Hey folks! In this edition of #blabwithsandy, we have the current social media sensation Sobia Ameen with us. Sobia hails from Bangladesh and she recently broke the internet with her pictures flaunting Masaba’s collection. Sobia was featured as a model for Masaba Gupta and within minutes, she rose to instant fame and accolades. Let’s wait no further and dive into the exciting blab I had with Sobia:
Sandy: Could you let us know about your background?
Sobia: I was born in Bangladesh. My mom is originally from Rawalpindi while my dad is from Bangladesh. At home, it’s me and my sister along with my three dogs (they are like my children)! My dad is a freedom fighter, as he was part of the liberation war.
I did my IB and got to learn quite a few languages. During schooling, I was into swimming, piano, and the other activities. I had two belts left to actually become a black belt but I left it there. I went to Australia for my studies and completed my 1-year in landscape architecture. All my family members are into architecture while only my mom studied fine arts and she was part of an airlines group. I also started my Masters in Architecture but I left it as I somehow did not want to pursue it further. Architecture isn’t easy and I was getting a tad stressed as it definitely is a stressful subject.
Sandy: I got to hear that you shifted your way towards cakes and baking?
Sobia: Yes! I don’t know how it actually started (laughs). After coming back from Australia, I worked for my family firm and on the side lines, I was baking cakes. I am mostly seen at home and not into social gatherings. Somehow, I started taking baking as a form of newness and whenever we used to visit folks for dinner, I used to make it a point to bake cakes and give it to them in return as a gesture. That’s when people started noticing my skills and suggested me to start selling cakes.
I started playing with the process and I still know how ugly cakes I used to bake but somehow I improved and if you see my earlier work, it’s a good way to show growth, haha! I am self taught and I started enjoying cooking and baking.
Sandy: You have become an instant fashion sensation with your Masaba wear. The internet is ablaze with your pictures. How did you first associate yourself with brand Masaba?
Sobia: I was very young when I first received a Masaba saree from my childhood friend. It is a black and white saree with a neon kind of border. Back then, I had no clue that who Masaba was but all I knew was that she just started her clothing. I would always check for latest fashion trends as Bangladesh is very big on Indian design.
Once I moved back to Bangaldesh, I srarted checking out Masaba clothing and also bought quite a few from Masaba. All of a sudden, my sister confirmed about her wedding and I just had a day’s notice to arrange my wedding wear, which was a lehanga from Masaba. During the Haldi ceremony, I wore the Masaba lehanga and had posted it on social media. Someone from Masaba’s team contacted me and told me that Masaba likes me and she wants to model for her brand. I was surprised to receive a call from Masaba but I was happy. Life is so unreal sometimes that it changes your fate overnight.
Sandy: How has your interaction been with Masaba Gupta?
Sobia: She has been very vocal about our association on social media. She is very sweet and has been cordial whilst our work. I never thought I would myself become Masaba’s model but it’s a nice feeling to know her!
Sandy: Plus-size models weren’t a rage earlier but you are one of the few who has shown the way to all of us. How has this instant fame impacted you as a person?
Sobia: India has been a lot more supportive and inclusive when compared to Bangaldesh. I am lucky as I don’t face much criticism as there is a brand value in Masaba. But, I think for others who aren’t in my position, they would have faced discrimination and backlash.
Not all designers make clothes for plus-size people/models. I know for a fact that designers do make clothes my size as I am famous but for my friends who aren’t in the limelight, hardly anyone makes suitable sizes for them. I would commend Masaba team for being inclusive and making me becomes their brand ambassador from a customer, haha! They are very professional and I want to see such professionals and that attitude in Bangladesh too!
Sandy: How have the responses been thus far? Masaba has applauded you big time and that’s there for all to see!
Sobia: It’s so overwhelming, Sandy. I have literally been stuck within my room but then, I see people continuously messaging me, following me, and commenting on the brand pictures. Even my mom told me that she’s been getting many calls for the same, haha!
Sandy: What advice would you like to give to the plus-size people/models in terms of fashion?
Sobia: I think every size is criticized. One needs to accept themselves for what they are as even God fails to make everyone happy. Accept yourself and try to do different things with your body. Looking at me, people may assume that I am lazy but that’s not true. I do a lot of cardio and can even lift weights. I did try to reduce but my body refuses to accept the change. It’s not my fault but the immune is designed in that way.
People put too much value on physical sense but that’s now how it should be! People will tell you to lose weight and comment many things but we should try to move away from that! One needs to have supportive tribe beside you and I am lucky I had my folks. You cannot please all, instead please yourselves and be happy!
Sandy: Anything that you haven’t told Masaba yet and would like to convey it to her via a message here?
Sobia: Lol! I guess I’ve conveyed my feelings already. But, I would like to reinstate that she has definitely changed the perspective of beauty for Asian women. She did her part and she is much more that! Masaba is truly an incredible woman. Her team also is genuine and welcoming. I have worked locally here and many used to present me as a poster child for Inclusivity and I am sick of that narrative. Representation is so important and I am happy that Masaba knows how to do it.
Sandy: Lastly, how do you see yourself collaborating more with Indian artists?
Sobia: I hope I do! I would genuinely love to work more with Indian artists like the same way we made this interview happen, ha-ha! I am game for it.
Interview by Sandy (Sandeep Rao)
Follow Sandy @blabwithsandy
Follow Sobia @sobia93
Follow House of Masaba @houseofmasaba
Follow Masaba @masabagupta
*For the images of Sobia x Masaba: