A man in a stunning black skirt doing a ramp walk in a local train compartment of males made heads turn, garnering him more than 73,000 likes and 1,800 comments on Instagram.
In the video, Shivam Bhardwaj, who goes by the Instagram handle "theguyinaskirt", is seen in a black ensemble walking across the compartment as commuters look on stunned, some of them amused.
“When I was editing my reel, I saw people’s reactions to my ramp walk in the local train and it was shocking. Some people were left with their mouths wide open, but there was also a man who came up to me and asked if I am an artist and that made me happy that there are people who understand,” the 24-year-old told PTI.
Shivam, who is a part of the LGBTQ community, identifies himself as a gay man who supports gender neutrality.
The lad from Uttar Pradesh's Meerut believes make-up and clothing such as skirts should not be restricted to any gender.
"Men can wear skirts too. Because it hasn’t been seen in Indian society, it is very shocking for people around and they don’t want to believe that a boy is wearing a skirt. However, I do believe times are changing," Shivam said.
"When women can wear a pantsuit, men can also wear a skirt and it won’t affect their manhood, if you’re a man you will stay a man even if you wear a skirt,” he reasoned.
Shivam knew that he always wanted to do something in fashion, but his parents' acceptance and approval did not come easily.
Shivam was asked to leave his home when he was 19 as he was making fashion content which was against the wishes of his father who wanted his son to be a chartered accountant.
He then started working in a BPO, and once he started earning money, he went back to doing what he loved, creating fashion content.
Shivam's love affair with skirts started back home in Meerut when he bought a skirt for a friend, but was tempted to try it on himself and realised that he looked good in it.
Though his loved ones advised him against uploading a video in a skirt, he was undeterred and did it anyway. Once the video went viral, "theguyinaskirt" was born.
"At least 90 per cent of the comments on my post are positive, which was very surprising for me," he said.
People on Instagram hailed Shivam's confidence. One user commented, “you better walk that runway”, while another wrote, “My jaw dropped, like Majestic is the word”.
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