A lifestyle influencer, model, and public speaker, Diipa Büller Khosla dons many hats. And she recently added another feather to her cap by becoming the first Indian female influencer to speak at the ‘The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting at Davos, 2022’. “It was an absolute honour to be invited,” she said. Just before she delivered her speech on ‘The imperative to invest in ending violence against women and girls’ at the international event, Diipa walked the Cannes 2022 red carpet despite feeling “ugly”, “bloated”, and “monstrous, even”. In last year’s event, too, she had posed with breast pumps to highlight how mothers are victims of “unapologetic and burdensome” judgement.
Now, in an exclusive email interaction with indianexpress.com, Diipa opens up about what keeps her going, her experience at WEF, her journey and role as an influencer, and also shares how she unwinds and manages to keep negativity at bay. Read on.
You recently became the first Indian female influencer to speak at the ‘The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting at Davos, 2022’. How would you describe the experience?
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It was an absolute honor to be invited by the United Nations, and truly an opportunity of a lifetime to represent India alongside some of the world’s most influential people and leaders. I have always believed in bringing a change, be it through my NGO ‘Post For Change’ or through my brand ‘Inde Wild,’ and my contribution to this global forum has further inspired me to leverage my belief. With greater gusto, happiness, and force, I endeavour to encourage our country’s growth through the she-economy followed by helping the UN and its spotlight initiatives to erase gender-based violence and gender inequality.
In keeping with your talk at the international forum, can you tell us what role can social media play in creating social change, especially on the topic of gender-based violence?
As you must be very aware of the role of media in bringing a change or voicing out the need, similarly social media today is the new age media which just does not help to create a recall but also spreads the word within a short span of time. To help you understand our thoughts here, in partnership with UNICEF, we launched an annual menstrual health campaign #reddotchallenge through our brainchild Post For Change. Social media helped us tremendously in spreading the word for this campaign and within no time we were amazed to see how leaders and actors from different walks of life came forward to support our objective.
Being an influencer requires you to be online — a medium that comes with an equal share of pros and cons — for long hours. How do you use it to your advantage by blocking out the unnecessary?
It is not that difficult if your focus is on the place. With my schedule and my work, I hardly get time to focus on the negative direction that social media as a platform helplessly invites. However, even if it is a moment to stop by, I try to accept the fact that it is an open platform built for people to share their thoughts and views, and even though it is out of a negative attitude, it is not for you to take personally or hold on to it and react. And this acceptance helps me to move forward, as a global influencer I wish nothing but the best for my followers.
But sometimes, one may not be able to cope with the stress that the medium is notorious for. Can you share tips to manage the trolling and other negative aspects of social media?
As an internet star, I intend to build a supportive and friendly community for which I ensure that I spread the utmost positivity. Further, if it gets too negative, either I choose to ignore it depending on the seriousness of the matter or I try to be open with my followers about it so that their love and support can help me bar it, and we together can wish for all to heal and get better as humans.
You also attended Cannes recently and shared how, despite not feeling and looking your best, you walked the red carpet. What kept you going?
Authenticity is something that keeps me up and inspired every day, and yes, I was in a bad shape with a swollen face and bloated body. It was not expected but I decided to be honest with my followers and so I was out there with my best foot forward and being just myself. Also, Cannes is a global platform where people from across the world get to see and learn a lot from their favorite stars. Hence, to inspire my audience globally to love themselves, no matter what happens, I choose to show the power of being ‘YOU.’
How challenging is it to keep it “real” on social media?
It is challenging but also the most motivating factor, especially when you see your audience learn and grow with you. The amount of love and strength received on the first post of this year’s Cannes appearance, was beyond inspiring, to be honest. It further helped me to leverage my endeavors to keep it real with my audience as much as possible.
The hardest part of being an influencer in today’s time?
The hardest part of being an influencer especially a female Influencer in today’s day is actually the topic we spoke about at Davos — violence against women, especially online. So much is being done for violence against women in real world, but what happens online is that people create fake IDs and profiles and say whatever they think can say to people, especially female influencers. So, you have protect yourself and be quite thick-skinned about a lot of the comments and online abuse that comes your way.
How do you unwind? And what is keeping you busy at the moment?
To unwind, I always meditate; that’s something I have done as a child and that is something I try to do every single day of my life. Another thing I really enjoy doing is dancing, so once in a while after a very busy week nothing unwinds me like getting my hair done and just dancing to music. The things that keep me very busy at the moment are actually multiple things. I have a one year old daughter and she keeps me very busy. I have a global beauty brand that I am launching in India very soon as well and on top of that all the other work I do as a content creator and influencer; and lastly, we are also renovating our house so my plate is currently very full but very grateful for everything.
You also often experiment with fashion; how would you describe your personal style?
As a global influencer, I travel on and off, so my go-to style is basics. Joggers and a crop top work for most occasions if accessorised and paired well. I think, a good pair of mom jeans with a nice pair of sneakers helps to elevate any outfit. Besides, while traveling, I choose to shop from the local and vintage stores to keep up with the city’s vibe and bring home some unique fashion to remember the city by. Furthermore, I choose to play with accessories depending on the country I am traveling to and its current season. Like a lot of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings are essential for a great look. Also, another great way to play with accessories is to mix and match gold and silver jewellery, which I love doing.