Sometime back I attended a workshop on ‘Body Rights’. In that session, the facilitator asked us to form pairs and play a 5 min ‘Body Mirror’ game. In that game, one participant in the pair becomes a body and the other participant becomes a mirror.
i) The body will do different movements without taking a pause.
ii) The mirror will mimic all the actions that the body is doing.

Playing that game was a life-changing experience for me. The movements that my body chose to do in those 5 minutes were profound. It took me by surprise. Since it was instant and movements have to change, my mind did not get time to script the movement. It was all spontaneous.

It was the first time my body spoke
These are the movements my body did in those 5 minutes:

  • Adjustment – I adjust my shirt and jeans and feel uncomfortable in skin tight clothes. As I’m conscious of an outsider gaze on how I’m looked at.
  • Adornment – I decorate my face with kajal, lipstick, and mascara as if I am going on a date.
  • Looking Back – I turn back looking over the shoulder as if I’m followed by an eve-teaser.
  • Hair Tuft on Front – I cover my bust with my long hair to avoid my protruded nipples and lax breasts being stared at (I do this when I go to market bra-less)
  • Air Kiss – I wave air kisses to men who I feel attracted to but cannot kiss in public scrutiny.
  • Slap Son – I slap my son when he does irksome mischief’s
  • Caress Womb – I caress my womb to feel the kick of the unborn child.
  • Wipe Tears – I wipe tears from my cheeks for unknown and countless reasons

The game made me realize that our bodies are a gathering place for so many anxieties, taboos, cultural and familial restrictions. Since beginning my body, a female body is controlled. It is not allowed to express its sexuality because of its corrupting impact on a woman’s virtue. If I flaunt my sexuality, my sensuality, my lustiness in a public space, I risk being called a whore. And this is precisely the reason, why many men I spoke to, shared that their wives feel inhibited about their bodies in the bedroom.

Time to play the game to know what your body feels.