Could you please give us an introduction to yourself?
My name is Sharaneya Guruparan but most people know me by Sharan Guru. I’m 23 years old and currently a student at Ryerson University in my 3rd year studying social work. Before this, I went to college and graduated in Broadcasting for Contemporary New Media with honours. I grew up in Canada in a city called Scarborough for most of my life and after moving to a few cities, I now live in Toronto. I was super shy and athletic growing up, was always opinionated, and stuck up for what I thought was right. My parents are originally from Sri Lanka and are both Tamil, but they first landed in England and then moved here a few years later.
How would you describe your personal style and what would you think is your signature look?
I would describe my personal style as a mix of urban street style with a fusion of classic femme pieces. My signature look is usually a crop top and high waist pants with air force 1’s (shoes).
Do you have any tips for WOC who would like to start modelling?
So far I still don’t have professional modelling experience. Everything you see on my Instagram is self-taught and I have a good camera. I usually, shoot and pose in my own photos. I know how to shoot photos and pose, however when I want to be in the photo I usually place the camera the way I want and my boyfriend will shoot it for me. I also edit and produce the final photos. However, if you want to even start doing photo shoots to at least post on Instagram, as a woman of colour and especially a Sri Lankan Tamil woman, you must be able to do it without worrying about what your family or friends will think.
You are well known for mixing traditional gold jewellery with modern outfits. What inspired you to combine the two together?
I honestly have always loved South Asian jewellery and thought they were so unique. However growing up wearing traditional items to school always ended up with other kids making certain remarks or ridicule you for it. However, as I got older I noticed certain trends mainstream western retail store starting to sell south Asian inspired jewellery without giving our culture the credit and started normalizing by using white women to advertise it. So I thought before they take all of our styles in jewellery and fashion and appropriate something that has been in our culture for centuries, let me show them who and how should be wearing it. I think the fusion of western clothing and south Asian jewellery and fashion pieces also show the identity of many Canadian Born South Asians because as much as we love our culture and want to show it off, we are immediately ashamed and told to assimilate to be treated without as much judgment.
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By: Gayanthi Hapuarachchi