Nakuul Mehta: I never tell my son ‘don’t cry like a girl’ | Bollywood

Nakuul Mehta’s parenting style is not going to be seeped in the age old notions, that is something he is extremely sure of. Parent to a two-year-old son Sufi, he doesn’t want him to grow up confined within the walls of what is traditionally called masculinity.

Actor Nakuul Mehta with wife Janki and son Sufi, who is two.
Actor Nakuul Mehta with wife Janki and son Sufi, who is two.

“Saying things like ‘don’t cry like a girl’ is an absolute no in front of Sufi. Between my wife Janki and me, it’s something we have consciously spoken about. But he happens to meet people in his extended family, who say it, so there is a constant battle between us two if they need to be corrected,” he shares.

With the ongoing Pride Month, Mehta also takes note of the fact that he is not restricting his son’s choices, and letting him be free. “I feel boys have this pressure to prove their masculinity, and we often raise girls to cater to the fragile egos of men. We teach our girls to restrict themselves, have ambition but not too much, be successful, but not too much. But it’s okay to be vulnerable. I share with Sufi how my day was, so does my wife. We both want him to know that his papa and mumma both can have weak days too. I don’t stop myself from being emotional in front of him. He has his low days when he cries and gets cranky, but we don’t stop him from expressing himself,” explains the 40-year-old.

The actor, in the spirit of not being restricted by gender stereotypes, had also recently shared a video of him dancing in a skirt, which currently holds more than three million views on Instagram. Mehta says some men did try and ridicule him for wearing something “traditionally associated with the feminine”. “But almost everyone else loved it, and said just like Pride Month, this video is also about inclusivity. People said this is the kind of masculinity we need. Earlier too, before Covid, I had done an entire shoot in gender fluid clothes, which were actually bought from the women’s section. If I feel comfortable wearing something, why should traditional notions restrict me?,” asks Mehta.

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