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What makes a woman wearing an Indian outfit like the salwar kameez or a sari inferior to a woman in Western wear? Why these stereotypes?
Recently I came across an advertisement on TV, where it was all about not judging a woman. An advertisement with a different mindset and which really appealed to me a lot. They were inspiring and empowering lines for women, one of which says, “meri salwar kameez mujhko behenjee nahein bulatee” and after that the salwar-kameez clad girl immediately sits on her bullet and goes away with the same pride in front of all so called modern people.
Really, those punch lines resonate so much with my views too.
A few years ago we had a wonderful trip to Ooty. It was a good outing with my family. We all keep updating our Facebook status frequently for all events, so even I had posted a few photographs of myself and my family on this trip. A lot of likes and good comments came my way, but a few made me think. The reason was that I wore mostly salwar kameez during my trip, and it seemed to irk a few.
“How can you wear salwar kameez all the time?”
“Isn’t it boring for you?”
“Why didn’t you wear any Western outfit there?”
“Are you not a modern mom?”
“What has restricted you from wearing it now as you were always been seen in jeans and t-shirt long back?”
Those were the immediate questions thrown at me. I pondered – am I not really a modern mom? But what actually is this so called Modern Mom? Is it just an outfit which makes you so?
No! Outside looks can never depict your inner beauty of thoughts, imagination, hard work, vision and the will power which defines you – not your clothes.
Your must admit that your skills, your behaviour, your attitude can never get affected by your outfit. Then why do we follow these double standards in our daily life? Is it just for the sake of others? If you are not comfortable wearing a certain outfit then it doesn’t give liberty to others to judge you. And it is equally applicable to all whether it’s Indian or Western!
I love Indian outfits and I don’t regret that there was a time when I was madly in love with Western ones. It was my choice at that time, and now too, it’s completely my choice.
I am not a stereotype, so what if I don’t feel comfortable in jeans now?
I am not a stereotype even if I don’t keep pace with fashion trends.
I am not a stereotype; I do my best to raise a voice and fight for social issues.
I am not a stereotype; I do talk fluent English.
I am not a stereotype; I do cook multi-cuisine food.
I am not a stereotype; I drive both, a two-wheeler and a four-wheeler.
I am not a stereotype; I am independent and do well in my professional life.
I am not a stereotype, I don’t lie to people and honesty is my best policy.
I am not a stereotype, as I make sure I respect each and everyone.
How does it matter, if I still wear a salwar kameez?
Will it change my identity?
Will it make any difference for them who love you?
Will people not respect you?
Everyone is/should be known by their behaviour and not by how they look. Follow your heart, wear what you want, not what others want you to – whether it’s traditional or Western. After all, at the end, your heart has to win and not your outfit.
Don’t judge or demoralize those who are comfortable in what they are. We have no right to criticize them and to make them feel inferior.
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