Wake-up, go to school, then to work on certain days, go to the gym, hang out with friends or come home to a cat and watch television, sounds like an ordinary day for a full-time working college student. Now couple that day with modeling and an “Anti Skin Bleaching” campaign, you have full-time working college student, petite model, and activist, Piasha Barua.
Piasha is a Queens-born native of Bangladeshi descent and before modeling, she was heavily involved with the “Queens Library Teen Radio Podcast” two days a week. Working at the podcast taught her valuable skills on how to interview people. As her skills progressed, she landed a gig to interview the author of “Black Girls Rock”, Beverly Bond. It was her first interview and although she was extremely nervous Piahsa did an excellent job. Ever since her first interview, Piasha’s team gave her more people to interview for the popular podcast. Jaquae from “Love and Hip Hop”, Puma from “Black Ink Crew”, Julito McCullum from “Brotherly Love” and Angela Yee from “The Breakfast Club” are just a few of the celebrities Piasha interviewed.
When asked why she chose to concentrate on modeling and if she received any adversity from her family and friends about her decision, her family was surprised yet embracing regarding her decision. Piasha’s family is very conservative and no one in her family has ever been able to do this. Piasha chose to pursue modeling because it’s one of the ways she can promote the “Anti Skin Bleaching” campaign.
Skin bleaching creams are sold all throughout South Asian countries including Bangladesh where her family is from. According to Piasha, being fair skin is a common beauty trend which displays a “higher class”. “I want to be a part of that change, where having a dark complexion, is acceptable and beautiful and be a role model for others,” says Piasha. It’s not just about walking and showing off, it’s about walking with power and purpose. She wants to set an example to young South Asian girls and all girls of color, that they don’t need to bleach their skin to feel beautiful and to embrace the beauty that comes from within themselves.
When asked what she likes and dislikes about the modeling industry, Piasha loves the diversity amongst the models in the industry. However, there are certain high-end shows that still portray a certain physical type. She believes that models should be seen in a different way. Every model seen has a pretty face, with one unique feature. According to Piasha, models should be allowed to showcase, their own individual traits so people can start to recognize their own unique features, along with how their traits were made for them.
In addition to modeling, Piasha also works with the non-profit organization “Purposely Pretty” which teaches young girls how to identify their purpose in life. The objective is not about a pretty face, it’s more than that. It’s all about self-love, overcoming doubt, conflict resolution, money management, recognizing relationships and the impact of social media. “Purposely Pretty” provides mentors to young girls to look up to and learn how their mentors have become strong successful women. Piasha is the social media manager of “Purposely Pretty”, which is one of the most important roles in the organization considering how influential social media is today. Diamond Craig, the program director of “Purposely Pretty” gave the position to her and she is proud and honored to be working with such an amazing organization.
With all that being said, we asked how Piasha balances school, work and her social life. Her schedule is a balanced one, with work twice a week and school four days a week. When she actually has a moment, she likes to hang out with her friends, usually over a plate of Chicken Alfredo, that’s her favorite dish. However, when she has a moment alone, Piasha likes to watch a lot of “Disney-Pixar” movies along with a plethora of cartoons that she can watch all day. However, right now she is binge-watching “The Real Day Time” show on “YouTube”. They put a lot of emphasis on “Girl Chats” and the show’s theme is purple which happens to be Piasha’s favorite color.
When asked if there are any other career paths she might be entertaining down the road, Piasha has a genuine interest in companies, brands or organizations that have a purpose and be part of a great movement. Considering that she is a young adult, she is discovering new things about herself and what she is capable of doing. She has a passion for television, film, and pop culture as well as an eagerness to learn about marketing and advertising on multi-media platforms. Either way, whichever direction she chooses, we at You Me NYC are absolutely positive it’s going to be the right choice.