Are we guilty of furthering new stereotypes whilst breaking others? This piece aims to scrutinise the methodology that we succumb to, during deconstructing stereotypes and consequently ending up reinforcing them in other forms.

When someone sets to dilute a certain form of stigma or stereotype, and alights to stimulate another form of it, their arguments and causes stand contradictory, and their motives, hypocritical. Although it is mainly unconscious, but aren’t we against the set narrative of the very notion that constitutes becoming an unconscious state of the mind, in the first place?

It is well-established that it’s really hard to counter narratives which are already set and accepted as norm, to begin with. The standardisation of beauty is one such example. Obsessed with a certain body type, people find themselves ensnared in insecurities to suit the needs of what the society deems to be perfect. However while supporting and accepting your own body type if someone finds for themselves to actually have a certain other body type which is not their ‘natural orientation’ but because they want to and not for the eyes of society, would it be justified to call them out for this? If owning up to who we truly are and what we really want to be is the goal, then why should one be recipient of flak for doing whatever and chosing however to live with their bodies? It’s rather complex to decipher why people undergo surgeries or put on makeup or edit their pictures. It might be out of low self esteem or it might not be. It’s not default and rigid to look a certain way, with or without filters, so how can we stand judge of a person’s intention about themselves?

Another instance, is the notion of colour and representation. Colours are major contributors towards highlighting a certain symbolic message, like that of the national flag or traffic lights. An age old battle is that of the blue versus pink debacle, which is in association to that concept of gender which reeks of heteronormativity. While fighting this stereotype we often degrade the colour pink and shift focus from disassociation of colors with gender to superiority of a preferred colour and inferiority of another. Pink is a colour and anyone including the female population has the liberty to like it and embrace it without having to fear the judgements which generally follow.

Amidst the ongoing Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) debates, people have called out the government, but the line of reasoning can be questionable at times. Saying that an ‘uneducated, illiterate, chaiwala’ can’t run the nation is not enough and highly classist and in disdain of the working class culture. Instead, problematic aspects of fascism, tyranny and communalism should form the basis for protesting and not the status of birth or class of work. Few forget that the Constitution of India gives the right to any individual irrespective of class, caste, gender or religion to contest in elections and serve in politics. It’s ignorant to make such remarks where one seems to be fighting the battle of inclusivity on the line of exclusion itself.

It would be ideal if we could exercise sensitivity while raising concerns. Whatever we say might offend someone but that shouldn’t stop us from speaking, it should also not, in turn, stop us from employing a critical approach in terms of what forms the basis of our arguments while fighting stereotypes. Let us foster an environment which allows us to live unapologetically, just as we are, while being respectful of others as they do the same.

Feature Image Credits: Pinterest 

Umaima Khanam

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Women’s colleges are almost always associated with many stereotypes. This article talks about some of the most persistent ones.

The University of Delhi (DU) has around 20 women’s colleges affiliated to it. There are many stereotypes that most of the girls from an all-girl’s college get to hear on an everyday basis. While co-ed colleges are associated with fun and partying, girls’ colleges are called boring. Many of these stereotypes have been known for ages, seemingly. But they are clearly not applicable in the 21st century. Here is a list of some of the common stereotypes.

  • “Oh girls do nothing but back-bitching!”

Girls do not back-bitch but they hold each other’s back. Girls know girls, and this brings them closer. We do not spend hours bitching about others, but we talk about life, philosophy, and politics. College life is known for lifelong bonds and the bond that a group of girls’ share is priceless.

  • Girls’ colleges are boring

The most common stereotype that a lot of us hear is that girls’ colleges are boring because no boys, mean no fun. They are seen as gloomy places where the greatest concern of the students is the lack of men. Nevertheless, whatever your definition of fun may be, the definition of fun for a girl from an all girls’ institution is very different, and they do not need guys to have fun. They eat, dance and party without being dependent on guys. A group of girls is enough for themselves.

  • There’s a long queue of guys outside every girls’ college

‘Girls college hai toh kya, bahar to ladke khade hi rehte hai’. This stereotype leads us to another stereotype that boys do not have any other work and they can stand outside colleges just for stealing glances at girls. The only guys we spot outside the college are ‘rickshaw vale bhaiya’.

  • Girls and gossip are inseparable

We get to hear most of the times that girls live for gossip. They know who’s doing what, who’s seeing who, and everything else. But oh, is it so? As an answer to this, let me say, no, not all girls gossip. We have a lot of other things to do than talking about someone else’s life. Not everyone sitting in the canteen is gossiping about random things. They have a lot more things to do.

  • All girls are interested in girls

A very common and very lame perception is that girls who go to girls’ college are sexually inclined towards other girls or they tend to change their sexual orientation by the end of college. Why can’t people believe that having girls around does not mean that they will be attracted to each other? Girls who are attracted to girls are found everywhere and not just in an all-girls’ college.

  • Are you one of those feminist types?

One question that most people ask girls from a women’s college is if they are a feminist. The answer to this question can be yes or no. But this does not depend on the institution that they go to. The fact that a person is a feminist or not completely depends on their own opinions. Neither are all girls feminists, nor are those from a girls’ college Femi-nazis.

  • Girls are jealous of each other

Having girls all around doesn’t mean that they will just be envious of each other. If a girl checks out clothes, shoes, and bags of others, it does not mean that she is jealous. She might go up to her and tell her that she looks pretty. Neither all girls judge other nor are they involved in catfights.

  • They do not know politics

Girls are apolitical is what a lot of people say. But just the fact that most of the women’s colleges in DU are not affiliated to Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) does not mean that the girls are alien to DU politics. They might be away from the common election atmosphere, but this does not mean that they do not know what is going on outside their colleges. Girls do have their own political opinions and they understand the right and wrong politics.

Stereotyping is so common in our society that at times, we forget to look beyond those stereotypes. All the girls’ colleges affiliated to the University of Delhi are a symbol of strength. They are like safe havens for women. One thing that people do not commonly talk about is that women’s colleges are phenomenal institutions which create fearless and independent women.

Feature Image Credits: DUB Archives

Priya Chauhan

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Most of us are quick to judgments, especially when it comes to certain inner circles. Let’s see some stereotypes about college societies, and unveil their truth value.

When we newly join the University of Delhi, societies are something every student looks forward to be a part of. We all have that one society we aspire to be a part of, because of the love for the activity or the people or because of the name that it has. But what are certain misconceptions about the DU societies?

Fashion Society-

Fashion societies are one of the most sought-after societies in DU, but they are often seen as individuals who are completely involved in fashion and all aspiring to be the next Gigi Hadid. While there is nothing wrong to aspire about making it big in the fashion industry, not all students want the same. “I joined the fashion society because I have always been interested in modelling and make-up. I never got an opportunity to actually do something in either of them when I was in school and I was lucky enough to find it in college,” says Jhanvi Jolly, a student of Sociology in DU. It could simply be an interest or a hobby. The members comprise of make-up artists, bloggers, designers, and many more talented individuals who spend hours working on their coordination, music, and outfits to bedazzle everyone with their performance.

Debating Society-

People often perceive these members as born debaters, with excellent general awareness, and get intimidated by them. As someone who never debated in school and had below-average general knowledge, I think it is safe to say that those ideas are certainly not true. But it is no doubt that once you join the Debating Society, these are skills you develop and learn. You put in rigorous effort and hours of dedication to learn the techniques and tricks. Awareness does bring certain confidence and the ability to see the several nuances in what people say, and that ultimately reflects in your personality. The persona of these people intimidates one to shy from even going and auditioning for this society, but these are merely false perceptions, and almost every debater will tell you how they felt the same.

Dramatics Society-

DramSoc kids are usually stereotyped as loud and thundering all the time. It is believed that this society is just a stepping stone for a possible gateway for becoming an actor, or to do theatre in the future. While a few might truly have these ambitions, it is unfair to put everyone in these brackets. For some, this activity is a passion but not a profession; it is the energy and the passion that drives them to put in extraordinary amounts of effort for this interest.

Dance Society-

Popular perception trivialises the amount of efforts put in by Dance Societies. Often seen as students unnecessarily investing too much time as “it is just dancing” or, on the contrary, believing it is too demanding, this society has people intimidated or averted. The former is very much a lie as the standard of performances by DU students has reached a new high, this society requires to tremendous amounts of effort in the choreography, training, rehearsals, outfits, and to finally perform it with complete zest. The latter stands true for every major society and should not prevent one from pursuing their passion.

Writing Society-

This is one of the underdogs of societies, and it sadly is not given the same awe as others, but this underrated response is not something it deserves. Writing society is often seen as a place where introverted and highly philosophical people go, who can only express themselves through writing. Contrary to this belief, all kinds of people join the writing society- shy or outgoing- they are silent workers who do not get a ramp or a stage to perform but, through words typed on a laptop or written on a sheet, win several competitions and contribute to college magazines.

Quiz Society-

Common ideas about these people are that these are nerds or UPSC aspirants, who mug up information and lack in social skills. While this society focuses on growth of a student in terms of his or her awareness, these people are no different than you and me, except what gives them thrills is working out an answer through hints provided. It is a fun hobby and can feel very rewarding.

Image CreditsDU Beat

Shivani Dadhwal

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Television and digital media have always been the medium of spreading awareness, knowledge, and opinions. In recent times, advertisements have proven to be the ground-breaking realities of the time. From fighting gender stereotypes to supporting LGBT rights, promoting election voting awareness to what not, advertisements have played a leading role in influencing minds and actions.

Let’s put our eyes on some of the stimulating and inspiration-evoking advertisements of Indian television.

Biba – The change begins from home

Change the Convention,  from Biba’s  Change series that targets the prevalence of  arranged marriage in India, is a fresh spin on the ‘boy’s family coming to see the girl’ scenario. The twist sees the girl’s father questioning the boy’s cooking skills. Making the arranged marriage setup fair to both genders doesn’t take much, does it?

Anouk – The Move

Part of their Bold is Beautiful campaign, the ad reflects what young urban couples face in India. When faced with decisions about relocation, the husband tacitly refuses citing reasons of job elevation. Their conversation reveals that the wife has made a similar move in the past for her husband, but this time since it’s her career on the line, he doesn’t think it’s important enough to leave his work life. Ultimately, she decides to move on in order to pursue her career. It’s time we spoke about a marriage of equals.

Havell – Hawa Badlegi

Breaking the stereotypes of changing surnames after marriages, this advertisement takes a new beginning by encouraging even husbands to dare to change surnames.

Titan Raga – #HerLifeHerChoices

They showed us a strong and independent woman who is capable of making her own life choices. She has aspirations and is not afraid to take control of her life in her hands.

Airtel – Boss

This ad features a modern-day couple. The woman is a multi-tasker who handles her office and juniors at work and then comes back home to prepare food for her husband, who is still at his workplace on his boss’ (in reality, wife’s) orders. 

Whisper – Ab Waqt Hai Badalne Ka

Menstruation has always been a taboo with a load of superstitions attached to it. Banking on the age-old Indian norm that pickles are off limits to a woman who is menstruating, Whisper outright defies this with ‘Touch the Pickle Jar’. It tries to break off from all the norms that restrain women from going about their daily routines when they are on their period. This ad has triggered a huge response from its viewers. According to AdAge, 2.9 million women pledged to go against the odds and “touch the pickle jar”. It also emboldened the dialogue around taboos surrounding menstruation.


Feature Image Credits: YouTube 



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One lovable thing about Delhi is that it belongs to one and all.  It is a delightful mixed bag of all cultures. It is perhaps one of the only cities where you’ll probably find a Bengali, a Gujarati, a South Indian, an Assamese, and a Bihari – all sitting on one table. Similarly enough Delhi University has its wings spread out in all directions, people from all over the country aspire to graduate from DU.

Over the years, DU has managed to create its very own set of regional stereotypes. Why does one have to be a “bong” a “gujju” a “mallu” a “bhaiyya” or a “chink”? A sense of ‘otherisation’ trickles in with the casual labelling people do to those who aren’t from Delhi. There is absolutely no reason why we should reduce ourselves and others to our regional identities.

If you’re from anywhere outside Delhi, you’re expected to know everything from the language to the myths, the fluency, the music, the dance, the recipes and even the soil type. The stereotype goes like this- if you’re a Bengali, you’re supposed to know all about Satyajit Ray and Tagore, you’re supposed to know which halvai sells the best and most authentic mishti doi and sondes, you’re expected to know ten different ways of frying fish; if you’re a south Indian, you’re expected to know all the dances, you’re expected to pick out the best kanjiverem silk by its texture, you’re expected to know how to fry dosas; if you’re a Kashmiri, you’re expected to be romantic, poetic, and (ridiculous as it may sound) even pretty; and if you’re from the northeast, then you’re expected to love momos and know all about tattoos and piercings  and affordable fashion.

It is considered unnatural for someone from Haryana to be anything but rowdy, just like it is considered natural for jaats to be the gundaraaj of the ilaaqa. The “Delhi Boy” memes would probably explain better. There are “tips” for each region as well, be it “Bongtips” “Rajasthan tips” or “Delhitips”. Sadly enough, the generation of iPods has adopted the trend of categorisation, which has further led to regional stereotyping.

Perhaps regional jokes, region-wise tips, memes, etc don’t mean much harm, but somewhere in the middle of all the casual labelling, the jokes, the general assumptions, etc have smudged the thin line between assertion of one’s regional identity, and limiting oneself to it. Somewhere in the midst of all this, we are forgetting one very important fact-that anyone can do anything, or be anything.