Women’s day week is always interesting. All of a sudden, there is so much attention to the fact that you are a woman. Secretly I gulp it up all, but it’s a bit too daunting with so many different views and messages around it.
Anyway, this year, I was part of this campaign about balance for better, and a picture of mine, along with a progressive quote was posted online as a representative of savvy, achieving woman, who can balance personal and professional lives (this post is not about how I do it all- or do not at all). But, I got more comments about how I have put on weight rather than the actual message, or my path to being part of such a campaign in the first place.
Then there was this whole world of ads, stories, and social media posts on a variety of topics: stretch marks-anti-ageing- Botox, pregnancy-weight gain, weight-loss-anorexia, body positivism-body shaming, best dressed-worst dressed lists, gym-yoga-meditation-diet, married-unmarried, stay-at-home mom-working mom, femininity-anti-femininity, motherhood or not. It was everywhere the videos and stories that people share to mommy blogs and posts. There were also women boosting women, men boosting women, women shaming women, and men shaming women thrown into the mix in fair measure (rather not get into details).
But it must have gotten into my subconscious or so. Because I was watching a series and all I was caring about was how good the protagonist looked. It must be catching during the season, because a colleague shared she felt the same, and told me the story of a girl trying to shed few 100 grams before a client meeting (this was a very capable high-performing person) and was on a liquid diet that day. In my mind, I pinkie swore to go on a diet or exercise or whatever. Apparently numbers that matter is not just those in an excel file or your bank account.
And, even the car-ride that day to the mall was not easy. The radio ad for a popular shopping outlet screamed in Hindi- behen kuch bhi pehen (which translates roughly into sister wear what you want). Well, for a person in a “behenji” (cultural slang for matronly) slot, it gave a low blow to my already battered ego.
But, do you know of all, what was the most unforgiving of all; the feeling that rose in pit of my stomach when surrounded on all four by the trial room mirrors.
And, my mind reeled back to a dialogue from the series I binge watched this weekend “It only takes a moment of courage to break centuries of stereotyping” (Courtesy: Made in Heaven)
We do not need campaigns or feminist propaganda for empowerment.
All we need is a bit of self-worth.
You can fill the blanks whatever way you want, but you have to believe it first.