In a nutshell, who is Shanaya? 

I am 20 years old currently undertaking a double major in Psychology! I love all aspects of the arts and greatly enjoy poetry and literature. I love going on adventures, travelling and getting lost in big cities!  

Anyone who follows you on Insta (@sweetchutney) probably doesn't realise that you're not just living that glistening life, you’re also halfway through a psych degree, you smart lil mami! How is it all going and what do you hope to get out of it?

Yes! That’s true! I’m almost finished up with my psych degree with 8 weeks to go (and counting hehe). I am so excited to finish and can’t wait to relish in all the opportunities I may encounter. It’s going well so far! At this point I just wanna get my undergrad done and over with (so over it lol). Studying Psychology has taught me a lot about other people as well as myself. After graduating I hope to do further studies in Clinical Psychology and/or Child Psychology so I can go on to help other people overcome their own mental illnesses and help them realise how beautiful life can be.

We connected via social media & got to photograph you a little while ago, lucky us! You are so stunningly beautiful both inside + out, and come across really relaxed & confident in your own skin. It’s a bit of a rarity these days which makes us sad :( Do you think platforms like Instagram have helped or hindered you personally when it comes to being yourself and having that all important self love?

Awww thanks for your kind words! I was so stoked to work with you beautiful ladies, it felt like second nature being shot by you incredible creatives! For me personally, Instagram has allowed me to express myself in any way I wish to, and has given me the platform to connect with amazing women from all over the world who share the same passion as I do, which is, uplifting and supporting each other and other women. Instagram has helped me with self-love in that, yes, it is flattering to get a lot of likes on a selfie and read all the nice comments, but I strongly believe beauty is skin deep, and I do have my bad days!! For me, it’s important to centre self-love around other aspects of myself that aren’t physical. I love my sense of humour, my wit, my intelligence and my outgoing personality, which is often hard at times to portray through a picture! So yes, it has HELPED me but it hasn’t MADE me!

India to Aus to LA, you been holidaying hard girl! Tell us some fav spots?!

Yaaaas! I think I caught the travel bug! Whenever I go travelling I give my mind, body and spirit to whatever the holiday wants to throw my way which means nothing is off the table!! I was so lucky to be able to travel to my parents home town of Kolkata, India, which was AMAZING! The food, the people, the culture; I fell in love! (Highly recommend Golden Spoon for the best Kati Roll you will ever eat and Aminia’s for the best Biryani you will ever eat!) I also most recently got back from LA with my boyfriend which was equally incred! Vegas was definitely a highlight for me, exploring the strip! LA is full of amazing things to do and see! Seeing Sunset Blvd and the Hollywood Sign was honestly an iconic moment in my life for me! Oh! And also driving through Crenshaw and Compton and seeing all the familiar locations I’ve seen in Snoop Dogg’s music videos haha!

How do you stay happy & healthy? 

I always endeavour to keep my mental and psychical health in balance, so I make sure I work out 3-4 times a week and eat healthy (mostly on weekdays, because weekends are for tequila amiritie?). I also practice meditation whenever I can to decrease daily stress/anxiety.

Describe your perfect weekend in our hometown Perth …

I love lil humble Perth! I just had the perfect weekend at The Blue Flamingo in Leederville, where I won a VIP package complete with rum cocktails and champagne! Not to mention the Caribbean food we got treated to! On top of it all I got to spend the night with the people I love most, and even got to dutty whine to my fave dancehall tunes! 

Fav crystal.
Right now I can’t live without…
Louisiana Hot Sauce  
Best place in the world I’ve explored.
Los Angeles!
Most inspiring woman in my life is…
My Ma <3
I feel most beautiful when…
My brows are freshly threaded  
Magic is…
Looking up at the stars at night and feeling comfort in knowing that the world is bigger than our insignificant problems.

April 10, 2017