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19th Mar 2021

Here’s why women in India are sharing ripped jeans selfies on social media

Sarah McKenna Barry

The movement started after a politician suggested that women who wear distressed denim set a “bad example”.

Over the past week, Indian women have been sharing photos of themselves in ripped jeans online. The movement is a reaction to comments made by Tirath Singh Rawat, an Indian politician.

He suggested that women who wear ripped jeans are a “bad example” at a recent event.

“Showing bare knees, wearing ripped denim and looking like rich kids. These are the values being given now,” he said. “Where is this coming from, if not at home?”

Understandably, his comments did not go down well online. Many Indian women took to Twitter to fight back against his derogatory remarks. Soon, #RippedJeansTwitter and #GirlsWhoWearRippedJeans started to trend.

Tedhi Lakeer shared a selfie and called on other women to rally against Rawat’s remarks. She recalled a similar movement from 2018, #GirlsWhoDrinkBeer. During that protest, Indian women posted beer drinking selfies after a Goa minister suggested that women shouldn’t drink.

I hope some of you remember the #GirlsWhoDrinkBeer hashtag from 2018 as a response to Goa CM’s statement,” she wrote.

She continued: “It’s that time of year again. Another CM, another attempt at policing women’s choices. Let’s tweet our #rippedjeans pics with #GirlsWhoWearRippedJeans.”

Yesterday, Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted her support. The politician highlighted the ways in which male politicians dictate life for Indian women.

Meanwhile, Swati Maliwal, another politician, underlined the importance of the movement: “Rapes happen not because women wear short clothes, but because men like Tirath Singh Rawat propagate misogyny and fail to do their duty.”

Additionally, Zeeshan Siddique, a male politician, extended his solidarity to the women of the movement. His tweet highlighted a major problem in Rawat’s criticism.

#GirlsWhoWearRippedJeans continues to gain traction online.