New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) As India's fashion industry races to catch up with the rest of the world, ramp modelling is fast becoming a viable option for young women.
It's also a sign of the changing times that large sections of Indian society that not too long ago looked down on modelling as a profession are coming around to accept it as a career that holds promise.
'People have become more broad minded; the designers have grown and become more experimental,' contended Monikangkana Dutta, who will be walking the ramp for the third time at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) that opened here Wednesday.
'Globalisation has helped as it has served to expand peoples' minds,' said Shruthi Agrawal, who does so for the first time at the Aug 30-Sep 3 fashion week.
Even so, it wasn't easy for Shruthi, whose parents insisted she first focus on her studies.
'My parents wanted me to give priority to my studies so I did my post graduation,' she said.
Being a Muslim, Sanea Sheikh, also a fashion week first-timer, had a slightly different problem - of changing mindsets.
'It was difficult. It took time to convince my parents.'
But then, as Monikangkana pointed out, young women wanting to become models have invariably faced parental roadblocks.
'Four to five years ago, 70 percent of the models rebelled against their families to become models. Today their numbers are much lower.'
To that extent, Garima Parnami was rather lucky.
'My parents are very open minded, they trust me,' said Garima, who will walk the ramp at the fashion week and hopes it will be the gateway to a rewarding career.
Seema Gupta, mother of model Nandita Gupta, cited growing professionalism as the reason for modelling being accepted as a profession.
'There are agencies that take complete responsibility for the grooming of the youngsters,' she stated.
The jury, however, is out on that one.
According to Garima, 'agencies only serve cooked food; they don't teach you how to cook. You have to eat what they serve'.
Monikangkana agreed, saying the agencies were not the least helpful.
'Most agencies are only money making machines,' she maintained.
Even so, the sheer number of agencies that exist are a pointer to the fact that they do serve a purpose.
In sum, few will dispute the fact that urban India's acceptance of modelling as a career has phenomenally increased in the past few years.