Want the perfect bikini body to flaunt? Or do you just want to be able to wear what you want without worrying about whether you can pull it off? Here’s an easy tip anyone can use.
There’s always another way of presenting a look, attire, accessories and bodies; of presenting the way we feel about ourselves and our sexuality, of presenting an acceptance of diversity.
There it was the road I was looking for, / Where I walked in my night dress / under the morning sun, / with no sleeves and no legs / with no bra and no shame.
Then came a time when this small-town simple Sati Savitri-esque girl moved to a big city. Sucked into city fashion, she couldn’t resist skirting sinful hemlines and being trapped in T-shirt tapestry. All her sanctity theories about clothes were thrown in the trash for good. In the process, she happily shed her desi avatar by shedding her saris and proudly embraced the ‘modern’ attire.
पहनावा किसी भी व्यक्ति की छवि का एक महत्वपूर्ण हिस्सा होता है। समाज में किसी भी व्यक्ति की पहचान उनके पहनावे से भी की जा सकती है। कपड़े एक मनुष्य की पहचान का सबसे स्पष्ट हिस्सा होते है। कपड़े शरीर का घूंघट होते हैं। वे शील और यौनिक मुखरता के, अस्वीकृति के और अभिराम के, जश्न के खेल के नियमों को समाहित करते हैं। वे आइना होते हैं समाज के पदानुक्रम का, यौनिक विभाजन का और नैतिक सीमाओं का।
“Large will not fit you.” / She is scoping me, up and down, eyes / Flicking fast and darting away / From the roundness of my breasts / To the happy jiggle of my thighs.
Sub-Saharan Africa itself is very diverse. There are Muslims, Christians and people whose cosmological beliefs and practices hark back to the thousands of years before the arrival of the monotheistic faiths. South Asia has also had some cultural impact, particularly in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. Against this general background, it is not surprising that notions of feminine modesty, which influences the regulation of dress, vary across regions and religious traditions.
Alok Vaid-Menon is one half of the trans South Asian performance duo from New York, DarkMatter. Vaid-Menon was gender-assigned male at birth, identifies as transfeminine (that is, identifies with femininity to a greater extent than with masculinity) and prefers the pronouns ‘they’ and ‘their’.
The link between women’s clothing and patriarchy is important to acknowledge and understand if we are to address some pertinent questions around women’s agency and ability to exercise control over their choices, bodies and sexuality – questions that feminists around the world, including in South Asia, continue to struggle with.
Despite the intervention of many well-meaning aunties and friends over cups of chai, I don’t think I was aware of how truly strange, let’s even say ridiculous, I looked at the time. Because although I was wearing kurtis nearly every day, I didn’t really understand the ‘rules’ of wearing kurtis.
I did my schooling and higher studies in Delhi. Thanks to a compulsorily uniform attire at school, the differences in socio-economic backgrounds of students were successfully erased. But as one enters college, one’s attire gets significant attention, especially for a person from a weak socio-economic background. This transition period from school to college is also the age of sexual anxieties, experiments and experiences.
Bollywood’s period dramas have a history of misrepresenting the past. From Mughal-e-Azam (1960), where the story of Salim’s rebellion is wrongly attributed to love, to Bajirao Mastani (2015) portraying Balaji Bajirao as a Marathi superman, Bollywood cannot seem to get the history right in historical fiction. The trailer and posters of Ashutosh Gowariker’s Mohenjo Daro indicate that this tradition will be perpetuated.
Purushu talks about his new fashion line, about the connection between attire and gender roles, the social statement cisgender people make when they wear gender-neutral clothing, and how the rise in gender-neutral clothing will affect the way we think about masculinity.
It was the beginning of what has been called the Great Male Renunciation, which would see men abandon the wearing of jewellery, bright colours and ostentatious fabrics in favour of a dark, more sober, and homogeneous look. Men’s clothing no longer operated so clearly as a signifier of social class, but while these boundaries were being blurred, the differences between the sexes became more pronounced.
वह एक ऐसे परिवार में बड़ी हुई थीं जहाँ बनने संवरनें की सराहना की जाती थी, इसलिए कपड़ों के प्रति उनकी चाहत को कभी भी विलासिता की तरह नहीं देखा गया। उनकी माँ की शख्शियत की एक विशिष्ट पहचान, उनकी बड़ी सी बिंदी और सूती साड़ी हमेशा अपनी जगह पर रहती थी, चाहे दिन का कोई भी समय हो, चाहे वो खाना बना रहीं हों, धूप या बारिश में बाहर गई हों, सो रहीं हों या बस अभी ही जागी हों, हंस रहीं हों, या रो रहीं हों। उनकी और उनकी बहन के लिए, उनकी माँ की फैशन को लेकर एक ही सलाह थी, “हमेशा ऐसे तैयार होकर रहो जैसे आप बाहर जा रहे हों, भले ही आप सारा दिन घर पर ही हों।” अपनी माँ की सलाह के बावजूद, वह घर पर ‘गुदड़ी के लाल’ की तरह और बाहर जाते वक़्त ‘सिंडरेला’ की तर्ज़ पर चलने वाली बनी।