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A Mumbai slum girl’s journey to become a famous model is worthy of the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”


(Reuters, Mumbai, 18th) Three years ago, a curious American tourist wandered into a seaside slum in Mumbai, India, and met a little girl with a smile. At that time, the girl did not know that this encounter would completely change the trajectory of her life.

Maleesha Kharwa is now 15 years old. She is still petite and has a charming smile on her face. Her family owns a cottage on the trash-strewn beachfront, but they now also rent a small suite nearby and finally have running water and their own toilet.

In March this year, Indian boutique beauty brand Forest Essentials selected Marissa as the spokesperson for the Yuvati series, which targets young Indian women.

Prior to this, she appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan India magazine. The slogan on the cover is “Courage! Courage! Courage!”

Marissa hopes these achievements will serve as a springboard for a career as a professional model or dancer, but she plans to focus on finishing her education first.

“I feel good because I can show different faces on camera and in real life,” Marisa told a Reuters photographer at her home, where the walls are covered with posters.

“Now many people recognize me and click to see my photos. Moments like this make me very proud.” She also said that sometimes she felt people took too many photos of her.

Her story has been compared to the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, also set in Mumbai.

Her circumstances also reflect India’s changing social outlook. In the past, advertising, pop culture, and Bollywood movies have viewed fair skin as a symbol of beauty.

It all started back in 2020, when American actor and choreographer Robert Hoffman posted videos of his time with Marissa and her family on Instagram and YouTube.

In the film, Marissa is naughty and polite, and her voice is full of happiness, as if her life is not full of hardships. In fact, she lost her mother at a young age, and her father had to raise two children while working hard.

Rob Hoffman knew the power of the Internet, so he helped Marissa create a webpage on the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe to share her life and raise funds for her.

Since then, Marissa has become an internet celebrity, using the hashtag ghettoprincess in some of her posts. At last count, her Instagram account had 367,000 followers and counting. Central News Agency (translation)

A Mumbai slum girl’s journey to become a famous model is worthy of the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”

The article is in Chinese

Tags: Mumbai slum girls journey famous model worthy movie Slumdog Millionaire


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