Being A Woman, Social Stigma

Don’t Judge Me By My Clothes

Judging is one of the most wanted words nowadays. Some say it’s direct, some indirectly and few spew out with horrible words. And as usual, again women are the main target. Probably the world will be a little different if we could reduce it to the individual level!

I am not a Television freak but recently I came across an advertisement which caught my attention. It was all about not judging a woman. An advertisement with a different mindset and which really appealed to me a lot. It was indeed inspiring and empowering lines for every woman, one of which says, “meri salwar-kameez mujhko behenjee nahein bulatee”  and the salwar-kameez clad girl immediately sits and drives away her bullet with the same pride in front of all so called modern people.

I am a little unaware if you have ever come across this word Behanji”. If I need to redefine then I heard this word during my school and college days. And more often in college day as there was no uniform and we all used to flaunt our outfits and hairstyles. This word particularly defines those women or girls who don’t have a knack for fashion and style. They miss that “Wow” factor in their personality, and in what they wear. Especially the ones who are always seen in typical Indian wears. Though the time has changed a lot in the last two decades the word” Behanjee “ is still there with the same pride and with more fan following.

During these two decades, I had completely forgotten that word Behanjee but those powerful lines with a strong message in advertisement revived my memory and now I can resonate the same with me.
I am a Salwar -kameez lover now, not from my childhood. I was allowed to wear what I wanted to and still, I have that freedom of choice. This passion for cotton, handloom, and silk started a few years ago. Else there was the time when I never wore any Indian outfit until I started working. It was all Jeans, trousers and all type of western wears which I loved through.

Slowly Silk Saree grabbed my attention which used to be one of the most dreaded and uncomfortable outfits. Apparently, I learned how to carry it with grace and it became one of the beautiful and most elegant choices for me. I am not against those who love western or whatever they love to. But I often get angry when people around me question my choice to wear chanderi and handloom or old-style Indian wear. They sound like I am a boring person who doesn’t enjoy to be called as the modern woman or the one who purposely avoid the options available for western wear. Or I am the one who is not competitive enough with the current fashion or style.

It happens when you dine in 5-star hotels with Indian outfit people will give you weird looks as if you have entered into some dress code or like an alien.

The height of imagination has no boundaries when one of my friends told me that the waiter spoke to her in Hindi when he saw her in salwar kameez. I laughed out loud but ultimately it has made me think and write so many questions around.

I have seen people who are being offended with the western outfit but being in India I didn’t expect that even an Indian outfit can be on fire too. Or it’s a crime if you drive a bullet or you are a scientist or a teacher or any high profile position or can be a mother with a choice of salwar kameez or saree.
Why has the mentality changed so much that people who love to carry a few Indian dresses are also targeted ones?

How can any outfit define anyone?
When we talk about mind and soul then why we don’t apply it practically?
Or these things are justified only in books?

And to clear all doubts an outfit can never define your personality!
A woman in salwar kameez not necessary that she is an illiterate woman and one who can’t speak fluent English or intellectual or one who doesn’t know anything.

Can’t a woman wear whatever she wants to, leaving aside others expectation?
And please never underestimate a salwar-kameez-clad woman. Speak to her, get to know her first and then think what you need to say about her. You might find her with so many degrees and awards, kind and generous too!!

There is a word which goes hand in hand with “Judge” is “Choice”. Let them choose the latter word and feel happy, content in what they like and what they want to wear. Maybe they are amongst those who don’t want to be a part of the fashion race!!

Again and again, we use this” Please don’t judge the book with cover” but looks like things are getting worse day by day but one thing is sure,” Meri salwar kameez mujhko behnajee nahee bulatee”!!

PS: This article is purely my thoughts and experience. The intention is not to write against anyone who loves to wear a western outfit. They can carry the same with the same pride!! Wear what you love and not what others want to see you in!!

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