Pink Lady Resist: A traditional Indian woman caricature sends a strong message through fashion

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Across the world, men and women alike are trying to break through the shackles of gender stereotypes and prejudices. In India, an initiative called The Pink Lady, is using the same stereotypes against women to send across a strong message. This, after Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States was sworn in, and a clear message was sent that Planned Parenthood, a women’s reproductive health care provider might end up being denied funds by the US Government.


Geetanjali  Dhillon, based out of Los Angeles, stumbled across The Pink Lady in Mumbai’s Kulture store and immediately resonated with the strong, striking symbol of the merchandise. The caricature of an Indian woman, with her quintessential sari-covered head was apparently quick to catch her attention, not only because of the bright pink colour, but also because of the steely eyes staring back at her. According to Vogue, not only that, but that the woman was covered in traditional Indian jewellery and bindi and her tight-lipped ‘I mean business’ look and most importantly the visual paradox that her brass knuckledusters spelling ‘BOOM’ provided, had impressed Dhillon.


And it was only a matter of time, when Dillion, who had taken part in the Women’s March in LA on January 21, 2017, protesting Trump’s election, realised that she needed a strong symbol to support her protest against “the assault that’s been launched on women’s rights”. The Pink Lady was her symbol, she reportedly realised. She then reached out to the designer of the artwork, Jas Charanjiva, a graphic artist, who had created the work of art as a response to the brutal 2012 Delhi rape case. Just like a lot of us, Charanjiva was infuriated and hence, made The Pink Lady as “a woman who’s got traditional attire but a modern attitude.”


Dhillon, reportedly an entertainment industry executive and a former civil rights lawyer, understood the significance that symbols rendered to movements that wanted change and as she reached out to Charanjiva, added the word ‘resist’ to the caricature. They also reportedly set out to work on a merchandise that include T-Shirts, tote bags, baby onesies and even mugs, sold on, the proceeds from which are sent to Planned Parenthood.


Reportedly, actors like Kalki Koechlin, Poorna Jagganathan, activist Sofia Ashraf are among the many eminent personalities who have sported The Pink Lady with panache.

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