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Why Lipstick Under My Burkha Will Resonate Deeply With Every Indian Woman

Posted: July 24, 2017

Most Indian women know what it is to have to cut short their dreams. That’s exactly why Lipstick Under My Burkha will appeal to all of us.

With the tag of the ‘Most controversial film of the year’, the much awaited film Lipstick Under My Burkha was finally released on 21st July, 2017. The movie centers around four women in particular who dare to dream.

Dreaming is an essential part of every human life, but then if you are a woman, you can only dream in your sleep. No sooner do you dream of breaking stereotypes, venturing beyond the four walls of your house or even ‘trying to wear the pants’, the patriarchal standards will none the less crush you!

Shockingly, we are living in times when we have to protest against authorities for letting us wear jeans, work for a living, do what we like, take our own decisions and above all experience the sense of being free. Rape victims are shamed and perpetrators are judged through a ‘human’ lens. ‘Eve teasing‘ is accepted as “Ye to chalta hai!” (This keeps happening).

A woman is judged at every step she takes. She gets to hear “Why are you wearing too much make-up”, “Why don’t you lose some weight before groom hunting begins?”, “Why don’t you have a better dressing sense”, “The hair style does not suit you”, “Why do you have to work, your husband is earning well”, “Why do you have to study beyond graduation, the kitchen is your ultimate end”, “Why is your kid not in the best college” … and the queries and questions are of course endless! It is not surprising that men are spared of all these.

In such a world, when a woman dares to express her freedom, she necessarily does not fit in the patriarchal standards set by the society. Dressing up her own way, saying things she likes and following her own decisions in life becomes way too taxing for her with the heavy weight of judgement, scrutiny and disapproval.

As women, we limit our own world, move into our own secure self imposed cocoon, and pretend to be the happy lot accepting all the judgment as a part of life. NO, IT IS NOT! It is high time we take charge of our own lives and live it our own way. You definitely do not owe an explanation to anyone. As adults, we are entitled to live life in the manner we find best.

Patriarchal standards might have been laid down ages ago by a man, however, it now rests on women to pursue it or reject it. With women constantly judging and criticizing other women, women empowerment will always remain a distant dream. It is time to empower each other over little things beginning with appreciating another woman’s efforts, strengthening their resolve and working towards an empowerment that comes to stay.

Lipstick Under My Burkha instills a hope of a revolution at hand directed at the ideology of ‘Dare to Dream’ and the movie is a must-watch for all who dare to dream!

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A research scholar in literature. Loves books, music, movies, cats, writing, sketching cartoons and meditating.

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