Take a minute to think about all the stereotypes that encircle and bind you. From the way you live and what you study, to the profession you choose and even how you dress, there are probably more stereotypes than laws in the world. It is toxic and tiring.
If you feel the same way, we have a refreshing surprise for you. Meet Jasjyot Singh Hans, an illustrator who aims to challenge and break fashion stereotypes with his zine ‘Sikh Women in Sick Fashion’ while simultaneously “paying tribute to some boss ass Sikh women who share a penchant for fashion.”
By embracing all body forms and built, and stepping away from glammed up hairstyles and fake eyelashes, Jasjyot challenges the fashion industry’s obsession with a size zero body, or, indeed, the assumption that the ideal body must be a particular body type or skin tone. Case in point, most of these women featured in Singh’s zine are moody, rebellious and plus sized.
I'm too ridiculously excited to share this any later, but I'm working on a tiny new zine: SIKH LADIES IN SICK FASHION; premiering at the art show with @hazurart. This baby will be riso printed in 2 colours, and feature some of my favourite fashion designers 💅🏽👠👜❤️✨ #letsdraw #fashion #sikh #christopherkane #ss18 #DomesticServices #jwanderson #piercebag #SikhLadiesInSickFashion #preview #zine
In an interview with Le Mill, Jasjyot explains why he decided to draw the women in his zine in a particular way. “I guess it stems from my own body image. I’ve always been big, and drawing women, and at some point it only felt natural to draw them in the same body shape as mine”, he says. “I continue to draw them because I don’t see many bigger bodied women in fashion or popular media, so it is my way of making women of all sizes feel visible, fearless and beautiful.”
Additionally, the zine showcases Sikh specific elements as well. In an interview with Platform Magazine, Jasjyot says “I’m not sure if the people notice the long hair and the kara [steel/iron bangle] on the right wrists and make that direct connect but they are added as subtle signifiers of Sikhism. The turban and the parandhi make an appearance as well. And of course, the women on each spread also have very Sikh specific names, which I had fun selecting.”
Written by Shreya Shashank
Featured image source: Jasjyot Singh Hans