Watch: Singer Sithara's video on social media abuse on her looks is inspiring

Some of the negative comments that Sithara received were derogatory to transgender people, street workers and Bengali women.
Singer Sithara
Singer Sithara
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Large jhumkas, a red bindi, eye and face make-up and a single plait of hair come undone in a few seconds. Malayalam singer Sithara, all dressed up for a video, removes each of these, to pass on a message to the followers of her Facebook page — if you have to disagree, do it politely, speak with love in pressing times as these.

The video came after she received negative comments for the casual photos that she had posted earlier. Sithara, appearing with all the make-up and accessories, tells her audience that an artificial makeover like this would receive a lot of positive comments, but that that is not really her. She removes her makeup with tissues and says this is the colour she was born with, this is her natural self that she loves.

Sithara then says the reason she decided to do the video is because she has noticed that whenever she dresses up for events and posts pictures, she gets many comments appreciating her. But when she posts a picture of herself with no makeup and dressed in her everyday clothes, what she faces is a barrage of negativity from some. What seems to have hurt her are comments on few pictures that she posted recently of a holiday with her family, in which she is dressed in casual clothes, with no makeup, her real self out there.

“When we present our true selves — how we are most comfortable, in the colour we were born, in the company of family — it becomes bad. When we keep our basic identity aside and present ourselves in ways to please others, it becomes ‘aishwaryam’. This is such an irony,” Sithara says.

Some of the negative comments were derogatory to transgender people, street workers and Bengali women.

“Recently I posted a photo with blue eye make-up, at a moment when I was feeling really happy. Someone commented that I look like a transgender person. When did transgender become a bad word? Another person said I look like a Bengali woman. How is that bad? How does begging or collecting scrap on the road become bad? These are all people in different situations. It takes all types of people to make the world,” Sithara says.

She also defends the right of those who wish to wear expensive clothes or make-up. It’s just that she doesn’t prefer it personally, she adds. “I too wear expensive costumes for (stage) programmes but I don’t subscribe to it personally.”

Smiling throughout the video, Sithara keeps her calm even as she seems clearly hurt.

She says that any two people would have a difference of opinion and it should be expressed too, but with peace and love. “We should be maximum positive at such a time (referring to COVID-19). Humanity is going through such bad times, we don’t even know how much time we have,” she says.

Apologising for her long video (more than 10 minutes) in a little note, she has also requested online media to not publish the story with misleading headlines and to make room for a healthy debate. "We can all live more happily, peacefully and truthfully in this world," she writes.

Watch: Sithara speaks on social media abuse

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