A serial entrepreneur, a tattoo artist, columnist, a body positivity activist thus an influencer in the truest sense of the word, an actor and a model not to mention a dog lover, this girl is an absolute trailblazer and does whatever she feels passionate about no questions asked and without a care about who or what is going to be said about her! Mallika Angela Chaudhuri has been setting Chennai on fire with her tattoo studio dedicated to the welfare of her 14 rescue dogs, and she says she did it all through the help of social media and being true to herself no matter what people said or thought about her.
Today we go in depth with her life and what drives her to be an inspiration to so many. Hailing from Canada, Mallika came to Chennai to pursue an acting career and thought she would be able to flaunt her curves across the silver screens but Tollywood has started to switch to skinnier frames when it came to actresses, “My father wanted me to go back home, but I just fell in love with Chennai and I fell into a small business venture and that was it, I knew I enjoyed being me own boss,” says Mallika, She decided to stay in Chennai and start her acclaimed Tattoo Studio, Laughing Budda Tattoos, named after her dog Budda a rescued lab and is a tribute to her late sister Raisa who wanted to be a tattoo artist. The motto is to create magical art and experience for her clients and make it less commercial an experience. “I wanted people to enjoy the experience and decided I wanted to create tattoos that would be a connection between my energy and the clients.”
However it is interesting to note that she has focused mainly on social media platforms to keep her business running, especially during lockdown when all shops were shut down. In this time Mallika who had already established herself as a body positivity activist, discussed that people should just stop judging others and live their own lives as experientially as possible, in other words enjoy and live in the moment. In 2019 she had been inked by Gauri Shankar Mistry at the Goa Tattoo festival for what is probably one of the largest tattoos in Asia at the time, simply because it trails around her body and took 65 hours to complete. The tattoo was a Peacock in a kalamkari style, when asked why she got such a large piece and the safety precautions or after effects of such actions, she stated, “Well I had barely any tattoos on me but I really wanted get something original and aesthetically placed on my body, tattoos are beautiful but placement is a key factor, getting such a large tattoo was a statement but also therapeutic in so many ways because I was going through depression at the time and being able to accomplish such a long session of pain just made me feel invincible, like I could do anything in the world!”
And boy did she, in the summer of 2020, Mallika did her first ever nude shoot with G Venkat Ram and at the time it kind of created a huge stir in Chennai, she noted that she felt absolutely comfortable in his presence because she had started her body positivity journey with him in 2017. “I needed one person to just believe in my cause, I expected it to be my parents or people close to me at the time, but it was G Venkat Ram and that changed my life TWICE!”
The photoshoot solidifies her as a true influencer; her actions are dramatic but graceful. Her content is dedicated to being as fantastic and bold in her photographs but also normalising the idea of BEING BOLD. In her mind, she is just being herself, she says being dressed in a traditional sari is as fun as being in a bikini and the common social mentality needs to accept that not every woman dresses to be accepted by men and society, fashion, in her mind, is a personal life experience that denotes your character and mood and is so much fun, it should not be bound because people may judge you.
“I see a lot of content creators pop up nowadays with a game plan and very intelligent strategies that monetise their social media presence, but I come from eight years ago when I just started posting things on Instagram hoping to be heard, hoping even one person would be inspired to live true to themselves.”
In 2020 December after completing a course in Disruptive Entrepreneurship from IIM Ahmedabad, she decided instead of adapting to the trend of becoming a lifestyle influencer, she would start a company that focused on Online PR, content creation and influencer marketing, with an ex hotelier and micro influencer Moumita Roy, Beeswax Influencers with over 8000 influencers across India. She started it to give people insight about social media from an influencers/ content creators perspective.
“I faced a bit of flak for not being conservative or modest in the corporate world, but if brands and companies are to adapt to the new trends they need to accept that traditional styles of corporate culture are depleting quickly, the need for fresh down to earth dramatic expression of the true self is what everyone wants to see now.”
Mallika has also since appeared on Hotstar in Venkat Prabhu’s Live Telecast, she also had a cameo role in KRK starring Vijay Sethupathi, Samantha and Nayanthara, and finished a feature film in Malayalam called Work From Home. She even has 24 billboards in Kerala depicting a bridal attire campaign dedicated to plus size women in regular relationships. So clearly there is no stopping her from reaching her goals and she has no rules or age limit because she truly lives for the moment.
We hope she inspires to never back down and in her words “We are all winners, the moment we are born, so just focus on small successes, that’s the journey that makes it all worthwhile!”