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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

Saloni Chopra Is Teaching Women To Ditch Society’s So-Called Boundaries And Embrace Their True Selves

  • IWB Post
  •  August 22, 2018

Actor Saloni Chopra has always been that person who has denied to adjust to the patriarchal outlook of our society. Earlier this year as the nation was shaken by the brutal Kathua rape and murder case, many people had resorted to using the event as a political opportunity. It was Saloni who, appalled by these double standards and hypocrisy, took to Instagram to question this low mentality.

Saloni Chopra

This was not the first time she spoke out against the wrong. She was first seen as one of three protagonists in ‘Girls on Top’ MTV’s 2016 televised series, which talked about the issues that Indian women face.

Define ‘Beauty’, again? What’s your idea of Sexy? Forget about looking it for a second and tell me, when do you… feel sexy? #beauty #beyourself #beautifulgirls #girls #loveyourself #beyou #women #breakingstereotypes #skindeep #selflove #beautyindustry

9,907 Likes, 90 Comments – Saloni Chopra (@redheadwayfarer) on Instagram: “Define ‘Beauty’, again? What’s your idea of Sexy? Forget about looking it for a second and tell me,…”

It has been two years since the TV series and Saloni is still on the path to do away with all the stereotypes and barriers that women face via her Instagram page.

You may not be able to find the missing pieces you’re so desperate to find, but I bet my scattered, harmless yet confronting puzzle will attract all your toxic misogyny in one place below. And that, my friend, is your own reflection. 🌸 📸 @rahulb90 #traveldiaries #beyou #women #bethechange @freethenipple

29.6k Likes, 965 Comments – Saloni Chopra (@redheadwayfarer) on Instagram: “You may not be able to find the missing pieces you’re so desperate to find, but I bet my scattered,…”

“For someone who had lived abroad all her life and moved to India only at 21, the culture shock was quite appalling, especially when it came to the rock-solid boundaries set by society for women. And for a very long time, I gave in to all these dictating conditions too. Not because of my parents, but male figures like friends or lovers, who were more often than not quite domineering,” she said.

“So, there was this one time when I’d been abroad for a shoot, and I ended up staining the bed sheet at the hotel I was put up at with menstrual blood. The first thought that came to my mind was that of shame and embarrassment and that I’ll have to wash these. But then, I was like, wait a second. Why should one be embarrassed or ashamed for something as natural as menstruation and for all that matter, it could have also been blood from a regular wound on knee or elbow,” Saloni added.

Following this, she posted a picture of her menstrual blood on Instagram, sending across a powerful message to all the women who are ashamed of this natural process.

That’s right, it’s just blood.. Y’know who gave it more importance than it needs? You. You who celebrated my very 1st menstrual cycle.. said it made me a woman. Then you told me to never discuss it publicly. First you made me feel proud of becoming, then you made me feel there was something wrong with me. You told me I couldn’t visit holy places. You conditioned me to love cooking, but you wouldn’t let me, that day. You yelled when I lit the diya in the mandir that morning. The kids at school laughed at me & my friends didn’t sit next to me, bcos my blue skirt was red. I ate my lunch alone, crying in the washroom. I wasn’t very proud of being a girl that day. Then I grew older & I met boys.. boys that liked me.. boys that knew nothing about periods, but got disgusted every time a pad fell out of my bag. I couldn’t fathom that women raised such men. My girlfriends always whispered about it.. were they ashamed? My colleagues thought I was being a bitch bcos I was “PMSing” – my boss thought that was just my lame excuse to take a day off. I guess his penis never bled, he didn’t know what it felt like to have his hormones go on a rollercoaster ride every month, yet all they could grasp from it was that periods were “yuck” & girls act “crazy” on them. I’m not mad at you cos I’m on my period, I’m mad at you for the ignorant moron you are. You think I’m overreacting when I speak about inequality, then you cringe at the idea of vaginal blood. You think it’s impure. From you who gave birth to me, to you that wants to marry me, listen carefully – there is nothing about me that is “impure” every month. I’m not the creation of the devil. I’ll have as many conversations about my menstrual cycle as I please, I will cook as many meals as I like & enter as many places of worship as I want to. For those 5 days, maybe you should keep your impure selves out of my kitchen, my temple, my work place & come back when you’re ready to accept my body. I will never, ever accept my tampons wrapped in a newspaper again – there’s a lot more dirt printed in that than a woman’s body could ever produce. And if you try to hush-hush me, I’ll only scream louder. Sincerely, Every. Damn. Girl.

21.9k Likes, 2,184 Comments – Saloni Chopra (@redheadwayfarer) on Instagram: “That’s right, it’s just blood.. Y’know who gave it more importance than it needs? You. You who…”

“It is the need of the hour that we stop shaming women or feel ashamed ourselves for menstruating!” she said.

On this Independence Day, the irony is that I’m anything but Independent as a woman. My body controlled and censored, my thoughts banned and abused, my free will is limited to my breasts. ‘You can grow up to be anything my love, anything but a free woman’. You can grow up to be an engineer, runner, astronaut, doctor… as long as you keep those breasts covered. Because as a woman, your body, is the biggest threat to this society. As a woman, my body, belongs to each one of you. It belongs to your social platforms, your phones, your porn sites, your bedrooms, your brothels – it belongs to everything but me, hence you control what I do with it. To receive human rights, no one expects you to be Nelson Mandela – but to be a woman and desire equality they expect you to be Kaplana Chawla. So you cannot be just another girl who wants freedom to be herself. You must first become the first Indian woman to achieve something no other woman has, and then they respect you. If women weren’t so busy trying to hide their breasts or be ashamed of their periods, then you’d probably have MORE women achieve more things, and we wouldn’t constantly in the 21st century have ‘1st woman to have done something thousands of men already have done’ be such an achievement. So Happy Independence Day to ya’ll, but I think I’ll skip this one. You can censor my tits, but thank fucking god you can’t censor my words. Swipe right ➡️ for some serious patriarchal double standards. Because that’s acceptable while this isn’t. Thank you, @rahulb90 for doing this for me. You give me hope. I love you. #independenceday #india #equality #feminism #freethenipple #breakingstereotypes #fuckpatriarchy #women #bethechange

29.3k Likes, 783 Comments – Saloni Chopra (@redheadwayfarer) on Instagram: “On this Independence Day, the irony is that I’m anything but Independent as a woman. My body…”

Saloni has never shied away from the severe backlash she has received for refusing to adhere to society’s definition of being a woman but what keeps her going are the inspirational messages from young girls who feel motivated by her posts.

“That totally serves the purpose of why I’d started being vocal about such issues on the first place. I’ve been there myself and know that there are countless women out there, who just need the right amount of inspiration to get out of something that is pulling them down and I’m speaking for all of them through my posts. Though backlashes are pretty consistent and regular, I will go on because when I look at such uplifting responses, it means that I’m going the right way,” she said.

H/T: The Better India



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