Hair and There : An Evening with Hairy Women

Hair and There : An Evening with Hairy Women

‘Hair and There’, a cultural programme organized by ‘Abhivyakti’ at Akshara Theatre, ruled out as a commendable approach for a ‘No shave november for all’ initiative . Abhivyakti, theatre society of Maitreyi college, Delhi University, performed musical plays and poems at the event. The idea was to create a space for discussion and dialogue and remove the cultural radar on women which always wants them to look ‘hairless’.

The motive of this event was to break the shackles of the so called beauty of a hairless body and awaring the women that it is their choice whether to keep or eliminate their body hair. Malvika Singh, the president of Abhivyakti, explains, “We are doing this campaign to openly challenge the stereotypical mindset of our patriarchal society. The very reason of us taking part in ‘No Shave November’ is to break the stereotype, a stereotype which lies hidden under the unreasonable guise of hygiene and ugliness.”

Feministaa, earlier this month, started the campaign of #NoShaveNovemberForAll with a clenched fist for all men, women and LGBT community to celebrate their bodies – however hairy they are. We urge people of ALL gender to donate whatever money they save by not shaving to the cancer patients.

Almost 100 people gathered to give a twist to the ‘No Shave November’ campaign. It also witnessed eminent speakers like Shubha, Amrita Ajay, Nidhi Goswami, Saurabh Sharma, Kanika Sharma, Pooja Prasad, Naina Kataria etc. The event started with a musical play which displayed women as bold answers to the society questioning their rights and choices. The performers also contributed in the event via presenting the poems and holding discussions as of how women are treated and how they should eventually be treated in the society. The motive behind holding such an event was to spread awareness regarding the atrocities that are being done on the women since ages and now is the time to break the stereotypes.

The music group melodiously sang “muskurati hui ek ladki” and “bas udti jaun” which embraced the beautiful will of the women to live freely. The platform was empowered with such great voices, who chose to speak for themselves and for the women all over the world such as Amrita Ajay (English Professor at Maitreyi college), Shubha (a social activist in Haryana) etc. Many people shared their stories of being body shamed and how they overcame it. Nidhi Goswami, one of the speakers shared her experience of her being the hairy and constantly facing criticism for that; but for the better she embraced what she was  given and chose to live her life on her own will.

If talked about criticism that Abhivyakti faced, a lot of hateful comments flashed on their facebook page; some abusing the people whose initiative it was, some calling the display picture of Abhivyakti ugly and displeasing to the eye as it featured a girl with unshaved armpits.

Arsh Dadwal, vice president of Abhivyakti gave an outstanding reply to these hateful comments in her statement that, “We have always been up for criticism. It really helps. By listening to all these absurd arguments we have realised that there’s so much we have to work on. It’s so important to understand the fundamental flaw in this ideology of beauty standards.”

Working their way through all the challenges and obstacles, the event came to a successful end and the key message all the speakers and Abhivyakti gave was that  women should break the chains of the stereotypes and follow the life that they want to live and not what they are made to.

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