Anjali Lama (birth name Nabin Wabia) is a Transgender Nepalese model and LGBTIQA+ Activist. She was born as a boy but later underwent sex reassignment surgery in 2009 and became a woman.
She is known for being the first transgender woman to walk the runway of Lakme Fashion Week (2017).
She is also known for being outspoken about her sexuality. She supports the LGBTQIA community.
Anjali Lama was born in the year 1985 (the date of her birth is not known) (age 36 years; as of 2021) in Nuwakot District, Bagmati Province, Nepal The Hindu She completed her schooling in the year 2013. When she was in school, her classmates used to make fun of her when she behaved like a girl. She preferred talking more to the girls in her class than the boys. She was close to her mother and sister than her brothers and father. At this point of time, she did not recognize her originality and in 2013 she went to Kathmandu for further studies. She discovered her sexuality when she saw a show at her friend’s house in which men were dressed as women. She was very happy to see them. She also met a group of transgender women and talked to them about her sexuality. Hindustan Times They introduced Anjali to The Blue Diamond Society that helps the Transgender community. In 2005, Anjali decided to tell her family about her sexuality. When she told her parents about her sexuality, they were totally against it. They got very angry and stopped considering Anjali as their son. Her family was not accepting her due to which she had to cut off all contacts with them. The Hindu In 2009, she went through a partial sex reassignment surgery. She started living her life the way she wanted. In an interview, she talked about how she felt when she was going through the surgery. She said,
Keeping aside the financial part, which was undoubtedly tough to manage, there was a fair amount of pain for a month. However, the pain was worth it as I knew the experience was going to get me closer to my true and real self.”
Weight (approx.): 54 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Body Measurements (approx.): 34-26-34
Parents & Siblings
After Anjali went through the surgery, some of her friends suggested her to start modelling as she had a good height and body. She followed their advice and joined an agency in Nepal to get training for the auditions. Her sexuality became a hurdle in her career. She was rejected in many auditions but in 2009, she got a chance to feature in ‘Voice of Women’ magazine.
In 2016, she gave auditions for Lakme Fashion Week but she did not get selected for two times in the same year. Then she decided to improve herself, and she watched videos on YouTube to learn proper walk, dressing style, body postures, etc. She got selected in 2017 for Lakme Fashion Week and walked the ramp for Monisha Jaising. Hindustan Times
She then worked with designers Amit Aggarwal, Anita Dongre, and Tarun Tahiliani. Anjali was also featured in the documentary “Anjali: Living Inside Someone Else’s Skin” in 2014.
In 2019, she became part of the Calvin Klein campaign. This came as a big success for Anjali as she became the first transgender model to feature in an international brand. The HinduThe shooting of this campaign took place in Phuket, Thailand in March. In an interview, Anjali shared her experience of being a part of the campaign and said,
I never thought I’d do a Calvin Klein campaign one day. There were women from 10 countries in the campaign and I was one of them.”
She was featured on the cover of Elle magazine in 2017 and GQ India magazine in 2018 and in the Cosmopolitan 2020 edition.
Anjali was also seen in a video by Levi`s in which she shared her story of becoming a model.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Won ‘Miss Charming’ in a contest for transgender women in 2007.
- Became the first transgender to walk the Lakme Fashion Week in 2017.
- In 2019, she won the “model of the year” at the “Vogue Beauty Awards” and at the “Grazia Millenial Award.”
- Anjali had to work really hard to get work as she used to get rejected by the agencies for being transgender. Kathmandu Post
- In an interview, she said that when she had to buy a house, the brokers used to cut her calls. Kathmandu Post
- When she was asked if she always wanted to become a model, she said,
Yes, like every other girl, I grew up flipping through glossy magazines dreaming of becoming a model one day.”
- Anjali often shares pictures on Instagram while practising Yoga.
- She believes that children should be taught about LGBTQI from a younger age so that they can accept people who are transgender.
- She also said in an interview that there is more professionalism in fashion than in other fields.
- Anjali has walked in many shows but her favourite is Rainbow Fashion Show. In an interview, she discussed about the show and said,
My favourite is when I opened for Gaurav Gupta at the Rainbow Fashion Show soon after section 377 was repealed to celebrate LGBTQ people. This one was especially memorable because I wasn’t walking just for me; it was a victory for my entire community.”
- She said in an interview that the fellow members of the Lakme Fashion Week Show were very supportive and helped her with the instructions which were written in English. She added,
I felt a bit lost as all the instructions were given to us in English. Then I approached models Deepti Gujral and Alesia Raut, who helped me out.”
- Her favourite supermodel is the Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima.
- She likes travelling and watching movies.
- She believes that India is more accepting and developed than Nepal.
- In an interview, Anjali talked about the success mantra she believes in. She said,
Hard work is my only mantra. I describe myself as a person with strong self-determination, an attitude to never give up and an ability to choose people wisely, who will encourage me to prosper.”