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Interview with Chandana Hiran - That Desi Feminist

Interview with Chandana Hiran - That Desi Feminist

I met Chandana Hiran because of her petition in

Inspired by the BLM momentum she decided to DO something. She started a petition on Change. org demanding one of the biggest cosmetic companies in India to be more inclusive with every colour of skin and to stop telling women (and making money out of it!) that in order to be lovely you need to be fair, you need to have white skin. Not only her campaign is flying (over 33.000 signatures by the time I publish this) but the brand has already agreed on changing their name and she has been raising the volume about a conversation that needs to happen. I never get tired of saying this, but the new generation of women give me so much hope! 

Who is Chandana Hiran, "That Desi Feminist"?

I'm a 23-year-old, Chartered Accountancy student living in Mumbai, India. I love to read and craft!

What is the goal of your Instagram account "That Desi Feminist"?

The goal of the account is to question societal norms, especially patriarchy, and fight all sorts of prejudice that people face.

What is the big vision for the future?

My vision is to build a community and educate people regarding social issues, especially feminism.

You have recently started a petition in demanding more diversity and inclusion in beauty products in India. Can you tell us some more about it?

Being a brown-skinned girl living in India, I've always felt a little insecure & under-confident. Fair & lovely used to be one of the biggest companies selling fairness creams in India. And the narrative that they were presenting was demeaning & extra-ordinarily cruel. The brand ended up selling insecurities to millions of women in India. And I was one of them. The petition has now crossed over 33k signatures -


And then there is an identical questionnaire for everyone:

What is Feminism for you?

Feminism for me is the advocacy of women's rights in order to achieve equality in society. It's really as simple as that. According to me, you can either be a feminist or a sexist. There is no third category!

Which “everyday sexism” really bothers you?

There are countless things. But the one thing that really gets on my nerves is how women are portrayed in main-stream media. They are blatantly objectified and harassment & stalking is normalised, which is really problematic.

Do you remember when you start identifying as a Feminist and why?

It happened in November 2018 when I was selected to be a Change Maker for the She Creates Change program of! It was then when i realised I've been a feminist all along!

Who is your biggest feminist role model?

Kamla Bhasin

What is your favourite Feminist quote?

"My favourite season is the fall of patriarchy"

What is your proud feminist victory?

When girls message me saying that they used to feel inferior & under-confident but they've seen me and my posts and they believe in themselves now!

What is your feminist recommendation?

  • Book: The Palace of Illusions
  • TV show: The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
  • Film: Bulbbul

What is your feminist call of action to whoever is reading?

Speak up! There's a lot of power in our collective voice!

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