this. She was a little nervous, but she coped so well”.
Watch out for Daksha’s first assignment at The Earth Rhythms website.
Watch in Sign Language
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