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Get to Know Aanjalin!

Updated: Apr 15, 2022


My name is Aanjalin, I’m a third year Science student at Western University and this is my first ever blog post for BoostHER. Like many others, I am terrible at ice breakers... Despite having the superpower of talking non-stop until requested to stop, when put on the spot, I suddenly can’t remember anything past my last meal of the day. Therefore, for this post I’m going to start with a very brief introduction about myself, then I will be sharing what I plan on addressing through the BoostHER platform and a few words of wisdom. (What I mean is, I’ll be rambling on about a couple of ideas, enjoy :)

If my past self ever found herself a time machine to travel to the future, I am positive that she would (would have? Not sure how grammar works in time travel oops...) be shocked and confused to see me as a blog writer. For years, I was stuck in a niche, where I convinced myself that I “couldn’t be good” at the arts. Very similar to the cliques portrayed in films like Mean Girls and High School Musical, in real life, it is extremely difficult to break free from the niche you’ve been put in. Remember back in the day when the phrase “you’ve changed” was the worst possible insult. Perhaps this stems from our years of watching teen dramas where the climax of the story would be the protagonist being chided by their friends because they’ve “changed” (much like the crux of Mean Girls).

Over the first lockdown, I decided to explore the art of writing. I realized that writing is merely a form of expression. It isn’t rigid, instead, it’s fluid. I had this fear of being unable to string together sophisticated vocabulary to produce silvery sentences. But eloquence isn’t derived from a structural formula. Writing is improved with practice and ultimately, articulate ideas do not need to be woven into embellishing lines, they only need to be comprehensible.

Now more on how and why I am here today, writing an article for BoostHER. The first time I actually heard the term feminism was from Emma Watson, and that’s when I did some research on the concept. Before that, I was introduced to feminism by the term “girl love” through Lilly Singh (formerly known by the pseudonym iiSuperWomanii). I never realized the importance of “girl love” and women empowerment until I started noticing the microaggressions against women and the level of internalized misogyny in society.

If you’re a millennial or GenZ you might’ve heard the 2010 Taylor Swift single “You Belong with Me.” I, for one, absolutely loved this song. But looking back, I realized that this song was essentially an ode to internalized misogyny, where women are constantly pitted against each other due to their differences. Further, the music video stereotypes the idea of beauty. Why is it that the lead character is only portrayed as beautiful after she removes her glasses and lets her hair loose, thus conforming to conventional beauty standards? Other examples include the infamous and extremely toxic phrase “you’re not like other girls” trope that basically carried heaps of teen romance novels and movies.

Upon exploring things of the past from the lens of the present, I understood the true meaning behind the phrase, “we’re all lifetime learners.”Culture, language and even the significance of words evolve with time. Life is a constant process of learning and unlearning. For instance, years ago a majority of us did not know of the significance of using the term ‘menstruator’ to describe those who menstruate. Open-mindedness is the key to growth.

I strongly believe that popular culture, media and advertisements play a huge role in shaping the mindsets of young people. Through this platform, I hope to discuss issues pertaining to women in the workplace and I would like to offer some insights on the portrayal of women in popular culture.

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