coffee date #28 with diva dhawan
#andthenwestretch, entrepreneur, supermodel, Pilates teacher, founder of Pop Buy India & VRTT Vintage, anchor & actress, coffee-holic, NYC and India
note: this coffee date will be continued when Diva visits NJ 🙂
location: popup store, new york city
I stumbled upon Diva Dhawan’s Instagram a couple years ago. I fell in love with how open and free she was with her social media presence because I found her at a time when I was insecure both online and in real-life. She was one of the first public figures I saw who used Instagram to just be themselves and post whatever they wanted without worrying about constantly looking “perfect.”
After following her online journey for multiple years, I finally asked if she’d be willing to do an IG live for Happy2Thrive to talk all things mental health. She immediately agreed. The live was amazing and she spoke with so much truth and love, making coffee date #1 and I feel so wholesome after it ended.
I then asked her if she’d be willing to have a coffee date with me because I knew that there was A TON of seeping knowledge and wisdom that I could gain from sitting down with her for a mindful conversation. Once again, she immediately agreed.
I met her for the first time at her pop-up shop in NYC and she had the BEST energy and vibes!!!! You know those people who you don’t really know but every time you meet them you can feel their warmth, kindness, and authenticity? Well, Diva Dhawan is one of them.
- Saying “Yes!”
Before ever having met her, I admired the fact that Diva was open to trying new things and accepting new projects. Saying “no” to things is important, especially if you’re overwhelmed. But saying “yes” to the things that matter to you is equally important.
We initially planned to have this coffee date last August, however, our schedules didn’t align and we had to postpone it. 4 months later, I see a message from Diva asking if we can reschedule it. Even though she’s incredibly busy and has a boatload of other projects and commitments, the fact that Diva remembered this coffee date and reached out to reschedule showed me that she truly values people and the opportunities that come her way ☺️
- Being the same person online and in real life
Online, Diva is a queen. She’s so authentically herself. She posts about random thoughts, her workouts, coffee drinks, her businesses, etc. But nothing is so over-the-top glamorized to the point where it’s toxic. It’s evident that she’s just radiating who she is on her social media platforms.
Despite knowing how genuine she is on her Instagram, I was still taken aback when I met her in-person because her Instagram self and her real self are essentially the same!
Living in a world that makes us believe that we have to appear a certain way on social media for the numbers, followers, likes, it was so extremely refreshing to meet someone who was just herself everywhere.
- Food freedom ❤
Diva was one of the first public figures I followed on Instagram who displayed the “normal” stuff they eat. She posts about her candy cravings, her occasional “junk food” binges, her love for chocolate, etc. Knowing that I probably sound like a fool right now, I remember how 16 year-old Esha felt so incredibly relieved seeing that a model/public figure/entrepreneur/actress was giving herself the permission to eat whatever the hell she wanted without judgement. And the best part is, she was encouraging others to do the same every time she posted stuff like that. Note: Obviously, I don’t know Diva’s whole relationship with food yet because I haven’t gotten the chance to ask her.
What food freedom actually means:
So many of us, men and women included, are programmed from a young age to believe that we have to appear a certain way. During the programming, we lose that inner child who used to get hyped for some Cold Stone ice cream or drool over the Six Flags funnel cake. As adults, we either a) fully restrict ourselves from eating foods that once brought us so much joy or b) we indulge from time-to-time and then proceed to torture ourselves – whether that be spending hours at the gym or letting our brains to rip us apart.
Unlearning such toxic training and learning to be free of guilt when consuming food is life-changing and a point that I hope to reach in my life one day.
- Makeup and our relationship with it
When I think of fashion or the modeling industry, I’ve subconsciously assumed that makeup and perfect skin were always involved. I was wrong.
Once we hit puberty, there’s this natural transition (due to societal norms) that most people (especially the girls and women I know) go through where they begin to believe that their bare-faced, naked, beautiful faces somehow need to be covered up so that they can appear to be “beautiful” or “pretty.”
Imagine the amount of power that these adolescents can gain from being taught that makeup should be used as a tool to enhance or express – not as a tool to hide and cripple one’s self-confidence.
Diva reminds me so much of Glennon Doyle. They both just radiate that boss-woman innocence and rawness. In fact, Glennon talked about how she went on the Ellen show without makeup on and how that made her feel incredibly empowered. Years ago, when I was at a point of extremely low self-confidence, Diva’s online presence and her bare-faced, incredible self was one of the many ways that I began to embrace all those tiny little imperfections that every single face has. That’s beauty and it’s beautiful ❤