(Rashmee Kumar’s article appeared in the Guardian, 5/16.)

Inspired by The Vagina Monologues, 10 South Asian and Indo-Caribbean women shared intimate narratives in an absorbing and revealing evening

Nadia was sitting by the pool in a bathing suit when a white boy loudly announced how hairy her legs were. She was only 11 years old. As a teenager, she endured painful waxing treatments to maintain an unnatural hairlessness – something the boys in her community were not pressured to undergo. The Pakistani-Punjabi American woman, wearing a bright red dress and black tights, recounted her childhood at Yoni ki Raat (Night of the Vagina) on Friday with a large grin. The endless tribulations of body hair drew knowing laughs from the audience – the double-edged sword of white beauty standards and South Asian gender norms.

But the light atmosphere quickly deserted the theatre as Nadia began to describe how, despite her feminist convictions, she has internalized the compulsive need to remove her hair. Her body is now marred with ingrown hairs that she attempts to dislodge with tweezers and needles, causing further damage to her skin. With her castmates solemnly seated on either side of the stage, Nadia wondered: “When am I going to stop mutilating myself? Probably never.”

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/may/16/yoni-ki-raat-night-of-the-vagina-south-asian-women

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.