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Opinion: Stigma Around Lingerie Needs To Go

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Why are you hanging your bra in the sun? Keep it inside in the bathroom. It doesn’t look good.

Is the culture of secrecy around lingerie also prevalent in your house? Are hanging bras making people around you uncomfortable and uneasy? Does your mother also ask you to restrict your lingerie to your bathroom?

Well, if the answer is yes, it means that Indian society is still not acceptable towards bras, which is merely a piece of clothing for women. Bras and panties have always been a trigger garment in Indian society. Growing up, this idea to hide her lingerie in her bathroom is drilled into Indian girls’ minds. Indian women are raised with strict restrictions to not dry their undergarments in the sun. Even if they do so, they are supposed to cover them under some piece of clothing. The question here is: why hide them? Why should we feel embarrassed about it? Why can uncle’s banyans and kucchas be there in the open sun but not my bras? The answer is quite simple and straightforward. It is because of the archaic patriarchal beliefs, stigmas and so-called traditions that are still common in our society. 

This stigma doesn’t stop here. What’s even more ridiculous is that if men are at home, women need to be more cautious. There are even more reasons to pretend that lingerie doesn’t exist in the homes. Efforts are done so that the lingerie isn’t visible to their eyes. If it comes into the eyes of the public, especially men, it is considered as a sense of disgrace, embarrassment and even showcases character judgements.

Over the years, women are conditioned to feel embarrassed about their lingerie. There have been certain perils that Indian women still face to date. Even while shopping for a bra, they lower their voice, as if they are doing something wrong, inappropriate or even offensive. Why do we still face underwear shaming? Why can’t we purchase the items of hygiene freely and openly? Why does society still need to judge us for this, just like they do for other things? For them, the stupid archaic patriarchal beliefs and stigma is more important than sanitation and hygiene. It is high time that we should transform our societal culture.

If we aren’t open about talking about what we wear, then we need to rethink ourselves as a society. The question is: If men can adventurously hang their trunks and vests in public, then why can’t we?

Tannu Khandelwal

Delhi North '23

A quirky, creative and a very shy girl pursuing her sophomore year in economics at Hansraj College. Love researching and writing in the intersection of policy and social issues. Writing is my all time passion and an always go to in the leisure time.
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