Aag toh lagi! The video has surely set the internet on fire. While some netizens cheered sympathy Sayanora and her girls, others were upset that Sayanora was wearing casual shorts. The moral watch came close to sending Sayanora nasty and sexist messages, most of them asking why a curvy woman of color, who is also a mother, was showing her legs.
Sayanora gave an appropriate response to the wet blankets by sharing a photo of her hugging her legs. Why? Why not? And as the lyrics say, “Kahin Aag Lage Lag Jaave … Koi Naag Danse Dans Jaave … Kabhi Gagan Turn Gir Jaave … Chaahe Kuch Bhi Ho Jaaye”, Sayanora is at ease, absolutely unapologetic and confident like him. hell.
In an exclusive and carefree conversation with ETimes, Sayanora Philip did not leak and was unprotected about the incidents of body shaming she has faced in the past, how she handled it, India’s obsession with fair skin, deep-seated body image issues, your perceptions and your journey toward finding self-love, and much more.
Society is conditioned
Although Sayanora Philip condemns Internet users who had the audacity to make inappropriate comments about their choice of clothes, the musician shares that the problem runs deeper than it seems. “We cannot completely blame them, because they are all conditioned to think in a certain way. Those who have grown up seeing women in the family, caring for male members, feeding children and selflessly supporting the family, and not even dreaming of a life outside the four walls, cannot stand independent women. They are shocked. We still regard progressivity (change) as something that would degrade our culture and tradition. We are beginning to advance in terms of perspectives, reflection on life, but unfortunately not body positivity. Many of us still have to think outside the box of the stereotypes we’ve been familiar with for years, ”Sayanora explains.
India’s obsession with fair skin and the influence of British
Sayanora notes that India’s obsession with justice would have intensified during British colonial rule. “I think the idea that fair or white skin is beautiful must have come to India due to the influence of the British. We Dravidians were always people of color, but at some point we began to worship the English. That could have been the beginning of our obsession with fair skin, ”she says.
I was insecure as a child
Growing up, Sayanora was also insecure about her color. “There were times when I felt conscious when a fair-skinned woman stood next to me. When I was a kid, I used to compare myself to kids who were fair and check how many shades darker I am. While I was in school, I used to see people flirting with my friends and not with me, which made me think that no one would fall in love with me. I did not receive love letters and as a child I felt desperate for life, ”she confesses.
Sayanora adds that she started to feel confident after entering college, “I started playing the guitar and people started to notice me. And that was the beginning of my search for self-love. But I fought a lot. ”
The first thing I asked the doctor, after giving birth to my son, was his color.
Sayanora Philip faced significant negative body image issues and her path to body positivity was not an easy one. “I was so insecure that I wanted to give birth to a righteous child. I could not understand the fact that the whole child would go through the color of the skin. The first thing I asked the doctor, after giving birth to my son, was his color. I didn’t ask if the baby was a boy or a girl. I wanted to know if my son was fair. Looking back, I feel very sorry for her and myself because I was conditioned to think like this. And no one should go through that. Every adolescent should be proud of her body. My baby is growing and I want him to be confident, “he adds, taking a walk down memory lane.
The times they Are a changing
“But times are changing and we have all started to unlearn things and break conventional beauty standards. We have begun to recognize the beauty of people of color. For me, beauty is not just about physical appearance, but about many other factors. I value a person when I know him from the inside out and that has nothing to do with his way of dressing, his religion or his social strata. Each person is unique and that is what helps us to stand out. And if you want to live a meaningful life, respect people for who they really are. Instead of judging someone on their appearance, clothing, or religion, open your eyes and see how beautiful the world is, “she emphasizes.
The pandemic gave me a new perspective
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic disrupted lives, but it also gave us time to pause and reflect on ourselves, Sayanora says. “The pandemic was a low point in my life. Suddenly life stopped. We were all in a rat race. I was busy producing music, performing shows, one after another, and I never had a chance to pause. Like everyone, I got into the endless race since I was born. Exceed in studies, earn a job, pursue dreams. We do not stop to reflect on what is happening in our lives, what happens to ourselves, destroyed and damaged by so many norms of society. But the pandemic and the shutdown that followed got me thinking. Am I loving myself? I learned that this is what counts the most. It was during this time that I began to explore the person that I am, found self-love, and then realized that I should never allow anyone to dim my glow. You have only one life and instead of trying to put someone down, spend your time building your life and the world would be a better place. Also, I think it’s time for people to recognize that there is more to a person beyond our image on social media. We all have our lives, our own struggles, ”Sayanora said with a philosophical expression.
‘Aag Lage Lag Jaave’
In recent news, we heard about Afghan women protesting against the The burqa order of the Taliban, with slogans ‘Do not touch my clothes’ and although the incident that Sayanora found lately is different, both are reduced to the fact that a part of the people does not support the idea of women choosing their own clothes.
Sayanora and her best friends: Bhavana, Ramya Nambeesan, Shilpa Bala, Mrudula Murali and Shafna met after a while. And the girls had a fun reunion and decided to record a video of them dancing to the song ‘Aag Lage Lag Jaave’ from the Bollywood movie ‘Taal’.
While thousands of people tuned in to the video, some couldn’t stand Sayanora wearing shorts. “The video was funny to me and I wanted to post it. I wasn’t worried about people seeing my legs. And then all of a sudden I started getting nasty messages. I told my daughter and that my girl was furious. “How rude and petty,” he snapped. A woman sent me a DM. She was very polite, said that she is a fan of my songs and asked me why I was wearing those outfits, after all I am a mother. That’s what I’m trying to say, we are conditioned, ”he explains.
My legs are beautiful
The hate messages ranged from discriminating against Sayanora because of the color of her skin to asking her to be ashamed of herself, since she is a mother. But, no, that didn’t stop Sayanora from wearing what she liked or hugging her body, it just added power. After the backlash, Sayanora posted a photo of herself flaunting her legs with confidence.
“That photo was taken months ago. I wanted to post it, but I was worried about how things would turn out. I suppressed my urge to publish it because I was worried about what people would think of me as a woman, mother, and artist. But the recent incident prompted me to post it. I wanted those netizens to know that we should all respect and embrace our bodies. And with my baby’s approval, I posted it. My legs are beautiful and I love them ”, adds the diva.
I am happy and unapologetic
The talented musician stresses that everyone must break stereotypes and evolve. “I’m trying to teach my daughter not to get caught up in that body thing. Don’t let anyone put you in a box, stay small. You are beyond that. Overcome everything. I did the same and it worked for me. And I love myself so much. I no longer care how people would feel when they saw my legs. That are beautiful. I have not explored my Carnatic singing skills, my dance skills, my body, sensuality or sexuality. And I’m going to explore everything. And I’m very, very happy and unapologetic about that, ”Sayanora says confirming that he is now unstoppable and invincible.
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