Breaking Barriers

February 6, 2013 , by Bibek Bhandari, 1 Comment
Breaking Barriers » My Dreams Mag
She is an unlikely protagonist. She defies the stereotypes. In the crowd of “perfect-figured” female comic characters, Miss Moti leads and creates her own identity.

Miss Moti’s first impression will certainly not be the last. With her curvy, round figure, while her physical persona might be overshadowed by her weight, Miss Moti’s personality dominates her physical appearance.

So who is Miss Moti?

A fictional comic character, Miss Moti is Nepalese artist Kripa Joshi’s creation. Recently featured in Comica: London International Comics Festival, Miss Moti is subtly making her hefty presence felt in the world of comics often dictated by slim-figured superwomen.

“The inspiration for this character,” says Miss Moti’s creator Joshi, “came from my own struggles.”

Growing up, Joshi, now 34, believed that she was overweight and often compared herself to other girls of her age. Thus, through this character, Joshi wanted to explore the issues of body weight and also talk about it.

She says weight and body image shouldn’t be an issue that constructs one’s personality, something that Joshi has learned from her mother.

Miss Moti’s personality, she says, comes from her mother.

Though physically plump, Joshi says Miss Moti is like a pearl from inside. She refers to the word “Moti” and its varying pronunciation in Nepali that changes the word’s literal meaning.

Moti while pronounced with a stronger emphasis of the word ‘t’ means ‘fat,’ the same word spoken with a softer ‘t’ means ‘pearl.’

“Though she looks fat from the outside, when you get to know her more, she is like a pearl,” Joshi, who now lives in Surrey, says.

But Miss Moti’s journey started in New York City in 2007 while Joshi was a graduate student at the School of Visual Arts. As a student, she was inspired by American cartoonist Winsor McCay’s fantasy versus reality in Little Nemo is Slumberland, which she tends to have incorporated in her comic series too. However, she has set her comics free from text unlike McCay.

Miss Moti comics are devoid of words, the situations being self-explanatory. Her fantasies and dream sequences, from the flight across Mt. Ama Dablam in Nepal to sailing on a paper boat, projects Miss Moti’s aspirations regardless of her weight.

Initially a part of Joshi’s master thesis, Miss Moti, apart from her own comic series has now also been featured in comic anthologies, including the Strumpet, which only features works by female artists.

Since her first work, Miss Moti and The Cotton Candy, followed by Miss Moti and The Big Apple, Joshi says, her character has refined and evolved, becoming a protagonist who propagates about body image and weight issues.

In Nepal, talking about weight is nothing new. From family functions to social gatherings, weight-related comments are typical. While the comments are a part of the conversation and are gentle and unoffending, Joshi says it can have a negative impact on people’s psyche, especially among the adolescents.

For that reason, she wanted Miss Moti to speak for herself, becoming an unlikely superheroine with the “power of imagination and the ability to do things.”

“I wanted to create a plump woman character who wasn’t a pity figure,” Joshi says. “I wanted someone who was vivacious and wasn’t held back by her weight.”

And Miss Moti is certainly not affected by her weight. She is fun and adventurous; she has travelled across the world and participated in activities that people wouldn’t think

she would.

“The things she does, the way she thinks is something I hope I had done without having bogged by my physical aspects,” Joshi says.

As Miss Moti is gaining a global recognition, Joshi says that her character surpasses stereotypes. Beauty, in her words, should not be measured by physical traits but personal qualities.

“I created her [Miss Moti] for myself, to deal with my demons,” she says.  “But I would like her to be able to represent everybody.”

Continuing about Miss Moti, Joshi says: “She is very confident, self assured and achieve what she wants. She is heavy but healthy and lives by her rules”


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  • Front_cover
  • Going_Places
  • Kripa_Joshi_Selfportrait_print
  • Miss moti saves ultra girl

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Categorised in: Arts

One comment on “Breaking Barriers

  1. Amazing work!!! I have read “Miss Moti and The Cotton Candy”, and I loved it so much… Keep up the good work!!!

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