What does it mean to be a girl? Ask any woman this question and you will likely get thousands of different answers. Some positive, some negative and yet, some remarkably inspiring. Growing up, I, too, had different notions on what it means to be a girl. There was a time I thought being a girl was mostly a burden on my parents, I thought it meant acting a certain way or dressing a certain way. I thought it meant being fragile and submissive, or obeying to societal standards and doing only “girly” things. Coming from an Indian heritage only made double standards worse.
And so, today in celebration of International Women’s Day, I am sending you all a reminder that we are powerful in so many ways. Our current digital climate allows us to focus on female power, education, and success. It’s something we are blessed to witness and right now is our chance to shatter those ceilings so our daughters won’t have to. This environment is energizing and while we still have a long way to go, I am excited, hopeful and looking forward to the future.
One of the things I never imagined myself doing was boxing. Because, isn’t that a man’s sport? Girls don’t fight. Boxing is usually seen as a male-dominated game. I had always been a little rebel, in the sense that I enjoy pushing the limit, especially when I am told that I cannot do something solely because I am a girl (boy, bye). So, naturally, when I discovered boxing, I was ecstatic to try it.
Needless to say, it has become one of my favorite ways to work out, relieve stress and sweat it all out. Not only is boxing an amazing aerobic exercise, strengthening everything from your shoulders to your legs but it makes you feel powerful. Almost like I’m shattering a ceiling with every hook, jab, cross, and uppercut. The feeling is euphoric and it empowers me to know that our Brown Girl community is pushing every limit to attain equality. So, here’s to all the ladki (girl) power within us and around us. May you celebrate the day with fearless women today — and not marginalizing those voices that cannot be heard as loudly.
Special shout out to my boxing trainer Rahul Bhowmick, book him for your Boxing/Muay Thai training + check out his apparel line here. Photos are courtesy of photographer + friend Marcus Lewis, book him here. And last but not least, thanks to Brown Girl Magazine, CEO Trisha Sakhuja-Walia for giving us this badass platform!