The Brown Girls | Self Love | Ch 04

8 mins read

The Brown Girls | Self Love | Ch 04
March 2, 2023 Chaitya Shah

The Brown Girls | Self Love | Ch 04

Self Love by Naina Dalal

the legendary M.R. Achrekar's demonstration of portraiture with naina as model, 1954, faculty of fine arts, Baroda

Self-love and care are very essential for every human being. It becomes even more special for the gender who generally takes care of everyone around them. The character of Naina’s works believes self-care to be anything that makes them feel happy and content. Be it drinking tea or coffee on a nice wintery afternoon, or eating healthy fruits that energize their libido and relaxing at peace, keeping aside all the stress. They believe loving oneself means not offending someone but also not minding what others say or think. If they know it is right they go ahead with it. Some may label it as arrogance, some may term it as self-belief, Naina’s character take it as a form of Self Love.

In a world where the hibiscus flower is symbolized as the perfect woman or wife, the character here relates it with deep passionate love. They see this flower as the first colour of Muladhara. According to Shastras, it helps in the functioning of one’s core, along with developing a sense of security and survival instincts.

Self Love / Paintings by Naina Dalal.

Self Love / Paintings by Naina Dalal.

For the majority, self-love is exploring, identifying, and appreciating their own beauty. True self-love is only possible when one enjoys herself irrespective of shape, colour, and reality. The pot has flowers, the bed sheet has flowers which metaphorically may also mean the girl is as soft as the flower but instead of comparing herself with the flower she is interested in enjoying their company. The contrasting use of blue, brown, and orange speaks volumes about the artist’s vision. She is not concerned about her big lips, belly, or breasts but is busy enjoying her thoughts while playing with her hair.

Self-love to many is giving themselves bodily pleasures. The character here seems to be enjoying the night by herself and fantasizing about her sexuality. Fulfilling one’s own needs under the moonlight, with the imagination that needs attention. A beautiful lotus in hand and a mirror can be that erotic moment for the girl. She understands how important it is to be healthy and be confident. Not only physically but emotionally too.

Self Love / Paintings by Naina Dalal.

Naina at the Eiffel tower, Paris, 1961

Being free and playing around as you want is still a matter of ‘luck’ for many living beings on this planet. As easy as it may sound, it still holds dreams for many women. For the girls here, playing with the swan represents their freedom. The other’s dream of their sexuality with the most beautiful creature (as they would like to imagine their partner) in this world is also symbolic of knowledge and gaining an understanding of your life and preferences. Still reimagining the same partner who loves you back is a distant dream for the majority. The yellow lines stand out that feeling of being loved while red is the sign of satisfaction, that fulfilling urge to be loved, pampered, and taken care of.

Exploring her own self can be related to body, wisdom, and spirituality. Also through her body, she is enjoying her soul.


Continue Reading : Chapter 5 | Sakhi

Buy paintings online | DRS Fine Arts

Text and Narration: Chaitya Dhanvi Shah


Photos and Text © Chaitya Dhanvi Shah