With Citrus & Gold, I want to inspire people to live a bolder, happier, and healthier life but I know I can’t do it alone.
I want to use this blog as a platform to bring light to other inspirational women (and men) who embody that same mission. Today, I want to put the spotlight on Reva Bhatt of Hybrid Hues as she definitely inspires me to be bolder. She’s also one of the few people who helped me think about my own South Asian identity and how it connects to my own passions & everyday life.
I’ve known Reva since high school and it’s been amazing to see how she’s carefully crafted who she is and what she stands for. To describe Reva in a few words is challenging: she’s an artist, a writer, and an engineer but the way she describes herself is a “work in progress”.
Encouraged by her friends, Reva started Hybrid Hues as a simple fashion blog to share her unique style. But after she worked on her fashion blog for a few weeks, she knew she couldn’t just share outfit posts – she had more to say. Inspired by her hyphenated identity she then began using her blog as a platform to “reinterpret fashion through a political framework to spark broader conversations about the crossroads of culture, social politics and art, especially within the South Asian context.”
She’s made her voice heard by writing commentary pieces about how South Asian culture is portrayed in pop culture. For example, she wrote a piece that was shared on the Huffington Post on Coldplay’s Hymn For The Weekend music video (spoiler alert she was NOT happy).
In her own words:
“When I watched that, I had to turn my brain off for the the entire day. I remember watching it at lunch and I was so distraught by it that I couldn’t work, I couldn’t think…all I was doing was checking YouTube, checking Twitter to see if being upset was justified.”
Though the reaction to the music video has been mixed in the South Asian community, it’s apparent that Reva isn’t afraid to share her opinion.
Not Your Dulhan
Reva tackles other hard-hitting subjects that affect many South Asian women, such as the pressure of marriage. This is a huge topic for us – trust me if you talk to any South Asian girl my age she will definitely tell you the pressure she’s felt to find a husband.
She and a few friends (Jasdeep Kang & Pragya Bhatt) launched “Not Your Dulhan”, a photo series exploring “how different womxn challenge the stereotypes and expectations surrounding the “perfect dulhan” (bride).”
What’s cool is that they recruited all of their models from Instagram! She and Jasdeep were able to find three South Asian women who had never modeled before to be part of the series. On the surface they were different: they were women of all ages, skin tones, sexuality, regions of India. But one common thread among them is that they have all fought to redefine the institution of marriage within the South Asian community and their families.
Reva’s fiery personality is contagious, in the best way possible. She’s bold, sassy, and isn’t afraid to share her opinion. Here’s to hoping she never stops.