Periods are still a taboo subject in Indian society. And educating women about menstrual hygiene is a whole different issue. Some Bollywood actresses have taken down the stigma and tried to normalise menstruation.
With so many biased rules and restrictions women go through during periods, here’s a look at how Bollywood celebs deal with it.
1. Kalki Koechlin
Kalki has the spunk to beat trashy society rules. Be it marriage, nepotism, or any other issue, Kalki has always voiced her thoughts. Talking about menstruation and regressive traditions around it, she said:
My profession demands extensive travel, long shooting hours, and rigorous rehearsals – and I simply cannot restrict myself due to these taboos imposed on us. While some of us women go about our professional lives with relative ease in the days of our periods, there are thousands my age who live every day bogged down by restrictions and taboos. I want to encourage and urge women to go forth and defy regressive traditions in their pursuit of success.
2. Swara Bhaskar
Swara does not flinch when people troll her. Instead, she gives it right back to them. Taking a stand on menstruation taboo, Swara said:
Periods are not a reason to skip school, bunk classes, stop playing sports, or sit at home alone. Periods are not a crime, nor are they taboo. They can be discussed. Even on the dinner table!-Swara Bhaskar
3. Radhika Apte
Radhika has always defied menstruation rules set by society. She worked in a movie called Padman, that aimed to challenge society’s rules about periods. Radhika was also a part of a period campaign with Rio pads, that openly showed the period as red.
I remember the day my periods actually started; I sort of figured that they’ve started. So, I went to the bathroom in the middle of a class. I remember feeling very proud the day I got my periods.-Radhika Apte
4. Alia Bhatt
Alia called out the restrictions women face during periods. In an old interview, she talked about how menstrual bleeding is normal and a sign that women can give birth to another life.
My third concern is over girls not being allowed to enter shrines when they’re menstruating. No conditions must apply there. How are women deemed ashudh when they’re bleeding? It’s beyond ridiculous. Don’t people know why we bleed? It’s a sign that we have the ability to give birth to another life. Disallowing women to enter temples during their periods angers me. It’s absurd because it’s the rule of nature. There’s nothing wrong with you, girls. It’s just a thought process that needs to change.
5. Sonam Kapoor
Sonam got candid about her first period and said:
I was 15 when I got my period, all my friends had got way before me, so I was very upset with that when I actually got my first period I was very relieved because I kept telling my mom that there is something wrong with me because I am not getting my period.
6. Parineeti Chopra
Parineeti has addressed the taboo around periods during a launch with Whisper India. She says, “we all want to talk about how we feel in all other departments but we refuse to talk about periods”.
It’s a shame that men are still not aware of Periods! It’s a shame that men call it a problem! You have to talk about it. You can’t be shy about it.
7. Taapsee Pannu
Taapsee Pannu has been an advocate of discussing social issues. In an old video, ‘what ifs’ she destigmatizing periods and said:
If only stereotypes were taboo and our period wasn’t. If only rashes were more alarming and carrying pads openly wasn’t. If only getting period leave was normal and saying it’s just a matter of two days wasn’t. If only saying I am on my period was common and saying I am down or I am chumming wasn’t.
8. Kareena Kapoor
Kareena took a stand on period leaves and talked about different hiccups women deal with during the period.
Every woman’s body is different, and their comfort levels are different. Some people have back pain or terrible cramps, and if a woman cannot come to work, every company should understand that.
9. Tanvi Azmi
Not just movies, Tanvi Azmi has been smashing the patriarchy in real life too. The veteran actor made sure she defied period taboos even during her time.
I have personally successfully defied these taboos during my time. If I had followed these ‘pseudo’ traditions as my peers did, I would have been stuck with a regressive mindset and would have brought up the next generation with similar restrictions! As parents, we must have the right discussions around menstruation – and at correct times – with our children. Taboos that perpetuate our society must simply have no place.-Tanvi Azmi
10. Twinkle Khanna
Twinkle Khanna leaves no stone unturned when it comes to giving an opinion on social issues. Taking a stand on period leaves, Twinkle said:
Are we really saying we can’t give women leave or the prospect of working from home for that one day? My opinion of gritting our teeth and bearing it, fighting our biology so we can say we are as good as men have changed over time. We are equal, not identical.
It’s time we have a more open conversation about periods! The more we talk about it, the fewer health risks we have.