Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Her Dress, Her Choice!

Recently, I bought myself an off - shoulder top. As soon as I stepped into the house that day, I quickly changed into my new blouse and stood admiring myself in front of our old dressing - table mirror like an excited teenager. How the beautiful garment fitted me and how the colour was just right for my skin tone…rattled on the happy voice inside me.

Being from the army background; I’ve had the privilege of living all over the country, and that, besides several other things, has given me the opportunity to observe and follow fresh and unique fashion and dressing styles of people from different parts. Out of this understanding, emerged my own unique style of wearing attires which I like to believe is an extension of me and my personality and may or may not reflect popular dressing sensibilities. Moreover, I wear what I like. It matters to me that I dress up according to my own taste.

Now that brings me to the point of this article; the raging debate on social media, a few months ago, over what Priyanka Chopra wore when she met Prime Minister Modi in Berlin followed by a similar news on social media trolling the Dangal actress, Fatima Sana Shaikh’s beach wear photos that she’d posted on twitter while holidaying in Maldives during the holy month of Ramadan. Both the news are stale. People have other interesting things to debate and discuss. However, I’ve been meaning to write about my own thoughts on this for a while. Buying the off - shoulder top triggered that thought and so here I am.

I was amused and exasperated by all the hullabaloo around the misdirected topic of discussion when the news first hit social media about Priyanka’s dress followed by that of Fatima. Come on people (naysayers), get a life! Both the women are well – educated and responsible women who’ve reached where they are in life because of their talent, dedication and grace. Both are more than capable of making their own life – choices; least of all when it comes to deciding what to wear or not for a particular occasion.

Take the case of Priyanka, wasn’t it really thoughtful of her to meet PM Modi when she found out that he was also in Berlin? Didn’t the picture of the two we all saw on social media conveyed the warmth, pride and respect of the duo for each other as fellow citizens? We all should have been discussing these and maybe other such interesting issues. But out of everything else, what did we find the petty - minded discussing or reporting? Her dress – and her bare legs!

Poor Fatima wasn’t spared either! She was in Maldives for a holiday and decided to post some great pictures of herself by the beach. What was so wrong about that? What else is one supposed to wear on a beach? Besides, what a woman wants to wear or not is completely her prerogative. For that matter, what she can or cannot do with her own body is her choice. No one else should have a say in it. When will our society accept this basic fact?
Anyway, I think the people with skewed view of femininity need to be educated about the importance of respecting women for being themselves. What really matters to us (as women) is that we are accepted and admired for who we are as individuals rather than being wrongly judged on how we look or what we wear!