Picture Supply: Alisha Barday
So long as you may have a voice, you may have energy. Each remark, publish, textual content, and video you share places a chunk of you into the world, and 19-year-old activist Pranjal Jain is utilizing her social media to create a group the place the voices of girls globally could be heard.
Jain, now a sophomore at Cornell College, was 15 years outdated when she found she’d spent the primary seven years of her life as an undocumented immigrant. After reconciling the reality about her previous, Jain determined to completely embrace her identities as an immigrant and a lady by sharing her experiences on-line. Conversations with associates shortly snowballed into open dialogues round taboo matters — together with menstruation fairness, sexuality, and gender equality — which impressed her to discovered Global Girlhood, a womxn-led group encouraging ladies empowerment through storytelling.
“I believe that was form of my awakening of how rhetoric shapes a lot of what occurs on the planet,” Jain advised CelebrityPie of her expertise studying she was previously undocumented. “Earlier than that, I by no means actually thought of what media portrayals, media illustration, does to my very own understanding [of undocumented immigrants]. It actually helped me perceive that the image that is been painted will not be what’s really seen.”
“On the finish of the day, I believe being your most genuine self is a extremely highly effective technique to make change.”
By way of World Girlhood, Jain has emboldened ladies all over the world to rewrite the narrative round what it means to be an immigrant, a lady, a feminist, and an advocate for change. “The principle approach that we use social media is basically simply to disrupt narratives round energy to decolonize,” she mentioned. “And in addition to decrease the geographical, cultural, and social biases that we have positioned on one another.” Particular examples of this work embody highlighting the tales of inspirational ladies internationally, recruiting contributors and journalists from various backgrounds, and sharing infographics about contraception, psychological well being, illustration, and extra by a feminist lens.
By creating this content material and constructing digital connections, Jain — and the 15 different core World Girlhood leaders — are capable of foster long-lasting relationships worldwide that allow ladies in varied communities “to grasp what different components of the world seem like and to additionally perceive how they match into this bigger narrative of world citizenship,” which incorporates being acutely aware that your actions have an effect on individuals globally. “We actually attempt to encourage ladies to ask for what they need, to succeed in out to construct these friendships, to construct these relationships, as a result of they deserve it,” she mentioned. “And since we need to discover and follow that form of confidence and assertiveness.”
Picture Supply: Alisha Barday
No matter your follower rely, Jain encourages social media customers to follow authenticity and vulnerability on-line, even when meaning stepping out of your consolation zone generally. “On the finish of the day, I believe being your most genuine self is a extremely highly effective technique to make change,” she mentioned, including that the “block” button is your finest good friend on the subject of curating your social media expertise as a way to safely converse your thoughts.
On her private Instagram account, Jain highlights the ability of being diasporic, sharing either side of her tradition and insights into the 2 understandings she has of herself as a South Asian lady and as an American lady. “I believe being diasporic, being an immigrant, has made me extra worldly,” she mentioned. “I additionally assume that I can relate to all totally different sorts of individuals in several methods as a result of I’ve these totally different identities.” Throughout her time in India, Jain has seen the wants of worldwide communities firsthand and developed a deeper understanding of what it means to be related to individuals across the globe.
“In 2021, I am hoping that South Asians, particularly, within the AAPI group, can live on boldly.”
Immediately, a few of her biggest inspirations are ladies in India combating for change, her associates on TikTok, who train her persistence and compassion, and her grandmother. “After I was little, I hated [my grandmother] as a result of she was a housewife, she was uneducated; I did not assume she match into the concepts and narratives behind energy,” Jain mentioned. “However she practiced company whereas in these patriarchal societies and patriarchal circumstances in India, and I am realizing that she was highly effective in her personal approach . . . I am actually impressed by all the ladies that exit of their technique to reside boldly and exist boldly, realizing all the prices that include it, and encourage me to do the identical.”
As a South Asian lady, Jain — who additionally hosts Brown Sugar: The Podcast about intercourse and relationships along with her good friend Malavika Kannan — continues to grapple along with her Asian American id within the US. “Usually, I believe South Asians aren’t seen as technically Asian [in the US],” she mentioned, including that East Asian ladies are sometimes hypersexualized, whereas South Asian ladies are sometimes hyper-desexualized. “I believe in each methods there’s hurt. For instance, navigating a university surroundings realizing that lots of people do not perceive my tradition or id. And lots of people, additionally due to that, are slightly bit averse to the best way I look, the language I converse, my tradition.”
Experiences like this are why it is so necessary to foster a web-based group the place South Asian ladies and ladies of shade can help one another. “In 2021, I am hoping that South Asians, particularly, within the AAPI group, can live on boldly,” she mentioned. “I am excited for us to have the ability to ingrain ourselves extra into the id of the US and to construct a novel diasporic id that also, hopefully, will hold our roots and tradition intact as we additionally take one of the best bits of American tradition.”