In many societies, women are assigned the role of ‘protecting’ or upholding tradition and culture. Their movements, behaviour and conversations are policed by their communities in an effort to ensure that women fulfil the often unattainable goal of being unwavering bastions of tradition. Perplexingly, the traditional attributes that are so romanticized by the community at large often come in conflict with women’s daily responsibilities and sometimes even their health.
In this set of comics, BuzzFeed staff member Imaan Sheikh satirizes the extent to which South Asian women are expected to sacrifice their comfort and wellbeing in order to conform to their communities’ expectations of ‘sanskari’ behaviour. Against all instincts of self-preservation and comfort, Sheikh’s ‘perfect sanskari woman’ physically contorts herself into impossible positions, hides in public, and more.