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Kenisha Awasthi: Social media is the only democratic space left | Exclusive

The actor, singer, entrepreneur, and social media influencer got candid with OTTplay ahead of the release of her beauty show, Homemade Skincare Essential, on Tata Play

Kenisha Awasthi: Social media is the only democratic space left | Exclusive
Kenisha Awasthi

Last Updated: 05.37 PM, May 27, 2023


Being the daughter of singer Sapna Awasthi, one would assume that Kenisha Awasthi would use her mother’s influence to make inroads and seal her place in Bollywood. But Kenisha is hatke in more ways than one.

As an actor, singer, entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, beauty influencer, IP owner, and someone who is all set to launch her own apparel line, you can’t help but be amazed by how ‘sorted’ Kenisha is when you speak with her. She’s anything but the dumb, glamorous bimbo or bitchy girl that she was worried about getting stereotyped into in films and web series. 

Well-spoken and not one to hesitate to speak her mind, Kenisha credits her mindset to her maternal and paternal grandfathers, erudite scholars who played a huge role in enculturating her and exposing her to the arts from a young age. Her grooming and fashion sense come from her grandmother, who taught her never to be unkempt. 

Kenisha, who believes that beauty is transient and can mean different things to different people (for someone, beauty can be great taste in jazz music or a beautiful mind, she says), is excited about her own beauty show, Homemade Skincare Essential, which is set to launch on Tata Play on June 7.

Ahead of the release, she had a no-holds-barred conversation with OTTplay, one that can only be termed "refreshing".

Excerpts from the conversation…

You have been unabashed about showcasing your weight-loss journey on Instagram. And that resulted in you getting your own fitness show. Tell us more…
During the pandemic, I put on 17 kilos. I was left in a funk and didn't know how to lose that much weight. So, I started chronicling my weight loss journey and started a parallel Instagram account without any agenda. A couple of months went by, and there was a significant change in my appearance. That is when I got a message from the programming head of 9XM, telling me that they wanted to onboard me as a fitness influencer. 

They have people like Sangram Singh (wrestler) and Jitendra Chouksey (FITTR founder) onboard, so I was honoured to be among them. I shot a bunch of videos for them, and there began my fitness influencer journey. 

That led to the show Fit Hit on 9XM and 9X Tashan, where three times a week I host mini workouts and offer gharelu nuskas (home remedies) for weight loss, like drinking cumin water and fennel water. I’m all about being frugal and resonating with the audience in my country. Everyone deserves to be their fittest, not just the rich and famous.  

So, how did the beauty show come about?
Through my weight-loss journey, my skin also started improving. So, one day I got a call from folks at Tata Play, and they wanted me to host a beauty and homemade skincare show in which I would tell audiences about homemade beauty remedies and organic beauty care. It is a weekly show that will air every Wednesday at 1 pm, starting June 7.


One of your many roles is that of a singer. What can we expect from you next on that front?
Thanks to my success on Instagram’s ‘1 Minute Music’ pop-up (that is about to cross one million organic views), I have been able to put together a bunch of original music. I will be raising funds for the music videos. I am also in the process of starting my own IP, through which I'll take my favourite songs, create a contemporary mash up, and add my own spin to it.

I am organising everything myself since I am entirely self-funded out of choice. I don't want to associate with a music label until I have an organic superhit song. With music, you can curate your team, which is something that you can’t do with acting, where you don’t have control over the rest of the cast and crew. There is more creative autonomy with music, and in any case, I am an ambivert and can only vibe with my tribe. So, come to think of it, I may never associate with a music label. Let’s see.

What's next on the cards for you, as far as acting is concerned?
I am awaiting the release of my film The Incomplete Man, which also stars Sharib Hashmi, Freddy Daruwala, and Warina Hussain. It is a psychological thriller in which I play a doctor. I was being stereotyped as a glamorous dumb bimbo or a bitchy girl, and I was getting offers to play similar roles. I didn’t want to keep reiterating that by saying yes to those kinds of roles. I've got to break that with this film. 

What does fitness mean to you?
Fitness has many perks: it gives you more confidence, and there are several neurological benefits to working out. It is better for your brain health, skin, and stamina, and those are my driving forces for taking fitness seriously. Vanity has never been important to me because beauty is very subjective. Who is to decide what is beautiful? For someone, a beautiful mind can be beautiful, while for another, a person with great taste in jazz music could be beautiful.


It is refreshing to see that you were never apprehensive about showing your real body on social media, even when you had put on weight…
My body is not my point of identification. For me, it has always been about upping my knowledge and about the people I hang out with. To me, it’s all about my grey matter, and if that comes to a standstill, I will worry. I feel the need to up my game if someone is more talented and knowledgeable than me. I only get envious of people who are very good at their jobs because that is something that you can’t take away from them. You can buy beauty with enough money. I mean, if someone spends ₹3 crore, they can look like Kylie Jenner. But if someone is more talented than you, then to me, that’s a real threat. 


People assume that I must have been depressed when I was bigger. I think it’s very crude when people bring such things up. None of my friends or family members ever pointed out my weight gain, and that is why, for the longest time, it didn't dawn on me. It took 17 kilos for my own mom to tell me that I had put on weight. We never talk about such things in my social circle or family. 

What kind of change would you like to see in the world around you?
I am gender agnostic, and I don't think from the point of view of gender. That doesn’t mean I am pan-sexual. I am heterosexual but gender agnostic. We need to leave limiting gender factors behind in 2023. That way, the whole battle between the sexes will neutralise and diffuse on its own. Why are gender and beauty still metrics? They don't have longevity and are very transient. I will never be part of the rat race.


You have a large following online. What does popularity on social media mean to you?
It means a great deal to me because it is directly proportional to autonomy, both financial and creative. You can branch out into a lot of things, which is why today I am an entrepreneur, a musicpreneur, an actor, a singer, and more. Social media is also a place where you can discover a lot of other talent. I am discovering illustration artists, makeup artists, graphic artists, photographers, etc. online. It is essentially a business tool if you know how to curate content well and have an eye to scout talent. 

I believe that social media is the only democratic space that we have left. And it is the only shot anyone has at being discovered. Most people who are making it big these days are discovered on social media. People from the northeast have always been musically talented, but now they are finally coming to the fore thanks to social media. I like the autonomy and democracy that social media has. The future looks good, which is why the creator economy is booming. Social media gives you avenues to become different things. You have to be enterprising, of course, and if you are, you can get work every day.

Homemade Skincare Essential will air every Wednesday at 1 pm on Tata Play starting June 7.

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