Three years ago, a curious American tourist wanderedIndiaMet a little girl with a big smile in a sea side slum in Mumbai. At that time the girl did not know that this meeting would completely change the direction of her life.
Maleesha Kharwa is now 15 years old. She is still beautiful and has a charming smile on her face. Her family has a hut on a trash-filled beach, but now they also rent a small room nearby and finally have running water and their own toilet.
In March this year, Indian boutique beauty brand Forest Essentials chose Marissa as the spokesperson for the Yuva range, which targets young Indian women.
Earlier she was seen on the cover of Cosmopolitan India magazine. The slogan on the cover is “Courage! Courage! Courage!”
Marissa hopes these accomplishments will serve as a springboard to a career as a professional model or dancer, but she plans to focus on completing her education first.
“I like it because I can show different faces on camera and in real life,” Marisa told the Reuters photographer at home, where the walls of her house are covered with posters.
“Now a lot of people recognize me and click to see my photos. Moments like this make me very proud.” She also said that sometimes she felt that people took too many photos of her.
His story has been compared to a film based on Mumbai.oscarCompared to the award winning film “Slumdog Millionaire”.
Their circumstances also reflect the changing social outlook of India. In the past, advertisements, pop culture, and Bollywood films have seen fair skin as a symbol of beauty.
It all happened in 2020, when American actor and choreographer Robert Hoffman posted on InstagramyoutubePosted a video of him spending time with Marissa and her family.
Marissa in the film is mischievous and polite and her voice is full of happiness, as if her life is not full of difficulties. In fact, he lost his mother at an early age and his father had to work hard to raise two children.
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 money for her.
Since then, Marissa has become an internet celebrity by using the hashtag #ghettoprincess in some of her posts. At last count, she had 367,000 followers on her Instagram account and counting.