Tamil Actor's Viral "Divorce Celebration Photoshoot" Is A Reminder To Normalise Divorce

"Divorce is NOT a failure! It’s a turning point for you and a chance to make positive changes in your life," wrote Tamil television actor Shalini alongside her Instagram post

Kalyani Ganesan
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Tamil Serial Actor Divorce Photoshoot
Tamil television actor Shalini recently announced her divorce from her ex-husband on her social media handle with a creative "Divorce Photoshoot." Yes, you read that right; she did indeed have a "Divorce Celebration Photoshoot." The post features a series of photos of the Mullum Malarum actor wearing a red gown and happily announcing her divorce.

The photoshoot has gone viral on social media, where the actor is seen happily holding a banner that reads "Divorced." In another photo, Shalini is seen tearing apart a photo of her wedding day. A third photo shows her holding a sign that reads, "I got 99 problems, and husband ain’t one."

Tamil Serial Actor Divorce Photoshoot

Sharing the photos, Shalini wrote, "A divorced woman’s message to those who feel voiceless. It’s okay to leave a bad marriage because you deserve to be happy and never settle for less. Take control of your lives and make the changes necessary to create a better future for yourself and your children." "Divorce is NOT a failure! It’s a turning point for you and a chance to make positive changes in your life. It takes a lot of courage to leave a marriage and stand alone, so to all my brave women out there, I dedicate this!" she added. Isn't that empowering? Well, some people, unfortunately, disagree.

While many appreciated her courage for walking out of an abusive marriage and getting a divorce in a country that stigmatises the very thought, some netizens were brutally unkind to her. She was called an attention-seeker, and the photoshoot was considered a publicity stunt. All this hatred stems from a patriarchal mindset that is threatened by women who dare to defy social norms; by women who can live a happy and self-sufficient life without a man. Society is just intimidated by women’s fearlessness to take agency over their lives because if all women begin doing that, how will patriarchy have a hold on them?

As a divorced single mother myself, I could resonate with how happy she would have felt after signing her divorce papers and while doing this photoshoot. Divorce is not a failure but the start of a new and empowered chapter in a woman’s life! After all the physical and emotional turmoil that she might have gone through over the years and the excruciating divorce proceedings, this is indeed a celebration for her!

India has the lowest divorce rate in the world at just 1%, not because all marriages are successful but because divorce is stigmatised. The first reaction that a woman would hear when she announces that she wants to get a divorce is, "What will people say?" "What'll happen to your family's honour?" Let the world talk! If family honour lies in destroying a woman's life in an unhappy or toxic marriage, let it rot! No one has been in that woman’s shoes; no one knows her challenges and struggles; and no one can feel her pain. Why can’t society just let her live happily? Is that too much to ask for?


In a society that shuns divorced women and presumes them to be characterless, uncultured, arrogant, selfish, and dishonourable, how many of them are gutsy enough to stand their ground? Divorced women have fought against the entire world, quite literally, and they deserve to celebrate their freedom! Given the judgmental society we live in, it's not easy for women to openly speak about their divorce status. And yet, these women are opening up so that fellow women in an unhappy or toxic marriage feel empowered to walk out. Aren’t we supposed to be supportive of them?

Amidst being considered "bad luck" "used goods" and "asking-for-it types,", isn’t their courage something that deserves to be supported and appreciated? When is our society going to value women’s happiness over "log kya kahenge?" When are we going to normalise divorce and embrace the concept of "happily divorced" rather than "unhappily married?"

Suggested Reading: Woman Celebrates Divorce-Versary: Time We See Divorce Too As Happy Ending

Views expressed by author are their own

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