Flexbiz Diversity Campaign: Smashing Stereotypes, Embracing Diversity


Tahity Mehran Abdullah, Momena Khatun


FlexBiz is a platform which attempts to expand the horizons of the unisex community by espousing and commemorating gender and social equality. Zainah Habib, the founder of the group, created this platform for businesses, startups, philanthropists, artists, and people from diverse backgrounds to come together and share their ideas, work, and expertise with each other.

This platform has helped connect buyers, sellers, and potential businesses get social help, legal aid, and embrace other buzzing opportunities. For example, during this ongoing pandemic, FlexBiz provided free legal aid, telemedicine, access to telecounseling, etc. to potential businesses. They have also frequently been compared to LinkedIn.

The founder stated,

“When I created FlexBiz, I had a very nuanced vision in mind; we have many Facebook groups related to fashion, beauty, and vanity, but none that focus on gender inclusion and venture promotions. Therefore, with FlexBiz I decided to introduce something unconventional. The main purpose of this group is to eradicate social disparity as much as possible.”

FlexBiz is a very informative, tight-knit community where everyone is given a voice. One such campaign which made sure that the voices of socially silenced people were heard was their Diversity Campaign.

While flashy headlines and defiant manifestos might be the key to obtaining public support, Flexbiz put words into action by establishing its first ever Diversity Campaign. People who immensely contributed to Flexbiz’s growth and are currently the co-partners and co-admins of Flexbiz include Chowdhury Sharaf Shams and Fahim Rahman. These individuals, along with Zainah herself and Ankita Rahman, Rifa Tasfia Pauline, Sarah Tasfia, and Sairah Habib, expanded the horizons of diversity as the moderators. They have all worked relentlessly to bring the admins’ vision into motion.

How diversified can diversity really be if we adhere to one brand, one body type, or one colour? Thus, FlexBiz, breaking free from an obscure understanding of the word “diversity”, rallied models of various gender and body types from different professions to come together and sing in unison, the anthem of compassion and collaboration.

However, none of this would have seen the light of day without the persistent and ceaseless support of the sponsors. The sponsors consist of one photographer, his team of videographers, 3 fashion designers, 6 MUAs, and the event sponsor, Jomjomat Cafe. Once more, Flexbiz was committed to propagating a culture of diversity by not committing to a single brand or beauty salon, and went beyond the parameters by inviting three wardrobe sponsors, and six MUAs to give each person a platform to showcase their dynamic body of work.

Finally, our shareholders Chowdhuri Shams and Fahim Rahman, who were also kind enough to sponsor the event, played a huge part in the success of this campaign. They greatly contributed to the growth of FlexBiz, which would not have been possible without their help and support. The diversity campaign seeks to venture into talent underneath the veil which would otherwise be terminated by gender bias and other societal norms.

When we want to bring about a change, we call for a united stand not because of a case of “the more the merrier” but because the toxin of reason needs to be heard throughout the whole universe . It is principal that everyone in support of the movement deploys all the energy out of their character. Thus, it is of utmost significance that a whole community takes a course of action in order to make this amendment. Similarly, the diversity campaign would not have been possible without its community, comprising of wardrobe sponsors: Luxe Lifestyle by Parsa Fatema Nabi Ismail, Broque by Mahenaz Chowdhury,Pink Stitches by Ramisa Hossain and The Brown Gentleman by Hussein Ahmed ;the make-up artists Anfisa Wamik, Fatema Chowdhury, Rukaiya Mosharof, Kontho SA, Segufta Azmi and Lamia Rahman who share the same perception as that of Flexbiz.

The people who graciously contributed in structuring this campaign include ,Anarta Roy Chowdhury, Urmi Rahman Mishti, Tania Ava, Srabonti Srabon who happens to be their first transgender model, Antora Roy Chowdhuri who has previously worked with Ayub Bacchu, Jummi Saima, Prothom Mahzabeen, As-aad Shehrin, Sumaiya Zaman Mim, Rasna Masud, Arisa Enayet, Piya Nilanjona, Ankita Islam, Morshed Mishu, Samit Shahriar, Hasan Marufi, Sarah Alam Anya and Amid Chowdhuri and lastly Mr. Rean Rahman without whom this would not have been possible. While all of these individuals burnt the midnight oil to make ends meet, Amid Hossain,Sarah Alam and Morshed Mishu paved the road to success. Amid Hossain, an incandescent singer whose melodies in Bangladeshi Idol still rings in our ears. Whenever we talk about notable highlights, we can never leave out Morshed Mishu’s contributions. Morshed Mishu, a cartoonist whose ‘The Global Happiness Challenge Project’ not only secured his position in Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2019 but also in our minds as one of the most illustrious Bangladeshis. His strenuous work in shaping the campaign has proved to us that in spite of achieving supernumerary titles, he has not obliterated his roots. These aspiring people made it possible for FlexBiz to discern the inspiration to hold such an important and indispensable campaign. Without their support it would be impossible to construct such a campaign and motivate change.

Bangladesh has always been driven by religious conservatism and traditional mindset. To this day, people of the tramsgender community are not welcome in restaurants, they are still not supported as models, men are shamed if they plan to be make-up artists. As a result, many have to survive without jobs due to this infelicitous stigma. FlexBiz showcased the capacity of bringing everyone under one roof and promoted their bravery as they rose up against societal norms to follow their dreams. Expanding the horizons of unity, FlexBiz has successfully unified a wider range of diversified individuals, shattering the glass ceilings of stereotypes.

 

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