For as long as she can remember she was referred to as the ‘fair’ Sri Lankan and though Rumali Kularatne had no qualms about it she did understand that she was more than just a pretty face. She wanted to be beyond her complexion and her features. It was about just choosing to be.
When it was time to choose her character for the Calendar Girls project there was a tug of war – would she be Cinderella, would she be Sleeping Beauty, would she be Snow White? While she could have easily slipped into glass slippers, she chose otherwise because that was more her.
“Beauty by definition is a combination of qualities that are aesthetically pleasing or someone that gives great pleasure. But growing up the focus of beauty has been mostly on the former part of the definition- i.e. what is aesthetically pleasing but we often forget that in reality we are more attracted to a beautiful soul for longer and it is people with the beauty from within that are a great pleasure. The common saying is that beauty is in eye of the beholder and therefor our perception of beauty is unique and a combination of features and factors; be it personality and/or physical features that appeal to us. As a female teenager I think it’s a common need to feel beautiful and to fit a criteria that society has created as to what is beautiful. But I believe there is nothing more striking than ones confidence in themselves and that growing up our definition of beautiful should acknowledge both what captured our eyes and who won our hearts,” says Rumali. “Snow White’s character portrayed to us that though there were plenty of ladies adorned in lavish dresses it is her spirit that charmed the Prince. She is an embodiment of beauty to me; she had a kind heart and confidence in herself and her friends. I can connect myself strongly with her.”
Rumali quotes Snow White when asked about the stereotypes she would like to break by being on the CG 2016 project – “Remember you are the one who can fill the world with sunshine” She adds, “I believe this is relevant to most of us who dare to dream big because we are afraid of what society would have to say, what obstacles we would have to face and most of all failure. There are common stereotypes that you have to be beautiful to be an actress; you have to be a particular size and height to be a super model, if you are Asian you are supposed to be academically outstanding- but at the end of the day all of us have a choice on how we make tomorrow a better day for ourselves and everyone else. Portraying this character I wanted to convey the message that people may envy you for many reasons but at the end of the day if you have good intentions and you have a strong circle of friends who believe in you as an individual – those cruel comments, lies and rumours will have no power against you. We are raised to believe that we can only be one kind of an individual either the happy housewife or the glamorous Ideal but Snow White proved to us that you can be both a hardworking lady that knows how to run the house and a Beautiful Princess that balances her tiara and is showered with love. Snow White inspired girls to believe in themselves, to see the good in people and to not lose faith in whatever it is that you want to achieve- be it love, one’s career or life goal.”
Snow White’s weakness was her naïve belief that because she wanted the best for everyone that everyone would share the same mindset. She ate the Apple when the stepmother said “all her dreams will come true”- does Rumali see a bit of herself here too? “The moral I take out of this scenario is about trust and knowing what to sacrifice or take a risk with when achieving your dreams.
As an individual who is inspired by this character, I adored Snow White for her beauty and kindness. Never did she demean or look down upon anyone to make her dreams come true. She was always kind and caring towards the dwarfs and didn’t envy her step-mother who deprived her of all the luxury a princess deserved. In today’s society women have been put against each to reach higher, we are taught to view each other as competitors not for achievements but attention and this is something that can only be changed when our desire is to empower each other is stronger than our need to put someone down to feel more valued (what the step mother did). It is easier said than done but whenever the envy crawls in remind yourself that you can you do more and become more if you are supported by those with a similar goal. Snow White’s kindness to the pets around her house, the little mice and birds supports her when in need – quite like if we were to respect and encourage one another we could achieve so much more.”
Taking off her Snow White shoes Rumali shares what beauty means to her, “I don’t think there is any one aspect that I can pin point, I guess there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who believes that she is. Even the most prettiest of women will feel insecure if they are amidst those that lack to appreciate them – so the key is to constantly remind yourself and those in your life that they are beautiful not just outside but inside. Physical beauty is constantly appreciated in our society and if you feel confident about your appearance you shouldn’t limit the way people see you to “just a pretty face” you should use the attention or favouritism to shed light on who you are as an individual. If you are looked up at or adored for a physical feature (for me its complexion) – influence others not to achieve satisfaction by trying to have what you have instead encourage them to find what is truly beautiful about them. There is nothing more attractive than a strong woman empowering and sharing her strength to allow another individual reach their ideal self.”
“A woman’s beauty lies wherever she chooses it to be. I think most of us have our strengths and weaknesses but it is how we carry ourselves on daily basis that portrays our beauty. I would say our beauty lies in the aspects that we are most confident about. I mean if a black line on my eyelid makes me feel prettier and more confident so be it – because I think of it as investment in making myself feel more beautiful because I believe that I am. It will vary from person to person but I can tell you where it shouldn’t lie and that is in the hands or the words of someone other than yourself!”
About Calendar Girls 2016:
W2W Events Proudly presents the launch of Calendar Girls 2016 at the Gallery of Light on 28th of November 2016 – 6 months of work and one day of inspiring speakers, performers and Fashion showcase – we launched with a bang. An event to change minds about Beauty and Body image – showcasing the worlds most beautiful women in one calendar. #BeautywithoutBoundaries #woman2woman#womensupportingwomen #Calendargirls2016
Credit for this amazing event goes to a full team of awesome individuals!
Events By : W2W Events
The Awesome Events Team:
The Fashion Designers:
Fussy Diva – by Desi Sari Dewi
Rev Du Soliel
Hayaati by Aisha
Jewelry Sponsored by AGATHA Paris
Makeup Sponsored by Bourjois Middle East – الشرق الأوسط
Official Salon: Splendour Salon
Makeup Artist: Malini Ohri
The Amazing Performers:
Siya & Varsha
Smartband from SmartLife Foundation
Official Film Maker: Kalyan Chakravarthy (KC24)
Official Media Partner: @Selfie Tv
The Fantastic Speakers:
Marie & Lara – Bourjois
The Amazingly Beautiful Calendar Girls of 2016:
Piyaa Jayesh Kumar
Pinky Jayesh Kumar