The Women Driving India’s Digital Revolution: Kamana Gautam
Kamana Gautam, 32
The certified nutritionist and lactation counsellor — and mother of two — aims to change the perspective around how a woman’s body changes during pregnancy and early motherhood as well as normalise the natural aspects of childbirth and rearing. Kamana Gautam is also especially dedicated to educating people about the benefits of breastfeeding. She favours Instagram as visuals create a greater impact.
“I hadn’t heard of the word ‘influencer’ until a few months ago, and I never thought people would put me into that category because of the number of followers I have. I wanted to share with people my journey of motherhood, subaspects of natural birthing, breastfeeding, et al. I wanted to share my experiences with fellow mothers to ensure no one feels alone. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child and, for me, Instagram became that village.”
“Since time immemorial, a woman’s body has always been sexually objectified, and that impacts breastfeeding too. Women are scared to feed their kids in public because it has been ingrained in their minds that the breasts’ primary role is to fulfil a man’s desire and not to provide nutrition to the baby. I started posting breastfeeding pictures in the hope that I could change that perspective. And if you look at any such photo that I have put up, there are lots of lewd and obscene messages that I have received from boys and men. Women also never post pictures of their postpartum bellies because they are ashamed and embarrassed. They are judged by society, and expected to lose the weight. All this made me share an image of myself after giving birth to empower and make women aware that they are not alone, and to tell them that their postpartum bodies are beautiful.”
“The #MeToo movement spread across the world like fire. Before that, women were afraid to share their stories in public. All it took was one hashtag on social media to inform and make people aware that our society has deeper issues. I feel like social media has played a major role in promoting activism. The movement may take time to bring the change, but it does facilitate the change in thought process.”