Toshada Uma (4’8”) is a petite model, blogger and social media maven based out of Mumbai, India. When asked about her love of fashion and beauty, she says, “[It] directly roots from the women who birthed me, [my mom and maternal grandmother]—I could say it’s in my blood.” She began her modeling career several years ago and since then has made a name for herself as a petite body positive advocate.
Though she’s always loved performing and being in front of a camera, Toshada worried about fitting into the modeling industry’s rigid beauty standards. But photographers and modeling agencies began approaching her with offers when she was in high school, and it’s easy to see why—despite standing well below standard model high, her flare and confidence make her a natural. And she says that there’s “definitely” room for more petite models in the fashion industry.
Besides breaking barriers in modeling, Toshada is also exposing her followers to unconventional types of beauty. Toshada has alopecia and at first tried to grow her hair out to cover it. Now, though, she keeps it shaved, saying that “getting over the one ‘flaw,’ as people may call alopecia, made [her] extremely confident.” She creates custom-made wigs, DIY beauty projects and beauty tutorials, all geared toward making people think of beauty in a new way. “When one feels beautiful, it shows,” she says, “and there’s nobody that can change that!”