I first stumbled upon Ragini Nag Rao’s blog, A Curious Fancy, in May. I was immediately sucked in and I admittedly read the entire thing over the course of a few iced coffee induced afternoons.
I was itching to learn more about the interesting and totally cool chick behind it all, and it turns out, she’s just as cool as I’d imagined. She’s been featured in Marie Claire (a magazine dear to our hearts here at HV) and on one of my favorite sites, Rookie. She’s changing things in the blogosphere, and you’ll see why.
High Voltage: Why did you start blogging?
Ragini: I started blogging around the end of 2009, when the whole fat fashion boom thing happened. I had been posting outfits on the Livejournal community Fatshionista for more than a year before that, slowly learning to dress myself, and getting immersed in the world of fashion more and more. I came to a point where my entire life revolved around fashion, and I had so many things to say about it! I saw some of the first fat fashion blogs like Gabifresh and Jay Miranda’s come into being, and I kept thinking that I should do something like that. And one day, I just did!
HV: Where does your love for fashion stem from?
Ragini: I think I have always loved fashion, right from the time I was sentient. I wrote about this here.
HV: I, like you, often speak of embracing cute over sexy; is that something you’ve always stood behind?
Ragini: No, it was something that evolved with time! I used to dress sexy a lot of the time back when I first started blogging. At that point, I was almost completely influenced by plus fashion trends because I hadn’t ventured out of that world, and everything there was focused on looking sexy. These days, there is a lot more variety, though, which is great! Then one day, while browsing through Tumblr, I think, I discovered Calivintage, and I realised that THIS is how I wanted to dress. I went through all her archives in one night, and started following other bloggers who had a similar aesthetic, and in a few months, I was completely in love with everything cute. Slowly, I developed my own take on it and by the time I started blogging as A Curious Fancy, my style had come to a point I can identify with now.
HV: Show me your favorite picture of yourself and explain why you love it!
Ragini: Oh god, this is a tough one! Everytime I do a new shoot for my blog, I have a new favourite photo! This is my current fave [below], I love it because I feel really close to my ideal self image in this one.
HV: I feel like girls today are becoming more and more aware of the negative societal expectations of beauty that are driven by the media. Do you have any words of wisdom for girls who feel like they just don’t measure up to the absurd beauty standards they’re “supposed to be” achieving?
Ragini: See, the thing about beauty is that you don’t owe anyone beauty. It’s just this patriarchal misogynist bullshit that women are required to be beautiful, because that is the only thing we can be valued for, our looks, our bodies. There are so many other things that matter more than beauty – being a kind person for instance, being a genuinely decent person. You don’t owe beauty to men, or your family, or your significant other, or ANYONE. I have one of those faces that gets transformed with makeup, but without it, I am very plain, and plain is an understatement. But I know that there are other things about me that say so much more about who I am, and those are the things that matter.
HV: Who do you look up to for style/life inspiration?
Ragini: Ahhh, I am bad at looking up to people!
HV: What inspires you to keep blogging and sharing your story?
Ragini: My readers. Almost every week I get at least 2 or three messages/emails from my readers telling me how my blog has inspired them, and that in turn keeps me inspired to go on!
HV: Last but not least, I’m always looking to pick everyone’s brains for music recommendations. What songs/bands/artists have you been loving lately?
Ragini: Oh, this is a mixed bag! I’m listening to Six Silicates by Kilowatts right now, but in general, I have been listening to a lot of classical music. I am permanently glued to the Chicago Symphony Soundcloud these days, and Il’Ya Beshevli is my favourite composer! Dude is amazing.