The constraints faced by many brown women during their upbringing often leave a lasting and unique impact on their lives. These restrictions are notably stringent, denying most Indian women the independence and autonomy that comes naturally with adulthood. Even when some degree of independence is granted, it is often overshadowed by the influence of patriarchy, dictating how they navigate the world. To shed light on these experiences, we’ve compiled a collection of confessions from women who have shared their childhood restrictions and the enduring effects on their lives.

  1. “My mother always advised me to keep my gaze lowered when walking in public spaces, fearing that I might inadvertently convey interest in someone. I’m almost 30 now, but I still find myself walking with my gaze downcast.”
  2. “Growing up in an orthodox Christian family, makeup was strongly discouraged. However, I rebelled against these views and developed a fascination for makeup. Now, I proudly embrace being a makeup enthusiast, always on the lookout for new beauty products.”
  3. “My decision to pursue photography was met with reservations from my parents due to societal norms. Despite the challenges, I pursued my passion and not only became a certified photographer but also received recognition from the former chief minister, Sheila Dixit.”
  4. “Negative connotations surrounding makeup were instilled in me during my upbringing, leading me to second-guess and question its use. This has affected my confidence, as I hesitate when I want to use makeup.”
  5. “My family restricted me from staying out past 8 PM during my childhood. Even now, living independently, I feel anxious if I’m out later than 8 PM. This anxiety creeps in when I simply want to enjoy a late dinner or unwind.”
  6. “As a child, I wasn’t allowed to come home late at night due to the fears of Indian parents. These fears have persisted into my adulthood, causing anxiety, especially when traveling alone late at night.”
  7. “Restrictions imposed during my school years, including appearance standards and gender separation, shaped my self-perception. I thought being anything other than what was expected was frowned upon, leading to judgment of other girls. It was only later in life that I realized the importance of being true to oneself.”

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