It is heartbreaking how even in the 21st century, women are judged and shamed for the clothes that they chose to wear.
Recently, a 69-year-old, Rajini Chandy, became a target of many trolls for wearing the clothes of her choice. Rajini, a house-wife turned actress is a grandmother, who is bold, beautiful, and fashionable. And, she doesn’t mind putting on red lipstick and a pair of jeans to model for a photo shoot.
According to BBC, she recently did a photoshoot with a 29-year-old photographer Athira Joy. She wore a denim dress, jeans with a denim jacket, and a dress with a floral tiara and looked gorgeous in all her photographs. But, as soon as the pictures were uploaded on social media, she became the victim of trolls. Sadly, she was trolled for dressing up in a modern way at her age. Though many complimented her for her beautiful and stunning photoshoot, there were many, who left comments like – “Haven’t you died yet?”
While sharing details of her trauma, Rajini mentioned:
“I was called a slut. Someone asked me, ‘Haven’t you died yet?’ Another suggested that I ‘sit at home and read the Bible. This is your age to pray, not show off your body’. Yet another person said I was an old auto-rickshaw and even if I got a new coat of paint, I’d still be old,”
But, what was even more heartbreaking was the fact the much of the hate came from women themselves.
“A lot of young men find sexiness in older women disturbing, they don’t want to think of them as an object of desire. But what I found surprising was that most of the negative comments were made by women.”
“I think it’s born out of jealousy – women in their 40s and 50s who don’t take care of themselves cannot deal with an older woman still being able to flaunt her good looks.”
Through these beautiful pictures, the photographer, Athira Joy, showed the world how a 60-something woman is supposed to look like. He shared:
“Indian women spend their lives caged in this system of marriage and raising a family. Most give up on life once they reach 60. They become nannies to their grandchildren. But Rajini is different – she takes care of herself, she’s fit, she’s bold, she’s beautiful, she’s fashionable. She’s 69, but in her mind, she’s 29, just like me.”
Rajini Chandy shared how spending decades living in Mumbai when she shifted to Kerala in 1995, she did turn some heads. When she went outside of her home wearing jeans and lipstick, she attracted stares. She was also reprimanded for wearing a sleeveless blouse! While sharing a beautiful life lesson for all the women, Rajini mentioned:
“I’ve fulfilled all my family and social obligations and now I’m just doing what brings me pleasure. I’m learning to play the drum, I’m not aiming for perfection, I’m just having fun.”
This incident is another reminder of how our society tends to control women. When strong women like Rajini starts living life on their own terms, they make our patriarchal society scared!
At IFORHER, we hope many more would seek inspiration from Rajini and make choices without thinking ‘log kya kahengey’. Because these inspiring women are taking the whole women’s fraternity closer to freedom from our regressive society with every bold choice.