Body & Sex

Body image, Beauty perceptions & standards, Sex, Sexuality, Reproductive health, Physical fitness

Hairy Times
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Hairy Times

(This was written 2 months ago) My hair is now in a shape that allows for two pigtails with a center parting. I discover the hair in the center part is not long enough to reach either pigtail and is too silky to stay pinned down. What sorcery is this?…

Is This Feminism? – Hair Removal
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Is This Feminism? – Hair Removal

I made my first big purchase in this COVID-19 year. I bought an epilator. Actually, I replaced my old one that finally gave way in May, in the style of all essential devices going kaput right under lockdown. I felt really guilty about missing my epilator so much these past…

Is This Feminism? – Negative Space
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Is This Feminism? – Negative Space

We are all facing the question of what privilege means, do we have it, how much of it and what this bodes. Race, caste, gender, religion, language. Privilege creates barriers & hierarchies. Because it’s inherently unjust, it’s also subtle & silent. People with privilege literally cannot see it. Because their…

Saree-Wearers Club
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Saree-Wearers Club

There is a sense that the Saree Wearers’ Club is an exclusive one, limited to women who are married or of a certain age, have a certain body shape and even they wear it in certain ways & on occasions only. Any variation from this invites attack. I’ve been exploring…

Sin Addiction
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Sin Addiction

Don’t I look like all the sins you’re going to commit tonight? I felt it too. Because feeling flows through me the way water runs through the planet, within it, over it, above it and into every creature that lives on it. It feels good to dissolve. It feels peaceful…

Aunty National
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Aunty National

Some time ago, I watched a woman walk into a coffeeshop. She was dressed in a neon yellow jacket, neon yellow sneakers & microshorts and sported a ponytail on either side of the head, held back with – you guessed it, neon yellow ties. She looked like she was in…

Different Shades of Grief
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Different Shades of Grief

How many things shall I grieve? I was watching THAPPAD. I thought about the people who have hit me. In plural. I had experienced enough of it before I touched adulthood. Yet, at 23, when a man I loved hit me, I knew something was wrong. Was it the force…

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Menstrual Cup Anniversary: Third Time’s A Charm

In a conversation with new cup users, I went looking for the chronicle I knew I’d written and realised I’d never published it. So here goes for my menstruating peeps, hope it helps! This is a recap and my learnings on my cup journey. I am very happy, now that…

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Beautiful

Do you remember when beauty was joy? Shiny objects, pretty colours, soft textures, nice smells. I remember being so thrilled at the very sight of a brand new pack of sketch pens. The symmetry of each pen, identical but in different colours. The uniform ridges on the white plastic covers….

5 Lessons From A Haircut

I LOVED a haircut I had last year. This helped me tide over my uncertainty about a new stylist. When I went back for a trim, somehow things turned out differently. She was so upset, I didn’t get angry. I could see it was an honest mistake. It’s easy to…

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One Of The Girls

I used to think of myself as ‘one of the boys‘, because I didn’t identify with how femininity was practised around me. I wanted to own my intelligence, my independence and strength the way I saw only boys do. I walked, talked and dressed in a close approximation of my…

The Almost Virgin Experience
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The Almost Virgin Experience

I tried something again after a long time. What do you think? ~O~O~O~O~O~O~ “I’m looking for experiences.” You measure experiences, like they’re marks on a wooden scale, the kind you and I remember from matched childhoods. And it makes us both laugh. But I hear the anxiety under your eagerness,…

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Shame

Last week, I was trolled about my looks. Some men friends said they liked how I look. The troll’s attack is based on the idea that a woman’s worth is in her looks and that anyone can boost/undermine it with words. My friends, however well-intentioned, were reinforcing that idea. Strangers…

Wish Me Happy Woman’s Day Today And Here’s Why
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Wish Me Happy Woman’s Day Today And Here’s Why

Twenty-six years ago on this date, I had my first period. It must have been a Sunday or a Thursday (my school weekly holiday) and I had gone swimming with my father in the morning. I came home and changed into my favorite white cotton frock with a gigantic sash…

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Masters Of Sex: How Do We Do This Without The Men?

I just finished reading Masters of Sex, the book on which this TV show was based. My opinions have shifted, somewhat. There is of course the difference in the two media. With the book, I’ve been able to ponder it over several months without feeling the need to retrace my…

Masters Of Sex: Wake Me Up When You Realise Sex Isn’t About The Man
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Masters Of Sex: Wake Me Up When You Realise Sex Isn’t About The Man

I’m currently watching the TV series, Masters of Sex. It was the first show I began on Netflix when I first subscribed. I had to stop and move to other things that were easier. I’ve tried to come back several times and I think this time I’ll manage to finish…

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Go, Selfie!

I don’t understand what the problem with selfies is. I remember a time when people would keep handing their camera over to others and asking them to shoot their pictures. THAT was really annoying. Selfies put people in charge of their own vanity. Also, vanity. It’s defined as ‘Excessive pride…

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Post-Swim Dating Is A Thing

  If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know that I’ve been swimming pretty regularly of late. I love swimming. It’s my favorite physical activity of them all. Yes, ALL. https://twitter.com/ideasmithy/status/1126140804664320001 There is the fitness angle, of course. But I’ve tried yoga, cycling, aerobics, running, gymming and none of…

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Slime

It seems like I’ve healed every few weeks or months or years. “You’re sounding a lot better since that one conversation of ours in the coffeeshop” says one friend. And I believe it because I want to. I must. Forgetting (somedays I call it self-deluding) is an integral survival skill….

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Angry Girl Of Indie Rock Persuasion

I was fascinated by the saree as a child. Unfettered by stitches, lacking the artifice of buttons, a saree was freedom. I’ve struggled with gender boxes my whole life. Every damn thing, a fucking war. Short hair. Tattoos. Red clothes. Short clothes. Boots, not sandals. Science projects. Marketing jobs. An…