Zaira Wasim’s decision to quit Bollywood – Is it really our business? 

Sabina Yeasmin

Monthly Contributor at Moderne
After living in a concrete jungle for more than two decades of her life, Sabina found solitude as she moved to the greener side of the grass, pretty literally. Apart from enjoying all things literature, she loves to write on diverse issues, cook good food, and tend her teeny-tiny garden.

Sabina was raised as a feminist, believes the world needs a little more love and also some rationality to see an unbiased image of the society. She is a magnet to anxiety but her faith keeps her going. Oh, also, she is a proud Hijabi Muslimah and repels judgemental people.
Sabina Yeasmin

Did your husband ask you to put that up?”

 “You are a progressive woman, then why?” 

“Don’t you feel restricted?” 

These are some of the many questions people bombarded me with when I decided to embrace Hijab as a part of my identity, almost three years ago.

It was a minuscule decision but impacted my life to a great extent, thankfully in a positive manner. I engaged myself in getting correct information about my religion and that changed everything. Continue reading “Zaira Wasim’s decision to quit Bollywood – Is it really our business? “

Why Kim K’s latest body makeup is deeply problematic?​

Shruti Sonal

Shruti is a freelance journalist and poet, who writes about the intersection between gender, politics and art.

It’s 2019 but the cosmetics and beauty industry still continues to use the female body and its imperfections in their quest to generate profit. This time, it’s none other than Kim Kardashian and her line of KKW Beauty Products, which has launched three new items. Set for release by the end of this month, Kim K has launched a new range of body makeup, including liquid body shimmer and a loose shimmer powder. In a tweet announcing the launch, she wrote “I use this when I want to enhance my skin tone or cover my psoriasis. I bruise easily and have veins and this has been my secret for over a decade.” She went on to post a video that demonstrated how the products help her cover her psoriasis scars.

Kim also demonstrated how the body makeup covers her psoriasis scars. The products, she claimed,  “will enhance your skin by blurring out imperfections with a smooth satin finish.”

Yes, really. As if our bodies were furniture, needing the perfect finish in order to be displayed. 

Kim K and her beauty line was soon criticised for being insecure about her own body, and also projecting those insecurities on her millions of followers. At a time when models are being criticised for airbrushing their photos, and brands like Nike are embracing body positive mannequins, Kim K’s product goes back to commercializing self-doubt.

A foundation that covers your scars and marks over your body? That helps to ‘hide’ your veins and psoriasis? That evens out your skin tone? 

It’s appalling that it’s 2019 and such products and language are still being used by icons who influence a million others. It’s also insulting to those with skin diseases and scars, who’ve taken years to be comfortable in their own skin. It gives out a message to those bullied for their skin that the onus is on them to hide their flaws, instead of on the society to be okay with it.

It tells those who struggle with self-esteem issues and adverse mental health as a result, that the only way out is to apply filters, both on social media and in real life. It tells women that their body must have a ‘smooth satin finish’, just like their vaginas must smell like flowers and their facial complexion must resemble that of pasteurised milk. It sets unfair and skewed benchmarks for ‘beauty’ by relying on ‘secrets’ that we all could do without. 

Having been born and brought up in India, it is easy to see that this is not the first, and unfortunately not the last time either, that women have been told that their imperfections have to go, be blurred out, and hidden from public view. We’ve had products like Fair and Lovely’s “Anti Marks” cream. Or the “No Scars” facial cream. The advertisements for these products often linked scars to a low self-esteem and lack of confidence. And the way to overcome these? Simple: just hide your scars.

Generations of women have been forced to grow up to believe that hiding their scars and whitening their skin held the key to success (defined 90% of the times by good marriage proposals and sometimes by a decent job offer). Burn victims, acid attack victims, or those who suffer an accident have been ostracised by the society for not being presentable enough. Such products, and the use of such language, only reinforces the doubts in their heads. 

The female body is not a commodity for corporations to profit from, and it’s high time that influencers like Kim K realize that. 


Why am I not surprised by Vivek Oberoi’s crass tweet about his ex

As distasteful and crass Vivek Oberoi’s tweet about his ex was, I am neither surprised by the tweet, nor by his remorseless, arrogant remarks after being called out for it. After all, he is a man. Men in our society are conditioned to mock, call out names, and even threaten the women who reject them. It is a right that society has bestowed upon them since eternity. 

The controversial meme featured three pictures of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with two of her past boyfriends and her husband, and was captioned “opinion polls”, “exit polls” and “results”.  Continue reading “Why am I not surprised by Vivek Oberoi’s crass tweet about his ex”

My body is not an apology: The Delhi aunty incident

Anindita Dev

I pen down everything and anything that gives me a little bit of hope and inspiration.

Women have reached to the moon and back, have to their credit successful scientific inventions, nobel prizes, a whole gamut of laureates in diverse fields, and yet here we are, being shamed and called out for wearing what we want, something that amusingly still offends an entire set of self-claimed moral police mob.

What was supposed to be a peaceful holiday on a fine Wednesday turned out to be a day filled with disturbing and probably life-long traumatic events for a bunch of girls who went out for a quick bite. The Internet (as always) continued to be divided on opinions on a viral video shared by a group of women confronting a middle-aged aunty who shamed them for wearing short dresses to lure men. That is sadly not the first time that a regressive public incident like this has come to the limelight. Men in our country on their high horses denying patriarchy altogether,  the mike-blaring leaders on stage disgracing women for wanting their basic right and of course the neighbourhood aunties judging the length of your skirt from their balconies have often limited women’s existence as the torch-bearer of maintaining cultural integrity (apart from raising men, of course) in the society.

Continue reading “My body is not an apology: The Delhi aunty incident”

Disturbing: Violent new video game allows users to rape & murder women

In today’s age where women’s safety and security is one of the primary global concerns & the world is trying hard to fight against violent crimes against women, a video game developer has come up with an outrageous new game that allows the players to rape and murder women during a supposed zombie apocalypse. 

Sexual assault impacts thousands of people each year from all ages, genders, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds across the world, and in America alone, a woman is raped every two minutes. In such a scenario, the fact that the developers want to make monetary benefit from highly twisted fantasies is shocking and highly insensitive to actual rape victims.  Continue reading “Disturbing: Violent new video game allows users to rape & murder women”