In India, we are constantly confronted by images of what Indian women should be. Goddess on walls portray the perfectly beautiful, extremely strong kind of woman. Then there’s the image that Bollywood projects; the coy sex-kitten who will act shy until you stalk the crap out of her, at which point she realizes she is actually in love with the hero, and relents. Now imagine we cover the streets with a third kind of image. Something to counter the image of sexuality out there. Something that is subtle and overt, real and strong. A tribal woman with a tattoo on her back; beautiful women who enjoy music, who are not over-sexed and do not belong to men. Women who are fun and fearless, and are neither the slut nor the virgin, but somewhere between or beyond the two. If we can create this new archetype of women and embed it in the public consciousness, into pop culture, it will change the image of what women in India are, and maybe build tolerance, build some space in our society for that kind of woman.
This post was originally published under this month, it is being republished for the anniversary issue.