Hair styles are very much alive and well, with hairstyles such as floral and flower girl, for example, being popular today.
But some have said these looks have gone beyond fashion and are also a sign of a more sinister side of India’s psyche.
A survey by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2017 found that over 70% of women surveyed said that they had experienced or witnessed physical and sexual abuse.
According to Dr. Ashok Prasad, director of the National Centre for Social Research, a non-profit organisation that works to promote women’s rights in India, a lot of women are suffering because of the social stigma surrounding the word “flower girl”.
“The stigma around ‘flower girl’ is so prevalent that it has affected many women’s confidence and self-esteem,” Dr Prasada said.
Dr Prasads research found that more than a third of women reported that they felt “unsafe” when walking alone, and almost a third said they had felt “uncomfortable” or “disrespected” in public spaces, like restaurants, bars and clubs.
Dr. Prasadas research has found that while women do prefer flower girl styles, they don’t necessarily feel the need to wear them all the time.
“We think flower girls are more of a fashion statement,” Dr. Prasse said.
“A flower girl is a sign that she is doing something.”
Dr. Shanti Srivastava, a professor of social work and a founder of the Delhi Women’s Health Foundation, says it is not uncommon for people to dress up to get attention.
She believes many of these women are not interested in dressing like a real flower girl.
“Women don’t want to dress this way because it is something they don, and are ashamed of, that is what they want to hide,” Dr Srivasta said.
“They wear flowers to show they are not like this and they are very, very happy about it.”
Dr Prasse agrees, and believes that some women might be hiding behind the word ‘flower’ to feel safe.
“I think it is about controlling what is acceptable to show off in the society and also trying to look good,” Dr Jain said.
But she does not believe women should wear these styles.
“If a woman wants to dress in a flower dress and wear that, it is the responsibility of her parents,” Dr Kulkarni said.