I’m a 22 year Indian girl, born and brought up in a middle class family. I’m staying in the smartest city of India, Bhubaneswar. My both parents are working. My parents don’t support the gender bias, as they think so. They also encourage me to do things on my own yet always set some limits.
During my school days, all of my relatives presumed me as a shy introverted girl. Mama also forced me to show proper courtesy and to be a soft spoken person, whether the person is speaking good or ill. I never had any opinion on my own because mama told me it will harm my image along with theirs.
I loved computer science, during my eleventh standard; I opted for this course instead of biology or electronics. But my uncle said ‘Those, who study biology, are considered intelligent in our family.’ The very next day my optional subject changed to biology. Once I wore a sleeveless top with a bottom, one of my relatives told ‘girl don’t wear such clothes in our family.’ From that day onward I was prohibited to wear sleeveless dresses. I started to wear spectacles due to my eyesight problem and people considered me a studious one and I got some unnecessary attention in my class.
I asked mama to dye my hair and unexpectedly she said yes. I was astonished as well as on cloud nine. But she set some boundaries like ‘don’t apply any bright or light color. It will make you look bold.” And I understood she was saying no in an indirect manner. Once I heard from my friend that one of the guys from my class had a crush on me and all of my friends stated that now he has high income and you’ll be happy. What is the role of money in my happiness? Why most of the people think that girls fall for rich guys.
Sometimes these things feel so worthless and I can’t pretend to be someone in my whole life. It takes five seconds to classify people based on their look but it takes so much time to change your impression. I always wondered what has my looks have to do with my personality. My friends think I’m a sweet, soft spoken, immature and studious girl who loves to stay aloof. My relatives think of me as a homely girl and they often say that I’ll become a great wife. My society thinks of me as a nature loving introverted girl who is well fitted for their so called society. Nobody cares about my real side. They love to pass their judgments but never realize the impact on us. I can’t say I’ve overcome all these stereotypes but I’ve managed to change some people’s opinion by constantly interacting and giving my point of views. I learned one thing ‘be bold enough to speak up.’ I’m wearing clothes on my own not according to anyone’s choice. No one has the right to judge me on my looks.
the Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India reveals:
a. 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.
b. 64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
c. 70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
d. 72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.