Clothing brand Viva N Diva in India has signed acid attack survivor, TV host and outspoken anti-acid campaigner Laxmi as their brand ambassador in a new campaign sure to blow Dove's "real beauty" one out of the water in India. The initiative is just the beginning of a campaign, led by Viva N Diva, in which more acid attack survivors will get the chance to be faces of different brands and work for the fashion brand. Laxmi was attacked and disfigured when she was just 16 years old in 2005 by a 32-year-old man whose advances she had rejected. Since then she has worked tirelessly for the Stop Acid Attacks campaign, lobbied for legal changes in a public interest litigation, and hosts a TV show.
“To the eyes that are used to seeing fashion models dolled up in front of cameras, this view was both disturbing and inspiring. For a moment, we saw beauty in a very different way and all that we could think of was to capture it in a way that gave it meaning,” said Ayushi Rastogi of Viva N Diva in a statement. The Viva N Diva campaign aims to provide acid attack survivors a platform through which they could shed the tag of being a victim.
“People often laugh at our looks. Children get scared and call us ghosts. When such initiatives are undertaken, they make people understand that we, too, are like regular women. Although our faces have been ruined, beauty still lies within us,” said Laxmi.