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A Woman Created A Powerful Photo Series For Everyone Telling Women To "Dress Appropriately"

Artist Ruby created the series as a response to a Facebook group that warned Hindu women, who attended a religious ceremony, that they would be attacked with paint if they "dressed inappropriately".

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Meet Ruby, an artist and freelance digital strategist, based in Malaysia.

John Loke

About a month ago, a Facebook group warned Hindu women to expect getting sprayed with aerosol paint should they be "inappropriately dressed" at a Thaipusam (a devotional Hindu festival) event that happened on February 9 in Malaysia.

Ruby told BuzzFeed that while some people agreed the message was absurd, there were many that agreed with the warning and that women should indeed dress safer.

"I reported the page when I first heard about this, but there wasn't much activity anyway. It's a small page on Facebook. But it sparked a conversation. It got me thinking," Ruby said.
John Loke

"I reported the page when I first heard about this, but there wasn't much activity anyway. It's a small page on Facebook. But it sparked a conversation. It got me thinking," Ruby said.

So as a response to this archaic attitude, she decided to orchestrate a photo series, depicting women dressed as Indian goddesses to showcase the irony of the situation.

Vicknes Waran

"I thought it was ironic that people worshipped female deities but were still asserting their dominance on women in such s disrespectful manner."

Vicknes Waran

"I figured I might as well be painting on these women's bodies, at least I’ll do a better job than the boys threatening them," she added.

Vinoth Raj Pillai

Within 14 days, she collaborated with some friends, and created a new body of work using their bodies as a canvas.

Vickneswaran

"I believe ancient goddess archetypes can be useful to women today, in understanding their modern-day reality and concerns," Ruby wrote in a Facebook post.

"Giving a contemporary artistic spin to the elements present in each of the goddesses, I hope to have more people understand the role of women in Indian culture," she added.
Vinoth Raj Pillai

"Giving a contemporary artistic spin to the elements present in each of the goddesses, I hope to have more people understand the role of women in Indian culture," she added.

Ruby told BuzzFeed that people have been sending her positive messages, thanking her for the whole project.

"What started as a comeback, took a whole new life and became an empowering message to women to own back their bodies."
Vinoth Raj Pillai

"What started as a comeback, took a whole new life and became an empowering message to women to own back their bodies."

You can check out Ruby's entire series here.

Andre Borges is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Mumbai.

Contact Andre Borges at andre.borges@buzzfeed.com.

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