Ozzie and Me? Anasha Tewari-Bridgelal talks merging fashion, family and fun

There’s always that one woman who seems to have it all: she’s beautiful, always well-dressed, has the perfect family and works full-time to boot, and you think, how is that fair? That was my exact thought when I first discovered Anasha Tewari-Bridgelal of @ozzieandme fame.

The 36-year-old created her Instagram account four years ago, only a few months after her son Oz was born.

“When I first had him, he was exclusively breastfed. Any mother will tell you: when you are breastfeeding, you cannot multitask, you sit down and do nothing,” she explained. “So it would be a lot of downtime, and I got on my phone and into Instagram.”

But unlike just about every other Instagram blogger, don’t expect her feed to be a perfectly curated masterpiece of professional photos and elusive captions. Her account is a total reflection of herself – including her hilarious commentary about everything from #couplegoals (she argues that she doesn’t know who is hairier between her and her hubby) and how difficult it is to really get that IG-worthy photo, to her beyond-real moments where she shares the good, bad and ugly moments of her life, weight struggles and miscarriage included.

“What I like about the account is that it’s me,” she added. “It’s not ‘babe’, or ‘mummy’ or ‘doc’. It’s me. I get to express myself a little bit, I like that it’s a hobby for me.”

Anasha wears a lot of hats (or crowns, if you’d ask her!) including wife, daughter, mother, sister, friend, fashionista and even, yes, a doctor. And the preconceived notion that doctors must be serious, boring and stiff couldn’t be further from Anasha’s truth. While she loves being a doctor (and especially a family physician, where she forges personal relationships with her patients), it’s certainly not the most identifying part of her.

“It’s funny, because everybody keeps expecting me to post doctor-y stuff,” she said, of her Instagram posts. “And that’s the part of me that I least identify with.”

That’s not to say you won’t find hints of her medical career on her feed. In fact, most of her weekday shots are snaps of her outfit of the day, complete with her stethoscope hanging around her neck. With Anasha, you don’t give up fabulous fashion for your everyday job. You simply find a way to do both.

“Most people work five or six days a week, and go out one day of the weekend, so that’s how I approach it,” she reasoned.

“If you work six days a week, why just dress up on the weekends? Look nice during the week too!”

With that attitude, it’s easy to see how Anasha is quickly climbing up the ranks of #goals, but it’s more than just her approach to fashion that has people following her. It’s her adorable relationship with her husband, Rowan, and son, Oz, and how she somehow manages to do it all. But she’s quick to deny that she’s perfect – she actually laughed out loud when I even mentioned it. And she was even quicker to correct me: she doesn’t do it all, but what she does, she does well.

“I have a husband who loves to eat leftovers. I have a mom who babysits at the drop of a hat. I have a dad who shares a practice with me. I’m lucky that everyone else helps me out,” she explained. “But I don’t do everything. I just make sure that when I do something, I take a really good picture.”

She’s joking – but not entirely. She believes in living life to the fullest, seizing every opportunity and never waiting for an occasion to celebrate life, and she certainly believes in having a phone on-hand to capture memories in the making. So scrolling through her feed, you’ll see all the things she does impeccably, but fear not, her captions will remind you she’s just like you (except probably a funnier version!).

“My philosophy is that anything worth doing is worth over-doing,” she added. “If you’re going to do something, do it really well.”

And one thing she does really well is marriage. In fact, she claims she loved Rowan long before she even met him. He was big into the rock scene in the early 2000s, and she’d see him at events and always thought he was stunning. One night, at Tribe’s 2005 band launch, she walked past him to go to the bar. He grabbed her arm, asking if he knew her from somewhere, to which she replied, “No, but I’ve been in love with you since I was fifteen.”

It’s a response that’s so typically Anasha. Direct, funny and absolutely adorable. From that first night, they’ve never been apart since (and they made Tribe’s band launch an annual date). But that’s not to say it hasn’t come with its challenges.

“We’re not perfect, by all means. When any of our friends get married, we always tell them marriage is hard,” she said. “It’s not easy, but I can’t think of anybody I would rather do it with than him.”

And one of the hardest experiences they faced together was one that’s not often talked about by many women – even though one in five women will experience it at some point in their life: a miscarriage.

“Women will talk about almost everything, but they will not talk about a miscarriage, which I find very strange because honestly it’s really common,” Anasha explained, going into doctor mode. “In my own office, I deal with it all the time, and it’s emotional. In the States, there’s miscarriage counseling, but there’s nothing like that in Trinidad.”

But the high percentage of women that this affects didn’t make it any easier on Rowan and Anasha, an experience that she describes as “a really dark time”. Her miscarriage is forever etched in her mind, and permanently on her skin – with a tattoo commemorating the date. But only three months after her miscarriage, she got pregnant again – and she gave birth to Oz on the anniversary of her miscarriage, right down to the hour.

The name Oz in Hebrew means “strength”, which is what he is to Rowan and Anasha. But they didn’t know that at the time when choosing his name. In fact, they chose the name Oz by fluke – because they were looking for the perfect name for their baby-to-be. It came to them only a month or two before he was born, as they were thinking of décor ideas for the new playroom, and the theme of The Wizard of Oz came up.

“It just made sense. Oz, the great and powerful,” she said, looking over at her son, who was making a great and powerful mess of his lunch right alongside us. “We wanted him to be different. We wanted his name to be unusual. But we just love that it’s a rock star name.”

And seeing Oz up close and personal, I see the rock star within him. With a mom like Anasha, he has the world ahead of him. But he certainly needs eyes on him at all times, and functionality is key when it comes to preparing for days out with him.

“Whatever I’m wearing has to function. I have to run after him and keep him alive in Chuck E Cheese or Coney Island,” she explained. “So I can wear my pumps, but I still have to be able to drop everything and look after him if he’s going to be falling off a ride.”

Somehow she does functionality so well. Pairing functionality with fashion, expensive with affordable, chic with street. Anasha manages to marry every aspect of her personality perfectly. She balances mom and doctor with young and fun. And she does it all flawlessly, enough to capture your attention no matter where you go.

“Darling,” she added. “My worst fear in life is to walk into a room and nobody notices me.”

And with a personality like hers, and a wardrobe to kill, there’s no way anyone won’t notice her presence when she’s around.

 

The XX Team

Welcome to the Caribbean's guide to women! XX is the go-to for the latest in fashion, beauty, health, love, career, empowerment, and more!

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