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Exclusive: Real Masculinity is Secure Enough to Accept People Different Than You, Says Ankush Bahuguna

Ankush Bahuguna opened up about his journey in an exclusive chat with us.

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Ankush Bahuguna opened up about his journey

Photo Credit: Ankush Bahuguna Instagram

Highlights
  • Ankush Bahuguna has talked about his journey
  • Ankush: I think real masculinity is diverse
  • I'm grateful to have received all this support, says Ankush Bahuguna

Challenging the norms of society is not everybody's cup of tea, but very few believe in doing so. Ankush Bahuguna has refined masculinity with his choice of playing with makeup. In an exclusive interview, Ankush discussed his journey, online challenges, and his passion for acting. 

Here are the edited excerpts from the conversation.

What, according to you, is the true definition of masculinity?

I think real masculinity is diverse. Real masculinity is to be secure enough not to have to constantly define what men do, what they don't, what they look like and what they don't, how they should behave and how they don't, who they love & who they don't. Real masculinity is secure enough to accept people different from you & still treat them as equals. Real masculinity is also to be willing to learn & change with the times

What made you stumble into the world of makeup artistry? What was the reaction of the immediate people around you?

 It's something that caught my interest in the lockdown. It's therapeutic to me now - it's such a fascinating mix of art & science. I learned a new skill after so long & it was so exciting. And I'm grateful to have received all this support. There is hate on the Internet, but people close to me have always cheered me on, which really helps. 

Men and makeup don't really mix well in society at times. How did you gather the confidence to put yourself out there?

As a cisgender man, things are a lot easier for me. The hate or trolling I get is mostly online & probably (and hopefully) won't translate to real life. Still, for so many people who are not cisgender, the hate is as real as it gets & I wish we could extend the same support to them as we do to cisgender people like me.

What inspires your comedy content, and how do you come up with those ideas?

Everything & anything around me inspires me for comedy content! Be it someone I meet, people I know, or even my parents!

You bond well with other popular comedy influencers and are often seen collaborating with them. How would you say you support each other?

 I think this industry is so new that everybody at some point needs friends from the industry to fully understand the day-to-day issues we face, the burnouts, and the breakdowns because Nobody else would. I've found some amazing friends here & I think collaborating with each other, checking up on each other, and standing up for each other is a good way to support.

You also regularly showcase some serious acting chops on your Instagram. Can we expect to see you in the films anytime soon? 

I've always wanted to be an actor ever since I can remember. So, I ensure I don't stop putting that out into the universe. I'm training as an actor and working on my skills - let's hope something great comes along soon because, as an artist, I feel there's so much more I have to offer.

How do you polish your acting skills? 

I'm taking acting workshops currently. Auditioning regularly also helps in honing the skill! 

What is your current favourite TV series you are binging on?  

I just started watching 'Adhura', and I'm hooked! 

One influencer you admire and look up to?  

There are quite a few - but to name one, I really really appreciate Yashraj Mukhate! Love that he prioritized quality over quantity.  

What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?  

My biggest achievement is the bond I share with the audience. It's not about HOW MANY followers. It's about HOW CLOSE we are to each other. It is a blessing to have people support you so passionately, who don't even know you personally but treat all your wins like their own. They've made me who I am! 

What is your advice for aspiring content creators?  

Always prepare for the worst. Be practical. It's a tough job to sustain. Have a plan B - make sure you're financially independent. And if it doesn't work out the way you like, don't take it personally. You could be doing everything right, but still no recognition.  

What are some of the challenges you have faced as a content creator?

I think the biggest challenge is reinventing yourself because that keeps your audience entertained. The Internet moves on quickly, so to stay relevant, you must be on your toes.

How do you stay motivated and creative? 

 I wish I knew so that I could channel it on days I need maximum motivation. But sadly, I don't know the formula.

How has the 1-month stay in Mumbai been? Your vlog was super emotional, and the way you spoke your truth was phenomenal. Is it still taking time to settle in?  

Mumbai is vastly different from Delhi. I feel excited, overwhelmed & intimidated all at once. The city tests you, but the people in Mumbai have been really kind to me. It will take more time to settle in, but here I am now; I'll make my way through like I have so far!

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