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Sarita was a corporate woman and a mother of a beautiful daughter Gunu who meant a world to her. She would do anything under the sun to make her daughter happy, except one. She couldn’t tolerate her daughter dress up like a girl. Everytime Gunu decided to braid her hair, Sarita will cut it short. When Gunu decided to dress up like a Frozen princess on her fancy-dress competition she will make her dress like an astronaut or even a lion. ‘Dressing up girly could make Gunu emotionally weak' thought Sarita.
Sarita's friend Gowri lived in the same apartment but on a different floor with her husband Raj and son Adi. Raj was a family man, he made sure he spent quality time with Adi everyday after work. He would buy Adi expensive toys, take him to restaurants, playzones and even on long drives. Gowri loved dressing up and her only regret was she dint have a daughter who could dress up like mini-her. But she hand-picked Adi's clothes carefully, pink was her favourite colour and so was Adi's. So she dint refrain from buying pink shirts for her little angel. But Raj hated this, everytime Adi wore a pink he would get teased for being too girly and hear statements like ‘ boys dont wear pink’ from Raj. This statement slowly shifted Adi's liking from pink and changed his perception towards girls at large.
The above incidents aren’t imaginary. They are real except the names. And these stories aren’t confined to few families, but to many more than we can imagine. Now let’s draw analogy between the two families. Both parents are educated, financially stable and live in urban setup. They both love their kids immensely and want the best for them. Yet both parents (or shall we say one of the parents in the family) do not like to see their kids look girly. Irrespective of the gender both the kids are raised with the ideology that wearing pink is girly or being girly is bad. In an era where we talk about gender equality and women empowerment, it is sad that we think being girly is bad.
Seriously, where are we going with this? Who says looking girly takes away the intellectual, independent and strong self away from us? I understand that for years women have been presented as symbol of beauty mostly based on her appearance and today’s strong women wants to get away from that tag. But honestly women are indeed the most beautiful creation of God not just physically, but also intellectually and emotionally. It is only in recent times that women are getting an opportunity to showcase her talent by being an integral part of every profession. But that doesn’t mean we shun the girl in us and try to be like boys. If we tell our girls that being girly is bad or playing with Barbie is a sin, they will live the rest of their lives believing that they are inferior to boys or they may stay depressed with their unfulfilled desire to play with that cute doll for long. Likewise, if we tell our boys that wearing pink or playing with dolls is not boys cup of tea, they can never really respect girls and the idea of gender equality will make no sense to them.
We have grown up with the thought, mostly through movies that pretty girls aren’t smart and vice versa, which I disagree in every sense. In reality every women is pretty in her own self, I am still searching for that man who has coined this bizarre notion. As a matter of fact I have known many women who dress all shimmery and shiny almost everyday and yet work in the male dominant professions like defence, flying a plane or in space research, designing and controlling the satellites. So let’s not stereotype women based on her dressing or teach the same to our kids. Dressing up traditional or western or boyish or girly is a personal choice of an individual. Let our kids enjoy their childhood just the way they want and let us not engrain stereotypes in their innocent heads.
So all you pretty girls out there, this women’s day lets celebrate the talented, smart, strong yet emotional and girly self in us because being girly is real us. Let us honour the womanhood holistically and believe in our very creation.