“How much cleavage is good cleavage?” ask Swara Bhaskar and Taapsee Pannu. The video, made on the occasion of International Women’s Day (observed around the world on March 8), is outspoken, and extremely important.
That’s also Swara Bhaskar, an actress who is frank and articulate – especially in an industry where claiming feminism is considered a bad career move.
The actress, whose Anaarkali of Aarah released recently, addressed some of the issues women who are open about their sexual agency and sexuality, face. She said that the world in general is very uncomfortable with women who own their sexuality, and who are unafraid.
HT quotes Swara ass saying:
“People are squeamish about female sexuality. We are embarrassed about female sexuality and the female body, and if someone talks about it in a normal way, the reaction is ‘oh my God’. The ‘hawww’ feeling (of being astonished) is a big one in the lives of women; it’s silly and wrong. It is reflective of the kind of society we live in.”
She also declared that this can change if we are willing to talk about it. “Creating a public discourse that is supportive of women and women who are open about their lives, struggles and their bodies…
It will be slow, but we will get there. The media also plays an important role in bringing about change. There was a time when Sati and child marriage were accepted practices, but over the years, it has changed. So will this,” she added.
In a different interview to The New Indian Express, Swara responded to questions on the difficulties she faced in playing the character of Anaarkali. She said:
“Honestly, the unapologetic nature of Anaarkali was not that difficult, because that’s how I feel as a woman about my own body. Being unapologetic about my body, my sexuality, my life’s decisions is a political belief that as a feminist I strongly espouse. What was difficult for me and my real challenge was to preserve and express the fact that however feisty Anaarkali may seem, she is still vulnerable.
Because ultimately she is a woman, and a woman considered not worthy of societal respect in an obviously male-centric patriarchal world. So keeping that vulnerability of Anaarkali alive, was my real challenge.”