#FreedomHair: Famous Indian Sprinter Dutee Chand Is The Hero Of Her Own Story!

#FreedomHair: Famous Indian Sprinter Dutee Chand Is The Hero Of Her Own Story!

There are so many women around the world who have overcome hardships and shattered glass ceilings. They have left no doubt to the fact that the future is female. Pantene has dedicated its new campaign, #FreedomHair, to all these trail-blazers from different walks of life who are changing the game. This campaign is addressed to all the women who have found their freedom in their dreams, made their own rules and followed their passions. 

Pantene spent the last 18 months listening to young girls across the country in countless in-depth interviews and tried to capture this sentiment in their new brand campaign. The insight is that young girls might not have all the answers to the challenges they face, but they seek to lead their lives differently than the earlier generation. They want to write their own story.

One thing they all have in common: they want to let go of the social constructs around who they were supposed to be, how they are supposed to dress and how they need to keep their wear their hair! It’s such a small thing when you think about it, but holds so much power: how to wear your hair. Remember in school we had to wear our hair in tight buns and braids? Open hair has long been considered undignified and wild. Well, women are changing that by redefining what’s their idea of strength and beauty is. One fine example is Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, who wrote her own story, in her own way, with her hair as her cape.

Dutee Chand, a 23-year-old professional sprinter, is the current national champion in the women’s 100 metres event. She became the first Indian to win a gold medal in women’s 100-metre sprint at the 30th University Games in Naples, Italy and then broke her own record in the 100-metre race. She is also India’s first athlete to openly come out as gay and is a very active member of the LGBTQ+ community. Impressive, isn’t she? 

Despite many challenges and opposition from people around her, Dutee took a brave step and decided to write her own story. She said, “People used to tell me, there is no future in the sport and that I was wasting my life. My mother and older sister supported me to run, so I kept going. We need to be what we are no matter what people say. If we listen to others, we won’t be able to make our lives into the dreams we see. So do what you want!”

Dutee makes a statement of freedom with her hair. Letting her hair loose is her way of boosting her confidence and self-worth. She said, “I feel good when I open my hair. I tie my hair from warm-ups till the final, so I feel very confident when I let them loose after the race.”

We have learned so much from Dutee and women like her. They give us the courage to follow our heart and do something that we feel passionate about. It may be tough; there may be hardships along the way, but we all need to find the courage to write our story. 

With the #FreedomHair campaign, Pantene partnered with 8 women across various métiers, who are making a mark for themselves in unchartered territories and got each one of them to share their own stories to inspire women in India. The campaign brings together impactful lyrics by ace lyricist Javed Akhtar, and the superhit song ‘Freedom’ by international star Pharrell Williams, into a truly inspiring film.

Watch the film here

Inspired to share your story? Write to us on Instagram @PanteneIndia and tell us how you made your own rules and wrote your own story!

*This is a sponsored post for Pantene.