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    This Actress's Striking Instagram Series Addresses Women, Sex, And Slut-Shaming In India

    "I like sex. There are still places where I could be killed for saying that out loud."

    This is Mumbai-based 25-year-old actress Saloni Chopra.

    instagram.com

    She appears in the MTV show Girls on Top.

    She recently launched an Instagram series in which she embodies different identities women hold and writes first-person monologues as them.

    “I realised that when we talk about independence, we often forget to address women and gender equality and the freedom from society’s norms,” Chopra told BuzzFeed. "When I moved to India five years back, I realised how much energy I was spending on what I was going to wear and how late I would be getting home."

    Here are some of the identities and monologues (edited for length and emphasis):

    "I Want to Explore My Sexuality"

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    "All my life, they told me what to do. I can cook, clean, stitch, feed, lift and provide pleasure, as and when needed. I am well aware that I am not supposed to have a sexual drive of my own. That’s not what I am here for. But what if, that is all I want to discover right now? My own sexuality? Because I like sex. There are still places where I could be killed for saying that out loud. Definitely be looked down upon. But why is it okay for me to have sex just to please him, but not want to do it when I am aroused or horny? What if I am not this body of mine?

    "I don’t even know if it is men, or women I desire. Because I’ve always been petrified to find out. I am too scared to ask.
    Who am I? What if all I want to do is travel the world, work in villages and help people, and explore my sexuality as I go? I do not want to lie down under him for the three and a half minutes that I do, I want to moan and scream. I don’t want to be his trophy, or his slave. I want to be me. And I don’t want to be ashamed of telling you that I want to have orgasms. This is who I am. My culture, or my history will not change that. If the Kama Sutra can emerge from our culture and history, then why can’t I? Give me the freedom…to be me."

    "I'm a Virgin"

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    "I am a virgin. I may not look like one, so what? What’s a virgin girl supposed to look like anyway? Am I not suppose to dye my hair, just because I’m a virgin? Should I not open my legs, or smoke a cigarette? I am sick and tired of being judged. You see me walking by, and you think I’m the kind of girl that’ll flirt with you, or I’m high on drugs, or that I’m a lesbian (which is none of your business), just because of the way I look. So I like making a fucking loud statement, what has sex got to do with it? Yeah, I’m a virgin, and maybe I will lose my virginity tomorrow, or maybe I won’t for the next 5 years. But I’ll dress the way I like, and I don’t give you the right to judge me for it."

    "I'm an Introvert"

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    "I like my body just the way it is, I’m more than comfortable in it. But clearly, you have a problem with my comfort. You want me to cover myself up all the time. Even though your mumma’s got the same things I do, but why is it that when you see me you get aroused without reason? Do you feel weird seeing me in my underwear? Would a bikini be okay for you? You assume that it’s okay to touch me, and tease me. You want to teach me a lesson. You call me characterless, a slut, or a whore.

    "Firstly, no girl, even if she does do the things you disapprove of, is a slut or a whore. It’s her body and her choice. Secondly, my clothes don’t define me. I am an introvert. I am shy as fuck. I can’t start a conversation with a stranger at a party… That’s not me. And it bothers me, that you think I have no character, just because you can see my underpants. The problem lies within you, not me. I do have character. I just may not be able to ever say this out loud to you — because that’s not who I am. I am not that bold, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t hold the right to be respected in this society."

    "I'm a Rape Victim"

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    "Was it easy? No it wasn’t. Did I suffer? You don’t know the scratch of what I went through... Overnight, I went from being the girl with big dreams, to the girl that had been raped. Did you know there are more chances of adolescent girls being raped within the family, than there are of it happening outside?

    "But you know what? I am sick and tired of being ‘That Girl’. Who will marry That Girl? Who will drop That Girl home? What about That Girl? Yes! It fucking happened. Yes, it was traumatising. But my rape doesn’t fucking define who I am. I am way beyond that. I am more than just that act. I am fucking wonderful. I love strangers because they don’t look at me as the girl who got raped. They look at me and they see my smile. They see my shining eyes and the glow on my face. There is much more to me than just that one night… I am not ashamed of being a rape victim, I am not scared, and on most days, I am not sad either. Why should I be? I’m not the one who did it! I am going to live my life to the fullest, and enjoy every moment like it’s the last, because I deserve the best. And one day, I want to be able to walk into a crowded place, and admit that I have been raped, without being judged or labeled.

    "Yes. I am That Girl. I’m that girl who still doesn’t forget to smile.
    "

    "I Don't Deserve It"

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    "I wanted to be a teacher and an astronaut. I wanted to become a dancer. I wanted to plant trees and have kids. I could be somebody’s sister, wife, daughter, mother — but what if I am not? Do I only not deserve to be raped and abused by the relationships I have? Is my relation to a man the only thing that defines me? What if I am not a daughter, a sister, a mother or a wife? What if I am just… me? Yes, I am that virgin who likes to make a statement with her attire. I am the shy girl, comfortable in her skin. I am dying to explore my sexuality and yes, I have been sexually abused in the past.

    "I am not just that… I am many more... I have been in love. I have dreams and goals and ambitions. I am an individual. I am strong. I am every girl that has ever been touched, teased, slapped, abused or raped. I am also every girl that is scared of being alone on the streets, because I am scared of being objectified. I am a goddess, you say. Then why am I so scared of your presence around me? Why am I not safe? Why am I not… independent?

    Chopra told BuzzFeed:

    "I have been criticised for my posts before by being asked, 'Is feminism about bras and panties only?' Why can't it be that way? We're never taught to love ourselves when growing up and that's why young girls today seek validation from outside by getting into relationships when very young and sometimes making wrong decisions.

    "How can a girl who wishes to become an astronaut, for example, become one when she's not even got enough self-esteem to become one? That is what needs to change."

    You can read the entire series here.

    BuzzFeed Daily

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