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The A To Z Of Indian Aunties

26 things auntyjis need to stop telling young women.

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I’ve always been a feminist, since I didn’t even know there was a word for it.

As the little girl who was told she wasn’t strong enough, as the teenager who was made to feel ashamed of her period, as the young girl who was asked what she was wearing, as the woman who was told marriage was the sole purpose of her life – there’s a lot society tells us.

So when Instagram opened the "36 Days Of Type" challenge (wherein graphic designers and visual artists create a letter each day), I decided to create this series as an attempt to talk of the abundance of ways the patriarchy, gender roles, beauty standards, shaming, and restrictions today are shaping our women and their lives. It adopts the ever-so-familiar voice of the quintessential Indian aunty ji as a reflection of our society.

"Beta alcohol wagerah toh ladko ke liye hi theek hai."

"Shh shhh. Bra strap dikh raha hai."

"Cigarette peete ho? Ladki hoke?"

"Tu na thoda dieting karle, badhiya ho jaaegi."

"Education ka kya karoge beta, karna to chauka-chulha hi hai."

"Fair and Lovely toh try kar hi liya hoga na waisse tune?"

"Ladkiyo ka gaali dena na, bilkul achha nahi lagta beta."

"Lekin dekho, hamesha husband jo allow kare wahi karna haan."

"Tu ignore kar, ladke to ched-chad karte hi hain. Kyu muh lag rahi hai?"

"Ladke waalo ke saamne bhi aisse jeans me mat aa jaana."

"Toh beti, khushkhabri kab sunaa rahi ho?"

"Itna loud makeup karke na, ladkiyaan utni decent nahi lagti."

"Beta marriage toh ladkiyo ko karna hi hai, time se hi karlo to achha hai."

"Naukri kyu karna hai? Pati kamaaega na tere liye."

"Opinion dena ladkiyo ka kaam nahi hai beta."

"Arre re, periods pe hai na? Baahar reh."

"Ye to ham aurato ki qismat me hi likha hai beta. Isse lado mat, bas accept karlo aap."

"Sasural waale kya kahenge? Ek gol roti tak banaana nahi sikhaya?"

"Surname change nahi karogi? Matlab?"

"Ye time hai ladkiyo ke ghar aane ka?"

"Oh. Unmarried ho? Akele sambhal logi bachhe ko?"

"Virginity to ham aurato ka gehna hai beti."

"Kyu is month wax nahi karaaya kya tune?"

"Meri baat maan, inko gud-chana khilaane se, ye x chromosome jo haiina beta passive ho jaate hain. Fir dekh ladka hi hoga."

"Ladko se itni yaari-dosti ki zarurat kya hai tujhe haan?"

"Tere gharwaale tujhe likha-padha to rahe hain, par unki zimmedari to tere bhai ko hi uthani hai na."

Aarushi Jain is a 21-year-old student of Exhibition and Spatial design at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. You can follow her work on Instagram and Behance.

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