salwaar kameez

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Hi guys, I felt like I should really share this experience with you. Recently I decided to conduct something of a…social experiment.

The first photo is of me in casual wear. It’s pretty mismatched. I was wearing my pajama top over my tee and had black pants on. My hairs messed up and everything. I look unprofessional, and it’s intended.

I took a walk through an inner city neighbourhood of Brisbane. I asked the police for directions to the library. I bought a krispy kreme doughnut from the 7 11. I went inside the mall and was asked to try free samples several times. I bought the first volume from SnK from Angus and Robert’s. I wasn’t treated any differently, the reactions were warm and friendly. My outfit didn’t effect anything at all.

The second image is me in a salwaar. The hair took effort to get into curls. (Sorry, the mirror was foggy) I had a bit of make up on. I looked good. The outfit was ironed and it looked much better than the previous one. I went to the same shops an hour later. Asked the same guard where the library was. Bought another krispy kreme.

The reactions were totally different. There were no thank you’s. No one asked me to try a sample. The guard was annoyed. When I went into the bookstore the lady at the register followed me around the whole time. When I bought a copy of ‘The storyteller’ by Jodi Picoult, she asked me if I had enough money with me before she scanned it.

I am a fourteen year old girl who has lived overseas for three years. Never have I faced such blatant discrimination.

What is this supposed to mean? You’re good to go as long as you don’t embrace your traditional values? Is this why south Asian girls are embarrassed to wear their saris and salwaars in the open? Is this why we refuse to wear our bindi and play the harmonium? Is this why we think it’s better to be well spoken in English that Bangla, Urdu, or Hindi.

When white people embrace my traditional values, they’re open minded. When I do it, I’m suddenly a nuisance. I’m automatically expected to not be well spoken. I’m automatically a suspect for shop lifting.

Think about that.

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Payal Singhal’s ‘Char Bagh’ Winter Festive Collection is an edgy and modern take on classic silhouettes.  Flowing fabrics combined with geometric patterns in soft black silks with blush and gold accents exemplify the modern indian woman: fierce and feminine.  I think I might make an appearance in the Bahar Suit at the next wedding <3

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when i was 4 i begged my mom to let me change my name to something “normal” like samantha or anna. when i was 6 i came to school in my salwaar kameez for my birthday and the kids in my class made fun of me to the point of tears. when i was 8 i asked my mom to stop packing me lunch so i could eat what all the other kids were eating. when i was 11 i almost got sent home because of my mendhi because the school thought i was promoting tattoo art. when I was 14 one of my friends told me all of my accomplishments up until then we’re just the doing of me being indian. when i was 18 i got catcalled by a stranger that wanted “to be with an exotic girl”
the same kids that made fun of me for my bindi are now wearing it to music festivals as “rhinestones.” the same girls that taunted me for my thick brows are now spending money to fill theirs in. the same people that made fun of my religion am, these years are now taking pictures of themselves smoking in front of my gods. they’re getting om tattoos bc they think it’s hip. they’re writing their name in Hindi bc they think it’s pretty.
do you see the problem here?