I was almost 14 or 15 when some hooligans attacked my senior outside the school. All I remember was the principal scolding the hell out of her for being curvy, putting some kajal and lip care balm and making french braids.
Apparently, this was enough to woo a guy back then and create chaos outside an educational premise, isn’t it?
What followed next was a week of curfew for her along with some strict guidelines on what/ what not to wear, when to apply kajal and how to tie hairs. Absurdly, she was married off to some bank clerk once she cleared her high school exams. And why not? Who says no to a government employee?
I always thought that this was the ill-fate of a random small-town girl who just wanted to look good, feel good and confident — until yesterday — until I heard that Kannada actress Samyuktha Hegde was attacked for wearing a sports bra at a park!
Ahh, of course, the storyline would be different, since we are not talking about small towns but well-developed cities — cities where citizens preach of equality and empowerment, where activists fight for equal rights and treatment.
In one such city, Bengaluru, Samyuktha, who is a fitness enthusiast and teaches her fans hula hooping, was heckled by a group of activists for wearing a sports bra at a public place.
Not only this, but the lady was also threatened that her name would be “fixed” in the ongoing drug racket scandal termed ‘sandalwood’.
Never wondered that one might have to face so much for just being an actress, who was minding her own business, was comfortable in her skin and was trying to do some warmup in the fresh air.
“This is so wrong. I had my pullover on. We came here, and I removed it and did my warmup. We were just exercising with hoops, and this woman (referring to Kavitha Reddy) came up to us and started saying that we were being indecent for wearing a sports bra in a public place. We were just exercising by ourselves. Now the people here are saying that we consume drugs. Just because the drug case is being talked about, they are accusing us of consuming drugs,” Samyuktha Hedge said in her Instagram live as she broke down in tears.
All she did was just be herself. Isn’t this what we fight for and dream of?
I went down the memory lane and recalled that senior of mine who had to pay for looking ‘a little’ beautiful. Samyuktha is no other than her — who is paying for wearing her choice of clothes.
And I wonder how many girls and women would be out there who are stopped, threatened and accused of unimaginable deeds only because they are following their heart — doing what they love!
Coming back to the ‘choice of clothes’, I have entirely given up on the hope that we as a society, as a community, and as a nation would ever realize the profundity and give others a chance to live their life in a moral way without judging them. I think we have crossed the limits of criticizing a human, particularly a woman, way back.
It’s easier for men to step out in shorts or a vest aka baniyan, but when a woman decides to step out in shorts or a sports bra, she is immediately judged because kapde dekhe hain uske?
Then why the heck you think sports bras are created for? By definition, ‘a sports bra is a bra that provides support to breasts during physical exercise. Many women wear sports bras to reduce pain and physical discomfort caused by breast movement during exercise.’
Let me make it clear to our kaabil friends and activities — if a woman is stepping out in shorts or a sports bra or preferring to wear fit clothes, it’s because she loves her skin, she loves her body!
Body positivity and confidence doesn’t happen overnight neither in a session of cardio. It takes a lot of time to get comfortable in our own skin — sometimes even a lifetime. And more or less, it’s similar to every woman.
So next time when you see a woman walking outside wearing something which is ‘supposed’ to be worn, do not judge her instantly and know that it took her a lot of efforts and time to love her own looks and her clothes.
After all, you don’t wear a saree or salwar to step into a swimming pool! Or do you?
Sadly we live in a country where a man can easily get away flashing his genitals at women, but a woman can’t even work out in a park wearing a sports bra or gym attires.
Ab desh ki sabhyata or sanskriti ko toh humein hi sambhalna hain naa!
Featured Image: ImagesBazaar