It’s Time We Quashed The ‘Behenji’ Image Attached to Our Ethnic Wear!

Saree is a garment that’s been a wardrobe staple to generations of women in our country. For the longest time though, these six yards of sheer elegance, was compartmentalized into either a traditional occasion wear, or a boring ‘behenji’ outfit. So, you could either look a bundle of sophistication in a saree, or just plain fashion-ignorant.

In many ways, similar has been the fate of other ethnic wear, such as kurtas, kurtis, churidars, and so on. Only in the recent years, has the fashion world been able to see these garments in their unique glory, and conferred the adjectives cool and chic, upon them! No more do the free-minded girls of today, fear of being labelled as ‘backward’ by the less refined people of the society.

And a big help has been the Indian designers who have made the whole concept of fashion, come of age, through pure creativity and utter hard work. But most of all, it is the stand that these designers have taken against the stereotypes, a decision to not let themselves fit into a pigeonhole – that has made all the difference!

Take an example from how Shilpa Ahuja casts aside the juxtaposition of the so-called “behenji and the modern girl” images, “their constant run-ins” which have been a gift from Bollywood, to our fashion industry and society at large.

Today’s generation has quashed the whole concept where sarees are seen as a style adopted by women who’ve reached a certain age. With Anarkali, Angrakha jackets, and what not, we have created so many different styles of ethnic wear, tried on such a variety of prints and patterns on them, that women are literally spoilt for choices, today. Instead of letting a place, time, age, or an occasion define our need to wear our traditional dresses, we have now adapted these garments to be worn anytime, anywhere, and any which way we want to!

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