One quick scroll down Radhika Seth’s Instagram will give you an inexplicable urge to style that pair of odd denim jeans you got that you swore you would wear every single day but haven’t been able to style the right way till now. Or book a trip to the nearest tropical getaway and soak your feet in warm sand as the ocean spreads beyond the horizon in front of you. Or dust your yoga mat off and follow one of those too-good-to-be-true Pilates routines that promise washboard abs in two weeks. And this is never necessarily in this particular order.
When I ask Seth if having her fingers in every micro category of online content creation is something that she chose, she laughs and says, “I don’t think a niche could have ever defined me. Why should I pick one?”
The actress and influencer began her journey seven years ago, back when terms like ‘content creator’ and ‘social media influencer’ were still blessedly not a part of everyday vernacular.
“I would just post really aesthetic photos of myself or the places I was visiting and the things that I was doing. When I slowly started gaining popularity on social media is when I really understood what an opportunity it could be and what a responsibility it could be. That’s when I began being more mindful about it and put in more effort into it,” she says.
Seth, who currently has a million followers on Instagram, originally moved to Mumbai to act, a dream which came true when she was cast in the Netflix India’s Call My Agent: Bollywood, an adaptation of the French series Dix Pour Cent. While acting is still something that she places on top of her priority lists, creating content for social media is something that makes her the happiest at the moment. “It just doesn’t feel like work!”
It also doesn’t hurt that her turn as an influencer allows her to do everything that she wants to do, from free diving with stingrays to buying whichever luxury designer handbag she wants to. “I just don’t think the general public understands the kind of money or work that comes from it. They would still be like ‘How does she afford this life?’ or that ‘She must have a rich father’. I really don’t. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having an affluent background but I moved here when I was 18 and I lived in a hostel with 12 girls. That was my first idea of home in Mumbai. People still don’t understand the kind of opportunities and the kind of work that you can do in this space. When I buy a luxury bag or my car, they’d be confused. To me, it’s the most transparent job in the world because every second post of mine would announce ‘paid collaboration with so and so brand’.”
As she succinctly stated earlier, her content refuses to conform to a niche. But one of the things that stands out across her content is her sense of style. A self-confessed fashion enthusiast, Seth says her love for fashion and style began much, much before she discovered the power of the Internet. “I was a very rebellious kid. When my parents would get me clothes, this was back when I was 11 years old, I would just tear it up or cut them up and add ribbons and buttons with glue to make something new. I just wanted more than what was available and wanted to create my own style. Even as a kid, I cut my own hair. One time I cut my own bangs and it was so bad that my parents had to rush me to a local hairdresser to get it fixed immediately!”
But does her love for fashion ever land her in trouble? It sure does when she’s travelling!
“I want you to guess what my luggage’s weight was when I was coming back from a month-long trip to Los Angeles?” she asks. When I hesitantly ask her if we’re talking triple digits, she bursts into laughter and agrees, “It was 112 kgs, can you believe it?!”
She bemoans that even this didn’t teach her any lesson and she managed to carry 33 outfit changes with her for an 11-day trip to Spain recently. “It makes no sense but I just love carrying options. I just think ‘what if it rains?’ ‘What if I go to the beach?’, or ‘What if the vibe of the dress doesn’t match the vibe of the place?’”
All valid questions to ask if you, like her, are a heavy traveller. But she has a nifty trick to manage all those extra options without lugging around multiple heavy suitcases across the world.
“I swear by vacuum packing,” she confesses, “You get these vacuum packing bags on Amazon. They send a pump with it to suck out the air after you pack it. Or you can use a vacuum cleaner to get the same effect. That’s the only way I could manage to get my 112 kg luggage back with me to India. I may be allowed a certain amount of weight but this hack allows it all to fit in a smaller space and makes it easier to carry.”
Although she also adds belatedly that thoroughly vetting the itinerary and packing clothes that only fit the category you know you would wear is the wiser option, she admits that she should not be the person anyone should come to for any travelling tips!
Seth, who is currently excited about a new venture that would come into light in the next few weeks, leaves me with a cheery goodbye and a sudden urge to see if I can fit our entire closet into our suitcase for my next vacation. BRB.