WHEN ASKED her age, Tanesha Awasthi will answer with great confidence. “I’m 30,” she says boldly. “Turning 30 changed me a lot, as far as obsessing about the size, the weight.”

Lots of things have caused Awasthi to obsess over the years, mostly revolving around weight gain and loss. Her most recent obsession—some would say her healthiest—is her fashion blog, Girl With Curves.

Awasthi is naturally endowed with an ultrafeminine figure—think the coveted Joan Holloway hourglass shape from Mad Men. She has always been a follower of fashion. “I always thought in the back of my mind, ‘I’ll design one day,’” she says.

As a teenager growing up in Milpitas, Awasthi would rip out pages of editorial spreads from fashion magazines and save them. The fashion industry, however, has never been too kind to curvy girls, so in February 2011, Awasthi took matters into her own hands and established the blog that is fast becoming her claim to fame.

The content of her blog shows a clear editorial influence, made up mostly of dreamy photo spreads featuring Awasthi in her latest retail conquests. It’s no surprise that she’s been a model. After attending a disenchanting orientation at FIDM in San Francisco in pursuit of her design career, she turned to modeling so she could have some sort of foot in the fashion industry’s door.

Modeling jobs fall into two categories: “straight size” and “plus size.” However, humans don’t fall quite so neatly into categories, Awasthi included. “They would tell me, ‘If we only shoot your top half, you look like a straight size, but your bottom half looks plus size.’ Modeling gave me a complex,” she says—it’s hard not to have one in an alternate universe where a size 8 is considered plus-size. Eventually, it was suggested that she start padding her torso to make her top half agree with her bottom half. That was the last straw. “I’m not gonna wear a fat suit!”

Then, about three years ago, Awasthi sustained a knee injury from running, a sport she took up to get herself to the weight that, she says, she thought she wanted to be. Being laid up made her realize how frivolous the pursuit of a certain size was. “Trying to obtain a body that isn’t naturally obtainable for me personally was a waste of time and energy.”

Working as an account manager and living in north San Jose, she needed an outlet for the creativity that had always been in her. “I was so bored!” she says. “I’d come home from work and watch Project Runway É and I’d be so envious of those people that they got to make a living doing something like that.”

So she decided to conduct an experiment to combat the boredom. She posted a photo to Flickr of her in an outfit that she liked. The photo was eventually reblogged on Tumblr more than 400 times and shared on social networks. The responses, in an unusual turn for notoriously mean Internet commenters, were deliriously supportive.

From there, she established Girl With Curves, posting Marie Claireworthy shots of favorite outfits, information on where she got the pieces and tips on how to wear them. Her blog began to attract readers, and by the time she had hit 1,500, Tumblr, Girl With Curves’ platform, announced that it would send a select group of fashion bloggers to New York Fashion Week.

Awasthi submitted a post about her love for accessories and their ability dress up any outfit on any body type to the selection committee. She was chosen and attended some of Fashion Week’s hottest events as an ambassador for Tumblr.

Her blog is now at 36,000 readers, not counting those who subscribe to her mailing list, follow her Twitter account and like her Facebook page. While she tries not to make the blog about her body—the only mention of curves is in the title—the buzz surrounding her blog inevitably comes back around to her shape.

Like turning the big 3-0, she’s made peace with that. “I feel like, as girls, we all have curves. We’re supposed to. That’s something we all have in common. I’m trying to set an example of not being so upset with yourself.”
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