#WomenHaveLegs: As Bollywood Divas Pull Each Other Down, Southern Stars Show How Solidarity is Done


#WomenHaveLegs: As Bollywood Divas Pull Each Other Down, Southern Stars Show How Solidarity is Done

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Social media can be a great platform on which to express yourself, unless you happen to be an Indian woman. In that case, every post attracts uninvited scrutiny, even more so if it happens to be a photo. Internet trolls have been attempting to “slut-shame” women for their choice of attire for as long as social media has been around, even while they blindly like photos of a topless Tiger Shroff doing his home workout on another tab. The bright side is that this usually leads to some epic clapbacks from the women involved, which is how #WomenHaveLegs became a trend this week.

It all started when Anaswara Rajan, an actress from the Malayalam film industry, posted a photo to Instagram of her wearing shorts. Rajan, who is 18 years old, was trolled by users who found her outfit of a pink full-sleeved top and grey shorts too revealing. When people are made uncomfortable by a woman’s choice of attire, the root of the problem is usually in their mindset and not in the woman’s clothes. Rajan gave the trolls a fitting reply by posting more photos in the same outfit, with the caption, “Don’t worry about what I’m doing. Worry about why you’re worried about what I’m doing.”

Rajan’s colleagues from the film industry expressed their support for her by posting their own photos where their legs were visible, eventually leading to the hashtag #WomanHaveLegs gaining traction on social media.

Apoorva Bose, posted her picture with the caption: “Oh my god, you’ve got legs? Like whaaaaa?”

Ahaana Krishna posted her photo “to take attendance of the number of creeps who will line up in attention in my comment box to post third-rate comments.”

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Posting a really nice picture of me wearing a tiny dress , showing most of my legs to take attendance of the number of creeps who will line up in attention in my comment box to post third-rate comments 🙂 2 things. Firstly , what I wear isn't your business. What anybody wears isn't your business. Your business is just your business. Probably you don't have enough of it , so you try and poke your nose into other people's business. I will wear Shorts , Sari , Shirt or a Swim-suit .. it's not your license to question my character. Neither is it my oppurtunity to prove my own character. So , WATCH YOUR THOUGHTS , NOT MY CLOTHES 🤷 Secondly , as far as I know .. legs , stomach , hands etc .. they are all the same, be it in the body of a man or a woman. I can't see any difference that is so important that it justifies the difference between the kind of comments that make it to the comment box of a man in little clothes and that of a girl. If a man shows his well toned body , it's Inspiring , Mass and Frickin' Hot. When a girl does the same , she looks like she's ready for Sex? She's Shameless? She’s an Attention Seeker? She's trying to turn people on for work? Pick up this flamboyant display of patriarchy and discard it in the first dust-bin you can find around you. Me posting a picture in a super short dress has only 1 meaning – I like that picture and I felt like sharing it on my own social media profile. Any other meaning that you derive out of it is nothing but a reflection of the unfortunate situation of your life and the things you lack in it. Gross mindsets might not change way too much. But the license to publicly speak out one's gross mindset can be shut down. Call out slut-shamers. Call out dirty patriarchy. And stop giving a damn about what a random person has to comment on your clothes. Do these 3 things and slowly but surely , creeps who want to say creepy things will be so scared to spit out the poison that they will learn to keep it within themselves. I'd like to sum up this slightly long post with a quote I read recently on Social Media – " Oh my favourite season will be the Fall of Patriarchy 🍁 " Image shot by @rexphotography.in 💫

A post shared by Ahaana Krishna (@ahaana_krishna) on

The trend also spread to Twitter, where more users joined in to educate people about the mind-blowing biological fact that women do indeed have legs.

While trolls are an unavoidable fact of life on the internet in 2020, it’s always entertaining to see them humbled by people who refuse to be cowed by their abuse. Unsolicited opinions deserve nothing but hilarious rebuttals.