‘Why can’t I be a flamboyant, elegant boy? Why do I need to be tough?’: Male belly dancer Eshan Hilal

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‘Why can’t I be a flamboyant, elegant boy? Why do I need to be tough?’: Male belly dancer Eshan Hilal

Gender stereotypes are so deeply entrenched in society that people tend to accept it as a norm. Highlighting the need to break away from gender bias, Eshan Hilal, who is touted to be India's first male belly dancer, recalled his journey in this inspiring Tedx Talk.

https://youtu.be/zsy-doX0IUA

"I remember an incident when I was 10 years old. I was dancing at my aunt's place when suddenly my grandmother came and saw me dancing. She addressed me and said, 'Have you ever seen a prostitute dance?' I was shocked. While I didn't understand the meaning at that point of time, I realised that there was something wrong with what was being said," he remarked.

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While acknowledging that we live in a gender-biased society where patriarchy thrives, Hilal pointed out, "One should not be judged on the basis of their clothing or colour choices. Why can't I be a flamboyant, elegant boy? Why do I need to be rough and tough?"