There was a time not so long ago when getting pregnant meant temporary retirement for women, even the busiest and socially active. They would avoid going to public places, take a sabbatical from work and use the break to tick off the many things they had put on hold for long — reading books, watching films, spending time with long lost friends, improving their cooking and preparing for the impending motherhood.
But no more of laidback lives for mums-to-be.
This has changed in 2016, a lot forever. The year has been historic for several geopolitical and economic reasons. However, one important event, which will not be remembered with the other dramatic occasions of 2016, took place on March 31.
It was the second day of the summer-resort edition of Lakme Fashion Week when a heavily pregnant Carol Gracias walked the ramp for designer Gaurang Shah. In becoming the first Indian supermodel to have done so, Gracias broke past the many myths and stigma that have long been associated with pregnancy in India.
Little did she know then that her silent act of defiance would become a breakthrough moment in the history of women rights; that many a celebrity women would soon follow in her footsteps; and that Kareena Kapoor Khan will eventually become the face of the movement.
Khan has been extremely busy these last few months. Though she was last seen in a film (Udta Punjab) six months ago, she has never made as many headlines before without a movie to talk about. Khan, who is expecting her first child sometime next week, has been glowing all this while and she made sure the world sees it.
Photo: Kareena Kapoor for a photoshoot pic.twitter.com/6OVmuNgqRm— Kareena Kapoor Khan (@KareenaUpdates) November 20, 2016
All through her pregnancy, she gave interviews, walked down ramps, featured on the cover of fashion magazines, attended celebrity events, and kept up her work commitments, hitting hard at the pregnancy taboo one headline at a time.
Kareena’s eventful pregnancy has given women across India some real work goals and food for thought, and has made her husband Saif Ali Khan fearful that she might deliver at Mehboob Studios.
We have seen several women in Hollywood work their way through pregnancies. Natalie Portman is the latest example. Expecting her second child and promoting her film Jackie, she is wowing international film festivals and award shows around the world with her glorious baby bump.
Though not so unusual a thing in the West, women celebs are pushing mental boundaries in India by sporting pregnant bellies in public with much grace and panache.
A pregnancy does not make a woman incapable of working or inefficient as is often believed.
Now that it is all over the newspapers and social media, Indian women too are finding it easier to work their way through this time and for as long as they want. And celebrate it loud, in style and with people beyond their families.
The author tweets @sneha_bengani
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