Renee Kujur: Overnight Sensation Talks About Racismby Opinion Express July 28, 2018 0 comments
Chahak Mittal says, although prejudices can be crippling, Renee Kujur fought them all, emerging to be an overnight sensation.
The obsession with fair skin, a perfect body shape and size has made it difficult to accept flaws and features as they are. We have set impossible pictorial standards for every woman, be it a model, actress or even an ordinary woman. However, model Renne Kujur, commonly known as the Indian Rihanna because of her uncanny resemblance with the RnB singer, breaks through these standards. The 33-year-old model, who started modeling at 28, has a film-like story to tell. Being a dark-skinned, flat-nosed and skinny girl, who hails from a tribal village of Chhattisgarh, Renee has worked hard to earn a place in the Indian fashion and modeling industry. Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) acknowledged her grit and passion to pursue her dreams. A felicitation programme was hosted formally introducing her as a model on the second day at the India Couture Week 2018.
Famous supermodel Sonalika Sahay introduced her, “For a model like Renne, it hasn’t been easy like us city girls.”
She narrated how Renne had been bullied and teased all her life for being dark-skinned. “When she participated in a fancy dress competition as a fairy, somebody told her ‘Pariyaan kaali nahi hoti (Angels are not dark),’ but her hard work has paid off. Her journey is to learn something from,” said Sonalika.
“Since childhood, I wanted to be a model but I kept facing challenges. I belonged to a very middle-class family. When I finished school, I didn’t want to be a burden on my parents. So, I worked and saved money for my portfolio. But all my life, I have faced the wrath of prejudices against my caste, a tribal background and my colour. People used to say that no girl like me is made for modelling and only for a government job. But I believe that girls like me can do a lot of things. All my life I have heard ‘you have a flat-nose,’ ‘kaali pari,’ ‘junglee;’ these harsh words have made me feel strong and given me strength to fight. I have been blessed by this face and the fact that I resemble Rihanna has given me an edge perhaps,” said she.
FDCI chief Sunil Sethi questioned her about how her following began and reached to what it is today. Laughing and teary-eyed, she claimed, “There was a headline ‘Overnight sensation,’ but I want to say that the night was indeed very long.”
Sethi invited her parents to the stage, whom she hadn’t seen in six years. Highly overwhelmed by the reunion moment, she had to fight back her tears in front of the whole fraternity while thanking Sethi. Talking about her parents, Renne said, “They are my biggest support system, my lifeline. If they hadn’t encouraged me and allowed me to step out of the house, I wouldn’t have had reached where I am today. I feel like a celebrity today and I owe all my success to them.” The model is on her way to becoming the face of a Tommy Hilfiger campaign, a brand for which she had worked as a store executive once.
Writer: Chahak Mittal
Courtesy: The Pioneer