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Ladies, Stop Feeling Bad About These 146 Things ASAP!

Posted: February 25, 2021

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All our lives, we are made to feel guilty, embarrassed & ashamed of too many things. Here’s my list of things we need not feel bad about!

It’s 2021, and there are still so many stereotypes associated with being a woman. From a very young age, we are made to believe in these stereotypes, conditioned to behave, dress and present ourselves in a certain way. We are made to feel conscious, and embarrassed about our own bodies!

Often women experience body shaming and find themselves being judged unfairly, criticised, pressured, inconvenienced, discriminated against, and abused. And all this simply because they are women!

It is high time that we let go of all these things, the ones that bring us down. Here is my list of things that I think women should never apologise for, feel embarrassed, guilty or even ashamed about.

  1. Puberty (physical changes taking place in your body, having to wear a bra etc.)
  2. Having periods. Period stains.
  3. Talking about periods. Particularly when it comes to the men in your life (sons, husband, boyfriend, partner, brother) or at work.
  4. Buying sanitary napkins, buying emergency contraception.
  5. Holding/ carrying a pad to the washroom, without having the need to hide it.
  6. Disposing of a sanitary napkin, without discretion.
  7. Buying bras
  8. Not wearing a bra
  9. A peeping bra strap, visible bra/panty lines.
  10. Hanging undergarments out to dry, without having the need to cover them with a towel, or another piece of garment.
  11. Big breasts
  12. Small breasts or having a flat chest.
  13. Not wearing a dupatta
  14. Not wearing a mangalsutra, bindi with western wear
  15. Wearing a bikini
  16. Having facial hair- upper lip, chin hair etc
  17. Excess/un-waxed body hair. The hair on toes or knuckles
  18. Unthreaded eyebrows
  19. Grey hair/not wanting to cover your greys
  20. Acne, facial scars
  21. Dark circles
  22. Having to wear glasses
  23. Being overweight
  24. Being underweight
  25. Having muscles
  26. Being skinny
  27. Having flab, paunch, muffin top
  28. Not wanting to work out
  29. Your skin tone
  30. Being short
  31. Being too tall
  32. Revealing your marital status/ age
  33. Being single/unmarried (when all your friends/cousins are). Not being able to find love or a life partner
  34. Being a virgin all your life
  35. Having pre-marital sex
  36. The decision to remain single
  37. Decision to re-marry
  38. Living alone
  39. Having a live-in partner
  40. Living with your parents (at any age/any reason)
  41. Living with your married sister/ brother.
  42. Supporting parents financially/physically after marriage.
  43. Wanting a fair share in the family property.
  44. Being a housewife.
  45. Being financially dependent on your husband/a man.
  46. Being the breadwinner of the family (something to be proud of really)
  47. Not wanting to change your maiden name after marriage.
  48. Taking your husband’s name/calling him pet names.
  49. Earning more than your husband.
  50. Being more successful/ having a more successful career than your husband.
  51. Not feeling ashamed of your husband (whether unemployed/uneducated /his profession, his looks etc.)
  52. Having a crush after marriage.
  53. Not knowing how to cook.
  54. Not knowing how to drive a car/two-wheeler.
  55. Not making a full thali of dishes for each and every meal.
  56. Not being religious.
  57. Not knowing how to perform religious rituals.
  58. Not fasting for your husband.
  59. Not waiting late to serve/have dinner with husband.
  60. Asking or taking a second helping at the dining table.
  61. Having a big appetite.
  62. Binge eating.
  63. Eating out solo, travelling solo.
  64. Not having the house neat, clean, tidy at all times.
  65. Not being able to multitask, not being a superwoman.
  66. Not being the ideal/perfect daughter, mother, wife/bahu.
  67. Not wanting to stay/ able to adjust with your in-laws or with a joint family after marriage.
  68. Speaking up against harassment by in-laws.
  69. Raising your voice against domestic violence, or injustice of any kind.
  70. Walking out of an abusive marriage/partner.
  71. Wanting a divorce.
  72. Being a divorcee.
  73. Bouncing back after a break up/divorce.
  74. Being a single mother/parent.
  75. Being a lesbian.
  76. Being a sex worker.
  77. Wanting your choice of contraception.
  78. Not wanting to have children.
  79. The decision to go for an abortion.
  80. Not being able to conceive.
  81. Not having a son.
  82. Wanting to adopt a child.
  83. Not being able to breastfeed.
  84. Breastfeeding in public places.
  85. C-section scar/any other bodily scar.
  86. Post-delivery body (post-baby belly, sagging breasts, stretch marks etc.)
  87. Doing a breast self-exam.
  88. Being examined by a male doctor/gynaecologist.
  89. Talking about mental health problems. Seeking help.
  90. Being ambitious.
  91. Prioritising your career.
  92. Drinking alcohol.
  93. Admiring a hunk, hot guy (younger or older)
  94. Having male friends, having a guy drop you back home.
  95. Asking a man out.
  96. Dating or marrying a younger man.
  97. Complimenting men.
  98. Proposing to a man.
  99. Paying the bill for a man.
  100. Reading or watching x-rated books or movies.
  101. Not wanting sex.
  102. Wanting more sex.
  103. Having sexual desires/ fantasies, sharing sexual fantasies with your husband
  104. Asking to go to the toilet, in presence of men (in classrooms, meetings, seminars, conferences, wherever)
  105. Frequent need to visit the toilet( overactive bladder/urinary incontinence or for changing pad)
  106. Having an opinion
  107. Having a voice, and using it
  108. Speaking up/ raising an alarm against eve-teasers, molesters.
  109. Breaking stereotypes
  110. Being a feminist
  111. Saying NO!
  112. Not being able to converse fluently in English
  113. Not being tech-savvy
  114. Being illiterate
  115. Being ignorant
  116. To ask questions (in a classroom or otherwise)
  117. Being ashamed of not knowing something. Saying ‘I don’t know’ without feeling embarrassed.
  118. Being unemployed
  119. Being rejected at an interview/ by a man
  120. Being shy, being an introvert.
  121. Not having friends( not feeling ashamed to admit)
  122. Not having a social life. Loving your own company
  123. Staying out late, coming home late( whether work/ party)
  124. Getting up late
  125. Wanting ‘me’ time
  126. Splurging on yourself
  127. Pampering yourself
  128. Putting yourself first
  129. Being selfish occasionally
  130. Wanting the last piece of cake or chicken!
  131. Getting plastic surgery done, willingly
  132. Your past
  133. Ageing
  134. Being embarrassed for being called an aunty
  135. Getting symptoms of menopause, reaching menopause.
  136. Having a midlife crisis
  137. Being seen without makeup.
  138. Wearing red lipstick
  139. Working in male-dominated fields
  140. Asking for a higher salary, equal pay to that of a man for the same job
  141. Playing games like cricket, boxing, wrestling.
  142. Not sitting properly
  143. Having sweaty armpits
  144. Snoring
  145. Burping
  146. Farting!
    Lipstick Under My Burkha GIF by PRI - Find & Share on GIPHY

If a man can encroach public places, adopt a relaxed sitting position by spreading his legs wide apart (not suggesting women do that). If men are seen as sexy when sweaty, can burp out loudly in public (bad manners!) snore away merrily, fart away, and get away with just a laugh, simply because they are men. Then, why aren’t these things okay for women? Why are the most similar, perfectly normal, natural bodily functions are seen as shameful and disgusting when it comes to women?

Whew! That was quite an exhausting list, wasn’t it? But it definitely is not a complete list. Why don’t you add some more in the comments below?

Meanwhile, let’s stop beating ourselves up and start loving ourselves!

Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Jab Tak Hai Jaan and gifs from Giphy and Tenor.

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