Mithila Palkar says “A significant change can only be driven if we collectively work towards breaking taboos by educating people around menstruation and encourage women to embrace their menstruating bodies and own their red spot in all its messy glory”
Mithila Palkar is a versatile artist best known for portraying Kavya Kulkarni in the heartwarming romantic comedy series Little Things. But she’s also a singer, a fashion and fitness enthusiast, and a passionate proponent of safe and sustainable menstrual health practices (remember her Marathi rendition of Anna Kendrick’s “Cup Song”?). As a result, she recently resorted to social media to tell her tale about getting her first period and how she handled it.
Chopsticks actor Alia Bhatt addressed why she is outspoken about menstruation health, how Alia Bhatt impacts her style choices, how she keeps her characteristic curly hair, and exercise practises in an exclusive conversation with Indianexpress.com. Excerpts that have been edited.
- Your sense of style is unmistakably relaxed and elegant. Who are your fashion role models?
If I had to choose someone from the entertainment industry, I’d choose Alia Bhatt. I admire her relaxed, no-fuss fashion sense.
- Tell us about your all-time favorite outfit, one that you can’t live without.
I prefer clothes that are both comfortable and fashionable. A pair of well-fitted jeans and a basic white t-shirt, in my opinion, makes for a simple yet quite versatile combo. Depending on the occasion and mood, they can be worn up or down.
- .How do you decompress on days when you’re not shooting? Are you
I like to unwind and de-stress by swinging and listening to music.
- You have curly hair. What do you do to keep your mane so healthy, given your recent recovery from COVID?
I believe that what you eat shapes who you are. On most days, I try to eat sensibly and supplement with the vitamins necessary for healthy hair. Oiling my hair every other day is the secret to keeping my curly locks healthy. Furthermore, I follow a strict sulphate and paraben-free curly hair wash routine..
- You claimed in an Instagram post that you had your first period while studying for your board examinations. Could you please elaborate?
Our school conducted a lot of period education seminars while I was in eighth grade. My first period lecture was given by my older sister. Yes, I was aware of menstruation and the hormonal changes that a female experiences when she first gets her period since we had an open talk about it. When I first got my period, though, it was a very other experience; I was taken aback!
- What are your thoughts on India’s present state of feminine hygiene and menstrual health?
While certain firms and brands are promoting the importance of menstrual health and feminine hygiene, India has a long way to go before seeing significant change. Menstrual health is especially neglected in rural areas, which make up most of our country.
- Would you suggest environmentally friendly menstruation products such as menstrual cups or sanitary pads?
Yes, I would strongly suggest menstruation cups and sustainable pads since they are both financially effective and environmentally friendly. Carmesi’s reusable menstruation cups are my preferred substitute for disposable pads. Because it can be reused and lasts a long time, it doesn’t waste as much as traditional period products that have to be thrown away.
- What are your thoughts on India’s beliefs and biases around menstruation? What can we do to assist in their eradication?
Anti-menstrual discrimination still exists among a significant percentage of our community. They are hesitant to discuss anything related to menstruation in public. Rules barring access to the kitchen or sacred areas during menstruation are still in place today. Only by working together to break these taboos by teaching others about menstruation and encouraging women to accept their monthly bodies and own their red spots in all their messy glory can significant change occur.
- Do you have a special workout programme that you follow while you’re on your period? How do you deal with cramping or pain when you’re on a tight schedule?
When I get period pains, I like to perform gentle stretches and keep hydrated. I do take time off to enable my body to fully rest.
- What menstrual health advice would you give to your adolescent fans?
Menstrual health is really important. It is our job to take care of our bodies, especially during periods, and to follow a good sanitary routine. It’s also important to remember that periods are simply that: periods. They do not produce unclean or filthy individuals. As a result, I would advise every young menstruator to proudly wear their red spot. Your body is quite powerful. Accept the situation.
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