Expressing and celebrating body positivity
Siya Tayal, a 15- year- old who runs an online community in creating a safe space for people to celebrate their bodies through dance, music and art
Siya Tayal, a 15- year- old who runs an online community in creating a safe space for people to celebrate their bodies through dance, music and art. 'Project I am Enough' and 'My Own Bag', are her initiatives which promote body positivity and an eco-conscious lifestyle, respectively. The young change maker is also a committee member and partner of UN's One Million 2030.
It was to create a safe space for herself and friends who had experienced body shaming that she started Project I am Enough in July 2020. Speaking to The Young Hans Siya says "It aims to normalise all body types and help people cope with eating disorders. It has developed into a network of around 500 people where artist, singers, and dancers express themselves in their own way on how they feel about their body".
Siya was initially surprised that people had society-defined ideal body types approach to problems. Interacting and learning about experiences of members has made her only more resolute about her cause. "After a point, you do realise that it happens to anyone and everyone, and just doesn't make sense," says Siya.
How do you promote self-love? Most platforms that claim to promote inclusivity often have registration forms to screen and select people to be part of their communities. We wanted to veer away from a trend that defies the very purpose of inclusivity. Our platform welcomes one and all and lets them express self-love and body positivity through their talents.
And so artists paint, musicians perform and dancers express their struggles and journeys through movement by going live from our account. The response has been overwhelming so far.
Both initiatives, My Own Bag and Project I am Enough, come under her umbrella organisation Bee Nifty. Besides showcasing the products at the UN, Siya says it was an amazing experience to meet people with similar drive, ideology, and passion for social good. "Getting recognition is also incredible and inspiring, even though it is not the main goal," she adds.
In the last few years, Siya has come across people who join social initiatives to increase their prospect of college applications abroad. This has compelled her to ask people to join with the right intention and motive. "If you don't believe in a cause, you can't contribute in a way you should be able to. I tell people this should be something they feel strongly about," she said
"Inspiration lies where you least expect it, be it my peers experiencing body shaming, teachers encouraging what I do, or my seeing my parents help someone in need," Siya concludes.