#KetchupTalks: The #GirlsWillBeGirls video by Sharanya and Shramona hits the right mark

Mrinil Mathur
Updated On
New Update
#KetchupTalks: The #GirlsWillBeGirls video by Sharanya and Shramona hits the right mark

We got in a conversation with the Girls behind the viral #GirlsWillBeGirls video on Instagram and understood the need of making a bold statement and journey of coming together for the video.

There is no second doubt if each woman irrespective of their age is either advised to behave in a certain way or judged if she is not acting as per the set definition of Woman or the societal rules that defined and chained woman freedom.

In a country vocal about Woman empowerment, a woman is not safe both offline and online. Instances like BoisLockerRoom and rape threats are a common phenomenon on the Internet.

Triggered from personal experience, made Sharanya and Shramona start a dialogue through this video to normalise the conversation around women.

This powerful video is conceptualized by Sharanya Iyer, Shramona Poddar, Anupriya Kapur and Srishti Tehri and written by  Shramona PoddarSharanya Iyer has lent her beautiful voice to this video. It also features bold influencers Ankita Kumar, Anupriya Kapur, Sharanya Iyer, Japleen Kaur, Prakriti Varshney, Preethi Parthasarathy, Shramona Poddar, Srishti Tehri and Stuti Ashok Gupta.

Take a look at our conversation with Sharanya Iyer and Shramona Poddar:

What triggered to make this video?

Sharanya Iyer: "As women, each one of us in this video has faced some sort of verbal or physical abuse/harassment from men. Including but not limited to unsolicited DMs on social media, catcalling, eve-teasing, groping and more. And we also come from families where our parents have been worried about us being out at night, travelling solo, wearing bikinis and having public Instagram profiles. But in May this year, two events triggered an urgent need to strongly communicate a message on women’s safety and our freedom to expression. The #BoisLockerRoom incident and a beautiful picture Shramona uploaded on her Instagram, in a bikini. She received some alarmingly forward messages from men, and Anupriya and I noticed that and soon enough, it became a serious discussion amongst us all."

What was the core thought you wanted to convey to the audience?

Sharanya Iyer: "That the dialogue needs to shift to the perpetrator and not the victim. That we are not to be blamed for ‘inciting’ any form of harassment or violation of our bodies when deep-rooted patriarchy continues to give men an excuse for their transgressions. We wanted to question the toxic locker room lingo and the infamous phrase ‘Boys will be Boys’ which is used as an excuse for men and turn it into a phrase that signifies freedom of expression for women. #GirlsWillBeGirls isn’t a casual remark or excuse, it is a request to society to let women exercise their agency and choose how they want to express themselves without being boxed into labels and currently prevalent stereotypes, so long as they aren’t causing harm to anyone."

Can you take us through the journey from the idea of bringing all the girls together and finally the outcome?

Sharanya Iyer: "When we noticed Shramona’s post and comments, I created a small Whatsapp group the same night. We began to have a casual conversation on how often we are asked not to post pictures of ourselves from our travels, how scary it is to be labelled a certain way because of our opinions and expression, and how we still second guess everything we do that doesn’t fit into society prescribed gender roles. Shramona, Anupriya, Srishti and I realised that amongst us, we have a pretty big audience with whom we could start a serious conversation. And thus was born, #GirlsWillbeGirls. A catchphrase I hesitantly suggested, that has now become our war cry. Shramona, our master wordsmith, picked up the phrase and gave it wings! She wrote the poem, we assessed it and fine-tuned it and worked together since then to visualise the video and bring it to life. We decided to bring in some more of our fellow content creator friends, women who are outspoken and take a stand and have an online presence that would help us maximise the number of people the video would reach. It took us about 2 months to shoot, reshoot, edit and execute the final video, and we’re very overwhelmed at how well it has been received!"

How are the initial response and support from your peers on this? Did you receive any negativity or hate on the video?

Shramona Poddar: "In all honesty, we did doubt ourselves a couple of times during the creation process We hoped that the thought/concept we have in our minds, resonates well with the final execution. So, of course, we showed it to a few of our peers before taking it live. The collective response from everyone was how powerful and strong the video is. According to them, our message was very well conveyed and there was no scope for misinterpretation. The support we received from our peers gave the final motivation that we needed to take it live. We suppose anything that goes viral on the internet has both a good and a bad side to it. Thankfully, our video received immense love and appreciation by most from our community. There were unbelievable numbers of likes and shares and it was well admired across the internet. However, few filthy and nasty comments were immediately blocked. We didn’t want to lose our mental peace over it Of course a few who came up with constructive criticism were well discussed and explained from our end."

How else do you think women can normalise this conversation?

Shramona Poddar: "We are very well aware that one video on the internet cannot bring about a radical change but we also know that it is a part of the change, albeit slow. I think women should start having these difficult conversations at home and amongst their social circles. It’s important to take these conversations offline as well and have logical discussions on them. Raise uncomfortable questions, discuss victim shaming, talk about how a brother and sister belonging to the same home are treated differently. The first step that normalizes this conversation is to talk about it. Along with that, sometimes we believe, knowingly/unknowingly we are a part of the problem too. So it’s important that we delve into ourselves first and deconstruct the preconceived notions we have in our minds."

How are you planning to scale this initiative from here?

Shramona Poddar: "Well, we definitely don’t intend it to be a one-time thing. We are brainstorming on some more ideas around the concept and hoping to involve the community more next time. Nothing very structured yet but we are definite that the conversation doesn’t end here."

What would be the one thing that you would want to say to a 10-year-old girl and a 60-year-old woman to convey this thought?

Shramona Poddar: "There’s a video on the internet called #LikeAGirl which was one of the inspirations for our video. It shows how a 10-year-old girl doesn’t know that the phrase ‘Fight like a Girl’ or ‘Throw like a Girl’ is used to insinuate weakness or insult. As she grows up, it is a society that creates such gender discriminations for her. So one thing we look like to tell a 10-year-old will be – Do whatever you want to do, be whoever you want to as long as you are hurting nobody. And to a 60-year-old woman, we’d only like to say that as we progress as a society and have more of these conversations, we must be open to unlearning and re-learning. We all grow up with some form of conditioning, and it is okay to learn that something that was perhaps taboo when you were young, is a symbol of freedom today. There is no harm in accepting change and allowing ourselves to evolve and learn with time. Our age shouldn’t dictate what we can or cannot do, and the learning curve never stops! Be whoever you want to be. Reinvent. Adapt. Accept. Let’s make this world a better place together."


Also Read: Women Creators come together and apologize for everything in this powerful video

travel bloggers Digital influencers Anupriya Kapur creators and influencers travel influencers japleen kaur #GirlsWillBeGirls #GirlsWillBeGirls influencers #GirlsWillBeGirls video #GirlsWillBeGirls video by bloggers Ankita Kumar bloggers who raise their voice female travel bloggers female travel bloggers india female travel influencers female travel influencers in india female travel influeners female travelers female travellers Prakriti Varshney Preethi Parthasarathy Sharanya Iyer Sharanya Iyer Shramona Poddar  Anupriya Kapur Srishti Tehri Shramona Poddar Srishti Tehri Stuti Ashok Gupta