India is full of people having an androcentric view.
While men enjoy being able to wear what they deem apt, women are put under the scanner for the so-called Indian propriety. It is a situation through which almost every Indian woman has gone.
“As An Indian Woman, How Do You Feel When Someone Tells You To Dress Appropriately?”
The following are the responses we received :
1. I was born in a Kashmiri family, fortunately, or unfortunately. I realised or so I believe, things have always been better for me than for other girls in most parts of the country especially when it’s about the ‘do’s and don’ts for a girl’. This makes things even harder for me when I am told to dress appropriately or walk or laugh in a certain manner. Coming from a background which is not that conservative is sure a good thing but on the other hand that makes me less tolerant when I end up being in such situations. I fail to understand what is the criteria for the people to judge a dress as appropriate or not. For instance, a crop top might seem inappropriate to people but nothing is more appropriate than a Saree which ironically is even more exposing. I don’t even know what will we ever gain if we stick to this ideology which is so confined, having lost much already. – Siddhi, Bahadurgarh
2. I would not give a F*ck. – Alsaba, Lucknow
3. India is a country where people judge a lot. How we dress intensely affects how people respond to us. As far as the culture is concerned, it is simply not a country where one can safely go around dressed as freely as most of us do in the West, so it’s important to be familiar with the socially acceptable Indian dresses and the reasons behind it. Moreover, many styles of dresses that are perfectly acceptable in the West are downright offensive to most Indians. But we can say though we are judgemental but are correct at our own place. – Akansha, Ghaziabad
4. For me, it depends on the person who is telling me to dress appropriately. If my mother is the one who advises then I’ll listen to her otherwise, I’ll ignore it. There is no need to pay attention to such advice which comes from a person whom you are not related to. – Snigdha, Bijnor
5. You know what? I am sick and tired of being judged. You see me walking by, and you think I’m the kind of girl that’ll flirt with you, or I’m high on drugs (which is none of your business), just because of the way I look.
I like my body just the way it is, I’m more than comfortable in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. But clearly, you have a problem with my comfort. You want me to cover myself up all the time.
Why it is that you assume when you see a girl like me, in clothes too small (but the ones she’s happy to be in) you automatically assume that I’m a slut. You assume that it’s okay to touch me, and tease me. You call me characterless, a slut, a whore. Firstly, no girl, even if she does do the things you disapprove, is a slut or a whore. It’s her body. It’s her choice. Secondly, my clothes don’t define me. I am much more than that and I hold the right to be respected in this society. I’ll dress the way I like, and I don’t give you the right to judge me for it. – Naina, Lucknow
6. As a girl, who is usually not completely mature enough to see the situations from her own perspective, I would once give a thought to one’s advice, provided that that the person is among those people whom I’ve given authority over my self-expression but as I’m a grown-up woman who is mature enough to feel strongly to be responsible for herself I would ponder a little on “such” advice only if it seems logical and if not, a polite “THANK YOU” is sufficient to curb any further unnecessary objection. This is the 21st century, and we shouldn’t be judged on our dressing. A woman must be respected for her ideas and personality. And just on the backdrop of the so-called conservative beliefs, any individual’s principles must not be shaken by a thing so trivial as clothing. – Shatakshi, Lucknow
7. Rather than wondering upon the term Indian women, the question just converges itself on being asked to dress appropriately as a woman and I think I have the understanding to dress according to the occasions. But still, if there is a welcomed or unwelcomed advice coming to tell me to dress properly or putting up a question on the way I am, I won’t pay heed to it. Suggestions are always welcomed but don’t be my critic. – Kunika, Ghaziabad
Rightly so, instead of the dress of a woman, the personality that she wears and carries should be given more attention.