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Meet Harshita Gupta, whose hilarious short comedy videos on social media platforms have captured a lot of attention. In an interview with SheThePeople, Harshita Gupta shared her journey, starting with internships at esteemed radio stations during her graduation, honing her skills, overcoming camera consciousness, and eventually transitioning into content creation and ruling the influential business. She has not only amassed a significant following on social media but has also earned recognition as #9 in Forbes India's top 100 digital stars.
Transitioning from journalism and mass communication to radio, the spark for Harshita Gupta's content creation journey ignited when the digital wave in 2017 came, she embraced the challenge of creating visual content despite initial apprehension.
Journey From Audio To Visual Content Creation
She said, "The digital wave was taking over, and everyone seemed to be shifting their focus towards creating online content. My boss insisted that I start making videos, even though I had no prior experience or knowledge in this area. I felt overwhelmed and intimidated by the idea of putting myself out there and potentially facing criticism. Despite my reservations, I had little choice but to comply if I wanted to secure a salary increase during my appraisal. I vividly remember the nerves I felt when I shot my first video. It was a daunting experience, stepping in front of the camera and trying to convey my thoughts effectively. For three years, I worked tirelessly on creating video content, facing numerous challenges and setbacks along the way. It was a challenging journey, but it ultimately shaped me into the content creator I am today."
This narrative depicted her transition from working in audio to embracing the visual medium. Later in the conversation, she discussed her journey from feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera to becoming confident and at ease with being filmed.
She said, "Initially uncomfortable due to body image concerns and past experiences of being body-shamed, I avoided posting personal photos on social media. I believe it's all a mind game. Despite my initial camera consciousness and struggles with body image, I've always been confident in my abilities. I had a strong conviction that I would excel in whatever I pursued. Despite facing body shaming and body image issues, I excelled academically and had a successful career in radio. My confidence in my capabilities has remained unwavering throughout. Hence with time and experience, I gained confidence and became comfortable in front of the camera. Now, I enjoy shooting videos with actors and consider the camera my preferred medium."
However, she still does not see acting as her focus or aspiration. "Never wanted to be an actor, still not want to be an actor. I don't know if I should say this on camera if it's good for my career or not."
Pursuing Passion And Growth In Career Choices
She discussed her current and upcoming projects and emphasised the importance of having multiple career paths available, stating, "I find it beautiful how versatile one's career can be. Currently, I'm working on a book, creating videos, and planning to venture into stand-up comedy by the end of the year. I believe in continuously experimenting and exploring new growth opportunities. I encourage every woman to pursue their passions alongside their main career."
She explained, "The more versatile your career, the better your sources of income will be. If you stick to just one thing for 10 years, there won't be any growth, and I am addicted to growth. In my opinion, every woman should have 2 or 3 options, because if you have a passion, you should pursue it because your job may not bring you happiness, but your passion always will."
She went on to add, "Our patriarchal society often restricts women from fulfilling their dreams, but I advocate for seizing every opportunity to follow one's passion. Despite the added responsibilities of family and marriage, pursuing passion brings lasting happiness."
Navigating Boundaries After Marriage
Gupta who got married recently also discussed how setting boundaries with the world, including one's spouse and in-laws, is crucial for maintaining a healthy balance between personal and professional life. She said, "Many women, both before and after marriage, feel the pressure to balance their ambitions with societal expectations. Personally, I'm very ambitious and tend to take on a lot of work, almost to the point of being a workaholic. Before my marriage, My mom used to caution me about managing the expectations of my in-laws. I've always been clear that if I'm too busy to cook and I want food, I'm financially capable of hiring a cook. The priority is having food, not how it's prepared. I've been transparent with my in-laws about my intentions and have never promised more than I can deliver. In fact, I'm not a burden but rather providing assistance by hiring help."
Redefining Gender Norms Through Content
Gupta also discussed her advocacy against societal stereotypes with her content, which she personally detests. She mentioned a viral video featuring her and her father, where he advises her son-in-law on how to understand and accept her as she is without expecting her to change after marriage. She creates such videos because she believes that while daughters are often taught how to adapt to their in-laws' household, men are rarely taught how to accept and support their daughters as they are.
She said, "My videos, especially those featuring progressive conversations with my father, aim to encourage supportive relationships and challenge societal norms. I advocate for parents to support their daughters' dreams even after marriage, emphasising the importance of empowerment and autonomy. It's crucial for women to fight for their careers and aspirations, regardless of societal pressures or marital status."
"I believe daughters' parents should wholeheartedly support their daughters, as this support lays the groundwork for their future success and happiness. By advocating for supportive parenting, especially in India where it's often overlooked, I hope to foster positive change in how daughters are raised and supported in pursuing their dreams", she concluded.