We women are awesome, but the struggle is real. Being the fairer sex isn’t easy and there are untold norms to follow at every instance of life that may or may not be needed. So on the occasion of international women’s day this year, we spoke to some female celebs who are bold enough to tell their tale about that one rule they broke and the moment they realized they didn’t have to succumb to societal pressure. The answers were as interesting as these pretty ladies and we were all ears. Read on to know who said what.
1. Taapsee Pannu
"I’ve broken the norm that only going to the gym can help you get a great body. For me playing a sport not only helped me have a better and fitter body but also developed a certain confident body language which helps me stand out.
I realised this when I decided to ask myself what kind of physical activity do I enjoy keeping aside what the society asks me to do. I was concerned about what makes me happy without forcefully dragging myself to do that activity."
2. Pooja Bedi
“I’ve broken the girls and boys cannot be best friends rule. I treat men and women friends alike. I hug them and kiss them with equal affection and no matter how many eyeballs it grabs or tongues wag, I never ever gave a damn.
I've grown up in a family that has never given much weight to societal diktat or conformed to "fit in". I was always taught to respect the law of the land but equally live life on my own terms. Also, I don’t give anyone the liberty to moral police me…it’s my life. And it’s a democracy. Morality is subjective. It’s each to their own.”
3. Jyoti Kapur Das
(Flimfare award-winning director)
“As a woman, I am able to do many things at one time, be many roles at one time. I can be a technician, a human GPS, a psychologist, a mother, a cook, an accountant, many, many things all in one day.
I am unapologetic about being sensitive and kind and tough enough to be critical and ruthless, even with myself, when I need to. Being a woman both empowers as well as sensitises me to be strong and independent and look the world in the eye, and wink back at it. I realised this once I got out of my comfort zone and started to pursue professional commitments.”
4. Amrita Raichand
“I did not realise that even as a chef (I’ve been an actor but also started pursuing my passion), I could perhaps be a style icon or a trendsetter! When I decided to make my first chef coat, I told my stylist that I didn't want a typical looking one. Let's add some glamour, some style to it! When I showed up at my event in it, everyone including my contemporary chefs just loved the new look and applauded me for being experimental! Life can be very boring if you don't spice it up with some colour and funk!”
5. Yuvika Chaudhary
“I’ve never advertised or stood for fairness creams. That's something I don't support. It’s a social belief that fair is beautiful but personally I feel like it really doesn't matter.
I have always been the kind of person that follows the heart more than the society and its said norms. So this is something I’ve done all my life”
“I have stopped hiding a sanitary napkin or stopped carrying my entire bag to a restroom so that people don't see it. Now, I simply fish into my bag, take it out in full public view and walk with just like I would with anything else. It has surprised many, only because they are not used to this but I think we really need to get over the secrecy around something as regular as menstruation.
Also, I definitely don't feel the need to wrap a packet of sanitary napkins in newspaper while buying it at a shop. Shopkeepers invariably do and I don't say anything because I don't want to create a scene but maybe I should just ask them to please not bother.
It was just one of those moments when I was like 'why am I doing this?’. And I realised that nothing about it made any logical sense. I am not shy that I am menstruating, I don't feel it's a dirty thing, It is a perfectly regular biological process so why this hiding of a sanitary napkin. This was something I had begun to do because everyone around me did. And I think it’s high time we need to stop doing hiding.”
Parveen Dusanj Bedi
"I’ve broken a few ‘society rules’ in my life journey….. leaving my country, family, career for love, living with an older man and not wanting marriage. After living together for 10 years I chose to marry this man I loved, and as expected the tried and tested centuries-old weapons of ‘societal’ norms were conveniently drawn against me. Everyone and their dog jumped on the band-wagon. The obsession was comical, the name calling cliched and the utter glee of ‘society’ assuming it’s moral high-ground stank of hypocrisy like a vindicated yet still crooked politician – smug! It was a cess-pit of back slapping misogyny and the irony, it was fuelled by both men and women.
I’ve now developed Teflon-like qualities, nothing sticks to me, the words, barbs, whispers - they all slide off. I am living a life I have chosen for myself, one of love and companionship. I am truly happy and feel blessed, I’ve found my tribe and it is strong, there are many of us living our lives fully and authentically beyond the strict societal conventions.
Taking everything with a huge dose of humour is really the only way to rise above it all and focus on what really matters. Here’s to Teflon!"
Like this article? Also read: Five women show you how diverse Indian beauty can be