Self; A word that subconsciously dictates almost every action performed by man is so daunting a prospect that it rarely transcribes into a sense of expression. The world we live in today has been shaped by the societal construct. A construct so rigid that it doesn’t mind “otherising” another to stay true to its supposed moral codes. Amidst such an environment, when a child, in the growing phase of shaping his identity, was told he was ‘different”, it made him believe so. Who would want to hear that who they are isn’t how one is supposed to be? Who makes the rules?
Growing up in a hetero-normative world, Anwesh was moulded to assume that his inclination towards arts wasn’t masculine enough. He, being himself, wasn’t enough. A constant back and forth between who you are and who you should be becomes strenuous, and with time, you start questioning the tonalities of yourself. Hence starts the tug of war between a self and expression. The concept of “belonging" seems to drift so far away that one would just grasp at nothingness.
“If we had a safer ecosystem, I would wear these things more often,”
says Anwesh while describing the impact fashion had on shaping his identity. Fashion has, from time and time again, proven to be a fundamental tool of self expression. Knowing fashion knows no bounds, somewhere acted as a comforter and aimed to justify all the questions unanswered. The reason for liking a pair of shoes, or a certain silhouette of pants, shouldn’t be depending on one's gender. One should be seen wearing them because they like it just like they would like any other tangible thing. It should be free will, independent of a question.
With this realization that his gender is not a defining factor, Anwesh Sahoo started expressing himself through other platforms. Art gave him that language, that he translated into a career path. Soon, the negative stigma associated with the term “feminine” that he grew up hearing was completely flipped upside down with an alternate narrative. It is these steps that an individual takes actively barring all the noise that ultimately connects the self to the world in an unspoken symphony.