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Dubai-based social media influencer Farhana Bodi, who has over 1.3 million Instagram followers, at her residence. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

When she’s not twirling on the Cannes red carpet in a billowing gown or gliding down the ramp at the London Fashion Week, Dubai-based content creator and social media influencer Farhan Bodi is leading the most disciplined and austere life. Bodi, an Indian who grew up in South Africa, has 1.3 million followers on Instagram alone. Her glamour-laden page documents her snazzy and globe-trotting life.

“I have never done any surgery on my face or my body. I don’t do any fillers and I take care of myself the moment I wake up … I may look like a party animal, but I am not one,” Bodi told Gulf News.

We are at her modern and minimalistic apartment in Downtown Dubai and her last sentence about being mistaken for a decadent ‘party animal’ reverberates through her living room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and chrome finishes.

“So, everyone thinks I am a party animal, but the truth is that I love going to parties but I do not drink alcohol and I am not into smoking much … I love taking care of my skin, my health and I stay away from anything that can damage my skin or health,” said Bodi.

The moment she wakes up, this 36-year-old beauty downs a shot of unadulterated ginger juice to boost her immunity. Recently divorced, she is a single mum to her young boy Aiden.

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Farhana Bodi during one of her visits to London last year in November Image Credit: Instagram/FarhanaBodi

“That’s how I start my day in the morning. But the first thing that I do is wake up next to my beautiful son and I play with him. I listen to Quran recitation because praying is important to me … I am into meditation too. I love to balance my life out,” said Bodi, born to Gujarati parents based in Rangoon before setting up their base in South Africa.

Her entire day is mapped out carefully since the former model believes in a structured living.

“I do my pilates and then work out at the gym during the first half of my day. But before I hit the gym or do pilates, I detox my system with a glass of green juice followed by a glass of water with overnight-soaked chia seeds. I am big into detox juices.”

Like most social-media influencers who bank on their faces and bodies heavily, Bodi is all about self-care.

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Farhana Bodi at the Cannes International Film Festival in May, 2022. Image Credit: Instagram/FarhanaBodi

“I love dressing up and it’s not anyone else but for myself. Since I was a baby, I was so passionate about fashion, beauty, lifestyle … I used to doll up every single day … If there was any modelling contest or fashion show in school, I would be the first one to enrol or sign up,” said Bodi with a laugh.

Apparently, she goes to her hair salon every day to get her hair done professionally. It’s an indulgence to most women, but she looks at it as an absolute necessity.

“I work out at the gym or at my pilates studio and then I go to the salon to get my hair done. I am lucky that I have so many hair salons around the corner … The simple secret to my fabulous life is that I love taking care of myself,” said Bodi. At the time of this interview, Bodi – clad in a white paint suit -- had her long black hair cascading in curls. Even when it comes to her food, she watches her calorie intake like a hawk. On most days, she is subscribed to a healthy food meal plan service. Her meals are mostly a healthy mix of vegetables, proteins, and limited carbohydrates. Every calorie that she eats is accounted for.

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Dubai-based social media influencer Farhana Bodi Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/GulfNews

“Once I have my lunch, I get ready for my meetings. I work mostly from home and it’s very flexible. All my meetings in Dubai are done at The Dubai Mall in coffee shops and restaurants. Even though I travel a lot, I make sure that I spend time with my son when I am here,” said Bodi. She’s often invited to Cannes Film Festival and Fashion Weeks around the world for brand endorsements. Most of her work assignments are discussed over zoom calls and when she has a global event involving photo-shoots coming she embarks on a strict diet.

“I need to fit into those dresses because many designers provide you with sample pieces. Although I have been lucky that my designers custom made those gowns for me, there’s always that pressure to look good on the red carpet … Sometimes, I do juicing or have a diet based mostly on boiled eggs and almonds,” said Bodi. It isn’t easy to look picture perfect all the time, but Bodi has learned the art of eating clean.

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Farhana Bodi's fabulous life includes jet-setting to various cities like Paris for work this July Image Credit: Instagram/FarhanaBodi

“Today, I was sent a burger with vegan bread … It was low calorie and low carbs. I also eat a lot of fish and salads too,” said Bodi. The only time she breaks away from this healthy eating pattern is when she’s on a holiday.

“Then I go crazy. I was in Capri recently and I was feasting on Gelato ice creams every day,” said Bodi.

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Farhana Bodi is a portrait of a globe-trotter in July and is in Mykonos Image Credit: Instagram/FarhanaBodi

Her day isn’t complete without a walk around the block. Even when it’s summer, Bodi walks outdoors every evening.

“I love walking. On most days, you will see me in my shorts and cropped top. When I walk, I call my family and friends. I talk to them while I walk … Being active is an important part of my day,” said Bodi. In September, she will be travelling to Milan for their Fashion Week. She’s already got her game face on for her impeding work assignment. During her travels, she loves to check the local dining and dancing scene out.

“I love music and even though I don’t drink I have a lot of fun … I was in Mykonos recently and I partied till 7am … It was such a different experience. I was sipping orange juice and virgin strawberry mojitos to keep up,” said Bodi. While being a social media influencer is highly lucrative, she also has to deal with the trolls on some days.

“I take the trolls and that negativity in my stride … I am a firm believer in surrounding myself with positive energy. I am all about manifesting good things in my life by putting the word out there in the universe,” said Bodi. So what’s her biggest stress buster?

“I love listening to Bollywood romantic music and going for a walk to clear my head. I have the most cheesiest mash of Bollywood pop hits on my playlist now.” And if that fails, she checks herself into a retreat in Bodrum or somewhere equally exotic and fancy. Meditation also helps her keep her head above the water. But her biggest plus in her life is her job of playing an influencer to millions.

“I love my life and my job. I am so grateful for this Instagram platform. As a content creator, I am in a dream job where I get to travel and stay in the most luxurious hotels in the world. I am so grateful when I wake up every day.”

Did you know?
While most of her days are filled with downing detox drinks, meetings for brand collaborations, and plugging in luxurious items on her social media, there was a time when the going got tough for Farhana Bodi.
“I am a very emotional person and I went through a very, very bad heartbreak and divorce. I ended my marriage after being together for almost 16 years … It was tough and I went through a lot of anxiety and pain. But I slowly learned the art of healing. It takes time but everyone can move on from anyone and anything … One day, I just woke up and learned never to look back. I began travelling and started to make new friends. Today, you see a healed version of me,” said Bodi.

Content creators are the future because the world wants to see real people create content … They want to see real people killing it on social media. We are the superstars at the moment

- Farhan Bodi on being one of Dubai’s influential social media sensations