Rani Dhaschainey is fat and she owns it. To her, the word ‘fat’ is nothing but a descriptor, and she uses it to describe herself all the time. Case in point: She called herself a “fat Ariana Grande” during our photoshoot because of the hairstyle and had a good laugh about it. What she does take offence to is when it is used with the intention to hurt people. “I have a problem with the intention to hurt and not with the word that was used. Fat liberation is the ultimate goal where fat bodies are given equal respect, access and opportunities in public spaces, hiring, healthcare and other important areas,” she points out.
Rani is also a savvy businesswoman. The 31-year-old is the beauty and brains behind local plus-size fashion label The Curve Cult, which she co-founded in 2015. She, like many small business owners in Singapore, had to quickly pivot to a digital-first model during the height of the pandemic. Together with her team, Rani used social media to not only show off her clothes with the intention of selling them, but also to celebrate voluptous bodies—curves, stretch marks and all. It was a masterclass in branding and how social networking platforms can be a brilliant tool for that. Her videos on Instagram and TikTok have collectively garnered thousands of views and likes, making her one of the most prominent plus-size advocates in the local fashion scene.