It took me a while to learn to be vulnerable, both with myself and others. I was raised in a society where being a woman meant being weak, subservient, and emotional, and being a man meant being strong, dominant, and unemotional. To be seen, you had to be a man or be like a man. I didn't understand how a woman in such a society could free herself from her 'womanness' and still be seen without losing her empathy, vulnerability, and strength.
It took me some space and some time away to realise how wrong these constructs and the expectations of men and women were. I learned to embrace my emotions, insecurities, and womanness, along with the inherent vulnerability that comes with this acceptance. I have now learned that my feelings are perfectly balanced with my pragmatism rather than them being mutually exclusive.
I learned to accept that I wasn't the stereotypical woman but that this didn't mean I was 'manly' either. It means I'm Me, an amalgamation of all my experiences, genes, and everything in between. As someone once said, I am a mosaic of emotions and memories, my life a flash of light between two expanses of darkness. To grow, I needed to be vulnerable about my perceptions and preconceptions of strength and weakness.
This vulnerability also extends to others, and being vulnerable with others meant I discovered a new depth in my relationships too. It allowed me to be open to others' love and to love others non-judgementally and unconditionally. It allowed me to feel for my partner the way I do, in a tornado of love, fear, excitement, vulnerability, strength, and everything else that comes with embracing my feelings. Being vulnerable means being strong and free, and there's no going back.
Tanushree x the anti-casting
All the womxn featured on the underargument have been selected based on the personal story they shared with us which was inspired by one of our collections' themes. We only receive stories, no photos and no measurements. This is what we call the anti-casting and it is our way of reclaiming the representation of women's diversity and utilising the power of storytelling to empower ourselves and others. Find out more and maybe submit your story too here.
Tanushree is wearing collection no.12 For vulnerability // Against shame.