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#CosmoExclusive: We Spoke to These Fun, Feisty, and Fierce Internet Celebrities Who Are All Over Your Social Media Feed

Cosmo photographed 11 dynamic, digital-friendly personalities to get a taste of what makes you Like, Share, Subscribe to their content.

 

Sumeet Vyas

Sumeet Vyas, Actor

“‘You’re so believable!’ That’s the best feedback I’ve ever received for my work. Whether it’s Permanent Roommates—a YouTube experiment that did phenomenally, and introduced the concept of web-series to the Indian audiences—or the recent Official CEOgiri, people have always said that they could connect with my characters. And the credit goes to the well-written scripts that helped me connect with the story, the mood, and the people in it. If you choose a script that you believe in, it becomes easier to portray your roles no matter how crazy, weird, or larger-than-life they might be.”

Jacket, Almost Gods;  retro sunglasses, Style Fiesta, koovs.com

 

Mallika Dua

Mallika Dua, Comedian

“Most of my caricatures, Make-Up Didi for instance, are inspired by real-life experiences. I grew up in Delhi, and one of the city’s running jokes is that Delhiites are always overdressed. They’ll say, ‘Just be cajzh babe’ or ‘I’m wearing casuals’ but will turn up in all their shimmery glory. Also, I used to work in advertising, and no matter what we did, the client was never happy or satisfied. So I found these really bizarre, black-eye filters on Snapchat, and just started talking, pretending to be a client at a salon who’s not happy with her subtle make-up and wants to go all out.”

Sequinned hoodie, Malini Ramani; biker jacket, H&M

 

Bhuvan Bam

Bhuvan Bam, YouTuber, Singer, Songwriter at BB Ki Vines

“In the span of my career, I’ve met a lot of fans, but my most memorable interaction was with a woman who was suffering from a serious neurological problem. She hadn’t spoken for a while. Her brother requested me to meet her as she was a huge fan. At first, I was worried because I didn’t know how she’d react. But when I met her, she looked at me and stood up! We sat and chatted about her favourite BB Ki Vines videos for nearly 20 minutes! It was a surreal experience. I realised that my content is changing people’s lives, and that’s what truly matters.”

T-shirt, Almost Gods; jacket, Puma

 

Saloni Chopra

Saloni Chopra, Actor

“I don’t follow social media rules, I never say the right things, and my photos most certainly p*ss people off, but that’s who I am. Many of my posts touch upon subjects like feminism and body-positivity, because I want to encourage healthy debates and conversations. I’d be very upset if, one day, I put up a post and no-one disagreed with it. I don’t believe in putting up pretty pictures because there’s a lot of that already happening on Instagram. People’s lives appear to be 10 times better on the Internet than they are in real life, and that has led to a very toxic environment. I’ve seen people look at other’s posts and say, ‘I wish I looked like that’. Which is why I keep my Instagram posts as real and natural as possible. I hate the idea of young girls waking up, seeing my photographs, and thinking that they need to look a certain way. I don’t care about the comments on my unkemptness, I just want women to look at me and think, ‘Oh, you can look like that’.”

Tulle gown, Dolly J; blazer, Siddartha Tytler; earrings, Olivia Dar

 

Dolly Singh and Kusha Kapila

Dolly Singh, Content Creator, iDiva.com

“As an artist, there are a lot of people I look up to, one of them being Lilly Singh, who’s been my idol even before I started my acting journey through iDiva.com. However, while creating content, I draw insights from everyday life, the people around me, and my past experiences. Recently, I posted a video where I play a woman who braingasms, in an exaggerated way, every time the male protagonist says all the right things—like, ‘You have beautiful eyes’ or ‘I love cooking’—that women love to hear. It got a million views because it struck a chord with my viewers who have come to expect a blend of comic and feminist content from me. So if you want to build that kind of audience, stick around and don’t lose faith just because your story isn’t the same as someone else’s.”

On Dolly: top, Gauri & Nainika; earrings,  Swarovski

 

Kusha Kapila, Content Creator, iDiva.com

“Where do I look for inspiration? I call my mother! And then there are my family, friends, and my cooking lady who’s quite a character. Also, I live in Delhi, duh! When I go out on a Saturday night, I become a fly on the wall and constantly observe people and their mannerisms, pick up on the different energies, and pay attention to interesting conversations. That’s how I brought iDiva.com’s Billi Masi—an elite, opinionated South Delhi woman—to life. Although I can’t relate to her, I aspire to be her some day. I admire her fearlessness, her fierceness, and just the fact that she can walk into a room and claim it. I also love Ma WokeAnand because she gives gyaan (knowledge) when no-one’s asking for it. Somewhere, through her humour, she sneaks in political views and that’s quite interesting.”

On Kusha: dress, Gauri & Nainika; blazer, H&M

 

Ashish Chanchlani

Ashish Chanchlani, YouTuber

“My biggest USP is that I make mass-y and relatable videos that young people on social media can connect with. It’s crucial to understand your target audience and what they seek, because their interests change every day. People often expect to gain recognition after making one viral video, but that shouldn’t be the approach. You need to continuously experiment, be active on social media, and produce content before you can learn what you’re comfortable with and what’s working out for you. For instance, I started focusing on students when my first viral video Eating Habits In Classroom got 3.1 million views in a day. Because, at the end of the day, comedy is all about  exaggerating real life experiences.”
T-shirt, Almost Gods; blazer, Dsquared2 at The Collective

 

Srishti Dixit

Srishti Dixit, Video Producer, BuzzFeed India

“I started as an entertainment writer, but switched to acting a year-and-a-half ago, when our first sketch, If Real Life Was A TV Serial, went viral. As an individual, I don’t aggressively work towards making my Instagram profile pretty or aesthetically appealing. I do things within the comfort of my house, wearing my middle-class nighties and tees, sans any make-up. I like to be my most authentic self—goofy, weird, awkward, funny—because that comes naturally and organically to me. But there’s no one-size-fits-all formula; you’ve to keep putting your content out there and see what works out for you. As my ex-editor would say, ‘Keep throwing sh*t at the wall and see what sticks. The only way to know what’s gonna go viral is to keep putting content out there’.”

Slogan tee, Urban Suburban; jacket, Papa Don’t Preach; earrings, Olivia Dar
 

Karishma Mehta

Karishma Mehta, Founder, Humans of Bombay

“In 2014, I started Humans of Bombay (HOB), inspired by Humans of New York. It was special because I’m passionate about telling stories of my city. Mumbai is a melting pot of different cultures and people, all of whom have a story to tell. From your newspaper delivery boy to a couple watching the sunset on Marine Drive, this city is brimming with millions of unheard tales, and I’m here to share them with the world. Regardless of people’s opinions, I don’t filter any narratives-—that’s the DNA of HOB. Also, our crowdfunding initiatives have been able to change people’s lives within 24 hours. I break down every time we raise funds for someone and tell them, ‘Look, you have all the money you need for the surgery now,’ and see their lives transform when they had given up all hope.”

 

Ssumier Pasricha

Ssumier Pasricha, Actor

“Three years ago, I started making videos as Pammi Aunty, and she’s still loved because she’s unapologetic and honest—a reflection of our society. She epitomises our mothers, aunties, and grandmothers who don’t hold themselves back while making social commentary. Can you ask your mother to change the way she talks? We all love to be prim and proper on social media, but within our homes, we’re not as cautious—that’s the reality. Quite often, people troll me for Pammi Aunty’s dialogues, but I stay unaffected because it’d be hypocritical of me to make her politically correct. Not so long ago, she criticised the PM’s girl-child awareness programme and questioned its impact because crimes against women have only been on the rise. People called me anti-national and abused me, but I didn’t care—Pammi Aunty has never shied away from saying the truth and she never will.”

Sweatshirt, Huemn

 

Mahima Kukreja

Mahima Kukreja, Writer, comic, poet, and advertising professional

“For a long time now, women like Bhanwari Devi and Raya Sarkar have been fighting for women’s rights but I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a lot of support on Twitter when I called out comedian Utsav’s (Chakraborty) misogyny. I had no idea it’d start a chain in motion, where other women would join in and share their stories, turning it into a huge movement on social media. Sure, the trolls were there, but the immediate reactions were largely positive and that helped immensely. So, no matter how much opposition I face, I’ll continue amplifying marginalised voices, supporting feminist causes, and spreading mental health awareness. It’s the need of the hour.”

Top, Tanieya Khanuja; necklace, Swarovski