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Sometimes, you need to let go of your guard and be willing to be vulnerable in order to experience life and its myriad flavours to the fullest. The world is still not that hopeless where good people do not exist.
First, I love Twinkle Khanna’s wit and ambition. However, she’s a mortal like the rest of us, and can’t always be right. Like her views on vulnerability.
In her YouTube talk show “The Icons” with Sushmita Sen, Twinkle Khanna shares how showing vulnerability is not in her dictionary. And how she’d rather be a bitch than a bechari.
I understand the intention behind Twinkle Khanna’s statement was right. For far too long, we’ve been subjected to the bechari or ‘damsel in distress’ heroine on-screen who screams “Bachao” and then the hero swoops in and rescues her from her predators.
It comes as no surprise that Twinkle Khanna couldn’t fit into the template of the typical bechari Bollywood heroine. She’s successful being the sexy, sassy, bitchy author, columnist and entrepreneur. So, full marks and kudos to her for being the badass that she is in real life, and making a successful career out of it.
I’m okay with whatever people think of me. That’s not my concern. Be it a bitch or bechari, that’s their perception. Not the reality. Not my problem either.
What I find problematic about Twinkle Khanna’s black-and-white message is that vulnerability is weakness. No, it’s not. Vulnerability is strength. It takes a lot to be soft, kind, true, and fair in a world that looks down upon these qualities.
People who go to any extent of lies, treachery, and false bravado to attain power and success are considered role-models today. They’re considered cool, but somehow being innocent, naïve or a bechari is seen akin to being dumb. In reality, some people may want to protect their soft, inner core self and would never change that for the tough ways of the world. Let’s go back to the basics please—Right is right, wrong is wrong. That’s truth, wisdom and power, even if you’re the lone so-called bechari.
Somehow, Twinkle Khanna’s statement on vulnerability came off as a bit regressive too. Remember the olden times when boys were told not to show their softer side? How boys were conditioned not to cry so they grow up to be tough men.
If it were not for vulnerability, we’d be like the many ‘tough’ men who pretend to know the route or know-it-all (looking at you mansplainers!) when they could have been vulnerable to say they don’t know and asked for the map instead.
What I love about Kajol is the fact that she’s candid, lively, opinionated, fearless and honest.While Twinkle Khanna might be a writer, it’s no unknown fact that Kajol has always been a compulsive reader, which might explain her empathetic stance on vulnerability.
In her sensitive Instagram post on vulnerability, Kajol wrote,
“Isn’t it odd that we live in a society that encourages us to hide our goodness? Our masks are so that none can see that we are actually kind or compassionate or hurt by small things, sensitive or even scared. And we are encouraged to be mean and nasty and tough when true strength is the bravery to be kind openly ❤
So all of you who are ridiculed or looked down on at times for this bravery please know that the ones who do it do not hate you. They envy your ability to show what you really feel and wish they could do it too.”
I love how Kajol sends across a holistic and accurate message about vulnerability. Feminine qualities such as empathy, vulnerability, kindness, and even love have been looked down upon as being too soft or weak.
We see how this is played out in our daily lives, at home and in the workplace. The glass ceiling effect came into existence because of such biases that considered women as too soft and emotional for leadership roles. Such faulty perceptions around vulnerability went against women who’re actually strong—but perceived as weak because they don’t display tough masculine traits.
Kajol’s honesty and vulnerability have always been her strengths, both as an actor and a person. It’s her vulnerability and candidness that makes her so relatable and popular with the masses.
As I said earlier, I get that the intention behind Twinkle Khanna’s statement is right. And however much I’d love to endorse Kajol’s views on vulnerability wholly, I’m also aware that it may be too idealistic and not practical as we don’t live in an entirely good world. Some people can take advantage of your vulnerability for their benefit.
Life has taught me to switch on my bitch mode when the situation demands it, or when some people ought to be put in their place. Life has also taught me that it’s not good to bottle up my feelings and to be fearless in being vulnerable and expressing my emotions. Be it to a trusted circle of good friends and family members or through creative forms of expression, such as writing.
If love is the cornerstone of good living, then it’s impossible to love without being vulnerable. Being tough all the time can be toxic and draining. Sometimes, you need to let go of your guard and be willing to be vulnerable in order to experience life and its myriad flavours to the fullest. The world is still not that hopeless where good people do not exist.
Like the world needs both men and women, there has to be balance and flexibility of the two forces—masculine and feminine—in us to manoeuvre in this world.
Published here first.
Author, poet, and marketer, know more about Tina Sequeira here: www.thetinaedit.com
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