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indian – STARE Magazine

TEXT Kanika Joshi

Remember when you were a nervous teenager going through body changes that didn’t make sense? Your body doing a 180 degree on you? Facial hair, voice cracks, acne that left you confused? Well, I will not be surprised if you tell me you didn’t know what was happening or that no one around you talked about it. Just like that we know there’s a whole stigma around period talk and reproductive systems. And yes, we know there is so much information online these days, but it just isn’t enough. So, we are here with a little bit of information to keep the conversation going.


Most girls start their period somewhere between 9 and 16 years, with each period’s length 2-8 days. Literally no one told me that I was just going to start bleeding one day and it did not come as a fun surprise on that rainy day at school. Your period has a lot to do with your diet, weight, and your percentage of body fat and vice versa. Your monthly cycles change throughout your life depending on stress, age, weight gain or loss, or having a baby. If you have any concerns regarding this, you should see a doctor, specifically a Gynaecologist as soon as possible.

What if my periods aren’t ‘normal’?

If there are any irregularities with your period, it’s essential to note your symptoms and consult a doctor. The most common menstrual problem faced by women is PCOS. Below is a short description on the same.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition which begins during a girl’s teen year. This problem might be more common than you think, with 1 in 5 Indian women suffering from PCOS, still few people are talking about it. People don’t talk a lot about PCOS because of the stigma around period talk and the unrecognised necessity to address issues around it unless the woman is unable to conceive.

The fear that a woman with PCOS cannot conceive at all leads people to ignoring the conversation as their families fear that it would cause hindrance in them getting married. We can say that this patriarchal system that sees childbearing as a woman’s ‘biological duty’ if awfully flawed. Thus, doctors too many a times focus more on ‘preservation’ of fertility which is makes it hard to find the right diagnosis and treatment. This patriarchal gender bias in healthcare and medical research can harm the woman’s well-being on the longer run. Also, the social stigma attached to having high levels of testosterone leading to facial hair, weight gain, acne associated with PCOS; challenges the expectation of an ‘ideal’ female body. It also leads to different body image and mental health issues.

As we step into the year 2021, it’s high time we stop viewing PCOS as a hindrance to fertility, childbearing and dwelling into the orthodox ideas of femininity. We need to focus on the emotional, physical and mental impact on the women affected, talk about issues, share in confidence and grow together.

Please do write to us for any help/resources at magazine.stare@gmail.com


TEXT Suhani Lotlikar 

Founded on the island of Mallorca, Studio 666 is a collective curated in part by Pau Mateu Sáez and Piero Molina promoting young artists around the globe. They recently launched a one-of-a-kind virtual exhibition collaborating with 20 different artists. Having met on a fragile crossroad; art, music and publications lovers Pau and Piero put together their experiences and brought another relationship to life. They are here to share with STARE their take on relationships and masculinity in today’s world through their photo series called Réplica.

The artists explain their artwork as- “an exploration of the over-romanticized approach on loyalty and possessiveness, through a dramatized recreation of both artists’ broken relationships.” Through the medium of photography, they are capturing the wave of emotions that run through oneself after a relationship has met its end. Even as they set the tone to be ‘dramatized’ the series distinctly take one to a heartfelt space of relatability. It studies the effect of one individual on another in the space of vulnerability.

“The contact between the subjects spells out the narrative of their relationships with each other and themselves.”

It explored various themes of ‘sexuality, masculinity and fragility’ leaving behind a sense of existence. As the youth culture all over the world explores new definitions of togetherness, artists like Pau and Piero are providing them with platforms to create and showcase.

Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI) is one of India’s top rated design schools known for its industry focused curriculum. The university has been known for providing students with the best of resources during the period of the 4 year courses and exposure through collaborations with industry experts. So to know about how they have adapted to the lockdown, we spoke to 5 final year ISDI students about COVID-19 and here is what they had to say. This includes the infamous Instagram page anonymously run by a student. 

In context to not having free access to Adobe softwares being one of the most essential resources to work from home for design students- “This is controversial. ISDI being a design school should have helped students in some way. But nevertheless, we do have guest seminars.” @thats_so_isdi . When asked about the quality of tutorials and critic sessions one of the students mentioned that sometimes there are technical issues but the faculty has done their best to help every student. Two other student’s response suggested that the tone of critics has taken a casual turn during this period and demotivating comments have been received making it harder for them to keep their minds stable and focused. “We still are students, young professionals, still learning and figuring our way out. Such comments and extreme late response from faculty leaves a child in stress. This needs to be regulated. Feedback on time is important which is not followed.” We went on to ask about mental health support provided by the university to which one of the student said “we can just share our mental health with the counselor provided by the uni. In this special case of lockdown however, not much has been done. And I don’t think that because of online classes university counselor can be arranged.” Others were unaware of any such facilities provided by the institute. All students have chosen to stay anonymous.

-Voice of students

And we are all in for the breathtaking, contemporary visuals.

TEXT Suhani Lotlikar 

“It seems three dimensional works are usually the less preferred art-form in comparison with other mediums such as painting and photography. Why is that?” Allia asks STARE while describing her process. 

We asked her how she would prefer to be titled and she chuckles while deciding between a photographer, sculptor or someone who makes things. Titled ‘Heavy glinting bronze, breathing flesh?‘ this piece brings together the intricacies of curves and creases on a sculpture and the capacity of photography to freeze a moment in time. Allia makes us question the importance of three-dimensional art in today’s digital world-

“Sculptures inhabit our reality as we do, occupying space; it makes us walk around it. Perhaps we are scared that an inanimate cold stone, heavy glinting bronze, under the sculptor’s touch, can hold as strong of an erotic power as breathing flesh.”

Using her lens to portray the meaning of sculpture as a form of art, she showcases her appreciation one art form through the medium of another. After studying sculpture applied to set design from Ens aama- one of France’s top craft and design school, Allia consistently portrays the importance of knowing the rules before breaking them in her work. She further adds, “if sensuality and attraction are a mechanism for initiating life, attraction to sculpture points to an impossibility, is an aberration; mirrors death. How do you wish for a body that has no capacity to wish for you? Here, I have composed what is perhaps how many people see or wish to see sculptures of human form – harsh, fragmented, cold.”

She leaves us with a taste of her humor saying, “As for me, I can only stop myself from running my hands over these bodies.”