The year of badass women in films

I’m tired of watching timid women in films, in whichever language they may be. I’m tired of them playing second fiddle to male protagonists, and I’m especially irritated with the stereotyped, hollow and misguided projections of “modern” women in Indian films (Alia Bhatt in Dear Zindagi, Sonakshi Sinha in Noor).

But 2017 has given me some hope. I’ve seen women kick bigtime ass in films, I’ve seen women who won’t take no for an answer, and I’ve seen women who won’t let others decide their destiny.

Like this one:

Gal Gadot playing Diana in Wonder Woman

And these:

Ramya Krishna playing Sivagami in Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali: The Conclusion

Anushka Shetty playing Devasena in Baahubali: The Conclusion

Taapsee Pannu playing Shabana in Naam Shabana

*Cue applause.*

And here is why I love them:

They fight. And how.

They fight, and not just physically. Not just by kicking or punching a villain, or by cutting off a perverted man’s hand. They fight society’s expectations, and they fight to save other’s lives. And, even better, they fight for themselves.

Naam Shabana fighting

I loved watching Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman taking down the bad guys, and Taapsee Pannu as Shabana extracting revenge. The immense satisfaction I got from seeing their toughness just blew me.

They are self-centred, but selfless and loving too.

Hurray for multidimensional women. They exist around the world, but very rarely on screen.

Whether it’s Diana (aka Wonder Woman) or Devasena from Baahubali: The Conclusion, they are clear about what they want- learn to fight, be a better archer, hunt down a kiiller. And they will do whatever they can to reach those goals.

Wonder Woman

But that doesn’t make them bitches.

Because they still care about people. They fight to protect their kingdom, to protect their country and to save humanity.

They have men in their lives.   

How many times have we girls heard the line, “Men don’t like women who are too ambitious or career-focused, so don’t be so driven”?

Sorry folks, but just because we like to do “unconventional” things doesn’t mean we can’t fall in love or have a man interested in us.

Thankfully, the men in these films are more in touch with their masculinity and like to see women fight. They cheer them on during a fighting match, and share their own skills with them (remember the three-arrow hold in Bahubali: The Conclusion?). And thank god for that.

Baahubali 2 archery

Because yes, there are such men in real life too and the world needs to see them. Not all men want their wives or girlfriends to be damsels in distress or be totally dependent on them.

But…

All these films have their flaws in their treatment of women characters, especially in their relationship with male protagonists (and that’s a blog post for another time).

Nevertheless it’s refreshing to see such wonderful roles for women in popular cinema in Bollywood and Hollywood. It’s even more awesome that audiences are watching and accepting these films.

Maybe the time will soon come when film makers won’t have to rely on big-ticket male actors to attract audiences, and have women do some REAL stuff on screen. Stuff that is mostly confined to men.

It’s too early to celebrate path-breaking female characters on the big screen. But there is some hope…

 

On Shaving: Views from men and women

The best expert on shaving is a man. They shave every (working) day. They’ve seen the bad side of it- nicks, cuts, uneven shaving… So who better to discuss shaving than a man, right?

Gillette Venus shaving kits

As you can see, men’s shaving kits are a bit different from women’s due to the difference in hair and skin textures. But men need similar tools– lathering foam and a razor with blades.

The husband on shaving

When I shaved for the first time couple weeks ago (read my blog post on my first shaving experience) and informed the husband, his immediate reaction was, “Did you cut yourself???”

I laughed and replied “NO!”

“So did it hurt or poke you?”

“What?! Nooooo!”

Pause.

“It was quite a pleasant experience actually,” I continued. “I didn’t feel a thing, because of the soft protective cushions around the blades.”

Anyways, later that day, the husband and I compared notes on our shaving experiences. Here’s what’s similar and what’s different between shaving for men and women.

Comparing shaving experiences

Nicks and cuts: Ladies, this one is entirely for men. Yay! From teen boys to grown men, several men often cutting themselves while shaving. Thanks to the cushioning, chances of us girls getting cut while shaving are near zero.

Gillette Venus shaving kit for women

Hair change after shaving: S confirmed his hair thickness or growth never changed and I confirmed that too! My regrown hair is exactly the same as it was pre-shaving.

Itch or No Itch?: Can you imagine men walking around with itchy faces every day? Me neither. Ditto with shaving for women- I didn’t get any itching. I did feel a slight discomfort when I wore a very skinny pair of jeans the day after I shaved my legs, but that was mostly because of the humidity and the thick fabric. And the discomfort lasted all of two minutes with no urge to itch.

Bad skin: Nope, shaving didn’t affect his skin or mine (and mine is sensitive). Men love a good aftershave lotion (and so do women, wink wink), but women’s “aftershave” is nothing but a good moisturiser suited for their skin type and perhaps a soothing lotion like aloe vera or calamine lotion.

Gillette shaving kits for men and women

Shaving vs waxing vs hair removal creams

Men don’t have other options to get rid of facial hair, like us women. I’ve tried waxing regularly and depilatory (or hair removal) creams for emergencies. Even after all these years, waxing is painful. And I’m still not comfortable going to local parlours or high-end salons alike (for hygiene reasons).

As for depilatory creams, I’ve been careful with them but I have felt a slight burn when I kept it on for a few seconds longer than mentioned on the packaging. That’s the chemicals at work. 🙁 And the looooooong list of precautions that are printed on a cream’s packaging is quite unnerving. Seems like anything could cause a reaction!?

I’ve shaved a few times already and I’m going to continue- it’s quick, comfy and painless. Time to #Subscribe to Smooth everyday!

You can buy the complete shaving kit on Flipkart, or buy the razor and cartridges separately.

This blog post is part of the #SubscribeToSmooth series in collaboration with Gillette India. Check out their Facebook app and follow Gillette Venus India on Twitter.

Note: Chic Promotion