The society that we live in is gendered. Which makes it difficult for women to achieve certain feats that men are socially enabled to achieve. To move past this social barrier, an Instagram page is sharing stories of strong women to set a precedent of female power extraordinaire.
The Instagram page, We Can Do Anything You Do shares stories and experiences of women, who subvert the mainstream narrative, own it, and cross the hurdles like the winners they are.
The page was started by a husband and wife duo, Shivangini and Yeashu – musicians by profession and photographers by passion.
In a conversation with ScoopWhoop, Yeashu reveals the idea behind this page is to start a dialogue around body shaming, mental issues, stereotypes, stigmas, societal expectations and what not.
“The fact that so many women have faced issues like body shaming, toxic relationships; it shows that our system has been a failure because it’s so insensitive… It’s the way we have been conditioned to think and to act. That’s why we started talking to people around- to sensitivise them. Because the more we talk about it, the sooner these taboos will break down.”
A post features Shuchi Kalra, an author of 3 books, who shares what it is like to live with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Discussing depression and BPD, she talks about fluctuating relationships, self-destructive behaviour and how her close-to-ideal life is unable to fill the void within. However, nothing can stop her from going about her life with efficiency-
“Get out of bed. Shower. Get dressed. Put on my favorite lipstick. Attach psychological armour. AND SHOW UP. Yes, that’s what I strive to achieve every day. Just show up. Because right now, that’s the best I can do for myself.”
Shuchi, 36, Author, @shuchikalra I carry many titles and many labels, but my most significant achievement by far is showing up. No matter what. I am 36, a mother, an author of 3 books and someone who is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. For the uninitiated, BPD is a mental disorder characterised by unstable moods, behaviour and relationships. I struggle with explosive anger, intense mood swings, suicidal depression, a perpetual feeling of emptiness and a grave propensity for impulsive, self-destructive behaviours. I dread being alone, and yet I cannot handle intimacy. I have a close-to-ideal life, and yet nothing fills up the gaping void within. I have people who love and care for me, and yet I feel alone and abandoned. Trusting does not come easy, and I don’t feel safe even with people I am close to. It’s therefore not surprising that most of my relationships are unstable, tumultuous and sometimes even abusive. I came face-to-face with depression for the first time when I was 15, and since then, the demons in my head have only grown in scope and magnitude. My lack of emotional control caused irreparable damage to my relationships, leading people to walk away from me. This exacerbated my abandonment issues and pushed me further into isolation. And so continued the cycle of negativity. Medication and therapy did help, but only to an extent. Right now, there are good days and there are bad days, and then there are terrible days. It’s hard for most people to believe that I have a problem because I look perfectly fine on the outside, and go about my business with enviable efficiency. But only I know the constant battle I am fighting within myself. Maybe it’s just my stubbornness that keeps me going on tough days, or maybe it’s the sheer force of will. Get out of bed. Shower. Get dressed. Put on my favorite lipstick. Attach psychological armour. AND SHOW UP. Yes, that’s what I strive to achieve every day. Just show up. Because right now, that’s the best I can do for myself. #wecandoanythingyoudo #woman #author #mother #strongwomen #nevergiveup #mentalhealthawareness #nomakeup #real #bnw #bnw_captures #bnwportrait #bnwmood #bnw_drama
Another post featuring Urvashi Sarup, talks about the choice of being a stay-at-home mother, financial independence, and juggling between societal expectations and what you want out of life for yourself.
“But as a woman and a mother, I had other responsibilities that I was equally determined to pursue. I was raised to believe that “sacrificing” my job was a sign of weakness. So many women juggle a career and kids, why shouldn’t I?”
Urvashi Sarup, Chartered Accountant, @urvashisarup As a teenager and young adult, my education was my top priority. Growing up in a house with independent and strong women, I was determined to never be financially dependent on anyone. I topped in my CA exams amongst a class of mostly men and moved on to join one of the top companies in my field. But as a woman and a mother, I had other responsibilities that I was equally determined to pursue. I was raised to believe that “sacrificing” my job was a sign of weakness. So many women juggle a career and kids, why shouldn’t I? After months of questioning my true feelings, I realized that there is nothing weak about choosing to stay home. I chose to step away from my illustrious corporate life and be self-employed, not as a sacrifice, but as a favor to myself and my kids. I wanted to build a lasting friendship with them and I felt that time was the best gift to give to them and to myself. There is alot of pressure on mothers today – there are expectations that we ought to be there, a 100 percent, for our kids as well as advance in our careers. But societal expectations never dictated the way I lived my life. My learning is – do what makes you happy, whatever that may mean for you, your career, and your family. It is not selfish to put yourself first, even as a mother. The choice I made was my own. Choosing to slow down in my career didn’t take away any of my personal or professional achievements. I am still an independent woman who is comfortable with all the choices i made and continue to make. #bnwportrait #bnw #bnw_captures #bnwmood #bnw_greatshots #bnw_drama #bnw_users #bnw_planet_2019 #bnw_rose #wecandoanythingyoudo #women #strongwomen #independentwoman #real #nomakeup #wonderwoman #mother #smile #portrait #portrait_mood #portrait_star #portraitvision_ #portraitmode #portrait_planet #portrait_universe #portraitpage #portraitsfromtheworld
In another post, Kavita Mathur, a 52-year-old HR professional, shares her experience of walking out of a marriage (that she never really wanted) and went on to pursue her goals and chisel her own identity.
“Post finishing Masters (best student with scholarship), upon my parent’s insistence, I got married. I was thrown into a phase I wasn’t ready for. Every day, I felt that I was losing myself. I was being made to look & behave like someone I wasn’t.”
Kavita Mathur, 52, Human Resources Professional It is that constant feeling of suppression and pain that becomes the trigger to take action, because you know, suffering is not for you. Growing up life was fun & carefree. Born into an army family with a lot of privileges. My cheery, fun-chasing childhood was mostly spent outdoors. Memory of adopting a street dog, pampering it, then witnessing the change in its gait & the strength from all the love & care. Every-time we came home, the wagging of his tail told us that it was equally eager to greet us. I went to four different schools before stepping into the world beyond the cantonment. In college, I formed college’s first students’ union & became college president. I started a college magazine, “Reflections” – a chance for each student to express herself. It got an overwhelming response. Post finishing Masters (best student with scholarship), upon my parent’s insistence, I got married. I was thrown into a phase I wasn’t ready for. Every day, I felt that I was losing myself. I was being made to look & behave like someone I wasn’t. The old Army etiquettes seemed to so alien to my new family. The meaning of freedom was going through so many adjustments in my mind every day. My realizations were leading to so many unanswered questions in my head. Why the dog in this house was crying & tied to a metal chain while my dog in cantonment, wagged his tail in joy upon seeing us? When I had my two girls, why were they compared with their cousins despite having different parents? Were societal norms negotiable for the privileged? Were these mind wrenching experiences going to become my new normal? Clearly, that was not going to be. My decision to move out of the marriage & return to my parents, with my two daughters, was to seek answers to these questions. The next phase of life wasn’t going to be easy. But working towards my goals, I realized, how those questions kept getting answered not by someone, but by every passing experience. Where I stand today, is my reality which is far distanced from what it was 2 decades ago. Every human mind has the ability to think & dream and that freedom remains with the individual
26-year-old musician, Tsemola talks about self harm, toxic environment and searching for her own identity and opinions, independent of others around her.
“Opinions of others really mattered to me. I would pretend to be someone I wasn’t but inside of me was an unrest as I was in search of my own identity.”
Tsemola, 26 years, Musician @tsemola Throughout my school life everybody thought that I was an extrovert as I chose music & art for expressing myself. However, that was the only way I knew to cope up with my pressing surroundings. I felt weird, being at loss of options. Opinions of others really mattered to me. I would pretend to be someone I wasn’t but inside of me was an unrest as I was in search of my own identity. Fashion college opened the gates at an early age for many possibilities that seemed liberating. But, the situation got more complicated. What should have helped left me even more confused. I struggled to understand my parents, friends & even worse, myself. I transformed from a ‘well behaved kid’ into a rebel. I even lost my closest friends. Self-hurt & substance consumption became my escape routes. It would help me numb myself. I’d wake up when everybody slept and slept when everybody was awake because I did not want to face anyone. I’d go back to people who hurt me and forgive them as it gave me a false feeling of acceptance. But, one day I woke up questioning my messed up course of action. I realised no one was going to respect me if I didn’t respect for myself. I told myself that I am blessed with creative potential & I wasn’t ready to waste it. To mark this change, I got myself a crazy haircut & colour which felt great. I apologised to my mom for my past actions & decided to go back to my hometown Kalimpong for a couple of months. I spent time with my family and with nature to rejuvenate and heal. I was inspired to write songs again. On returning to Delhi, I said goodbye to the people who contributed toxicity to my life. I forgave them and moved past. Going back to church did me good. It was a positive platform to perform where I met my bandmates and my best friend. Shortly after connecting, we toured for a month as a band. They believed in me. Moreover, I believed in myself. I could now do something for my family and for myself. I believe that the scars of the past are my battle scars. I will fall again or feel hurt but I will tell myself – ‘I did it once, I can do it again!’ #wecandoanythingyoudo #smile #girl #beautiful #real
Rebita Singha, who worked at a BPO, decided to change her field at the age of 40 to pursue fashion design.
Rebita Singha, 40, Fashion Designer, @fdyensenbam Ups & downs are a part of life. And, change, as they say, is the only constant! I studied in many different locations based on my father’s postings as a Defence services personnel. The eldest out of four siblings, I was always considered the black sheep in my family. According to perception, I made wild decisions without ever analyzing about the consequences. However, that is not so. I don’t regret any of those decisions. I believe that whatever happens, happens for a reason. Some of those ‘wild’ decisions changed my life for the good. Like everyone, I have also learnt from my experiences and gained wisdom & humility in the course. To surround ourselves with positivity or negativity is a choice that we make. I choose to stay positive in my life no matter what happens. I have been creative since childhood, invariably found testing design ideas on anything I could lay my hands on. One of my experiments that ended up a disaster was an attempt to redesign a beautiful coat of my mother’s, a gift from my grandfather. My creative urge for something new, destroyed the coat but it gave me an early lesson My purpose for coming to Delhi was to study & pursue fashion design. But, I ended up working in a BPO for personal reasons. That work experience taught me a lot & I made some great friends for life. Close to a decade in the industry, I realized I was meant for something else. I craved to follow a profession where I could be ‘myself’. So, I enrolled for a fashion design course while I was still working. It was not easy to manage a full time job & full time fashion designing course simultaneously. I had to work to pay for my education and also cover the cost of living. Finally, I completed the course, quit my job and decided to pursue my dream at the age of 40. This move at forty, has surely been a challenge. I’ve had to push myself real hard as I started my professional career all over again. The struggle has just begun. It’s a new beginning of a new career. My strong belief in God, my loving and supportive family and friends and my optimistic attitude help me navigate and overcome most challenges that come
This page offers space to acknowledge and celebrate women, who march to inspire in the face of crushing societal conditions.