The News Minute | September 19, 2014 | 09:01 am IST
When actor Deepika Padukone gave The Times of India a piece of her mind after the media publication posted a video of her that zoomed on her cleavage, it created a furore both in and outside social media. With most supporting Padukone for her reminder to TOI that women have breasts and cleavage too, TOI could do very little other than bearing the brunt.
TOI later also published a response trying to justify the video, stating it was meant as a 'compliment'. Their attempt to cool down things backfired severely.
With most big names supporting Padukone, TOI was sort of left to fend for itself.
And on September 17, the newspaper carried a piece on their website by actor and host Pooja Bedi. The argument provided in the piece is that if we can drool over the six and eight packs of male actors, what's wrong to extend the same to our female actors. Also scantily dressing comes as a part of their profession for both men and women actors and thus their seems to be not much wrong if the media focuses on the way they dress. Because it is the way they dress.
( Pooja Bedi )
In what looks like a response to TOI's piece, this time Padukone moved beyond the 140-characters of Twitter and took to Facebook to put across her views more elaborately. In a post published on her Facebook page early on Friday, she writes,
My Point of View...
There is only ONE sign that a woman wants to have sex and that is that she says â€śYESâ€ť.
The reason I write the above line is because we all know that in India we are so desperately trying to make a change in the way sections of our society think in order to move towards a happier world devoid of inequality,rape,fear and pain.
I am not naive about my own profession; it is one that requires lots of demanding things of me. A character may demand that I be clothed from head to toe or be completely naked, and it will be my choice as an actor whether or not I take either. Understand that this is a ROLE and not REAL, and it is my job to portray whatever character I choose to play convincingly.
What my concern is and I am stating it clearly so it is not misconstrued or confused with Shahrukhâ€™s 8-pack or any other womanâ€™s or manâ€™s anatomy. I have spoken out against an ideology that such regressive tactics are still being employed to draw a readerâ€™s attention at a time when we are striving for womenâ€™s equality and empowerment. In a time where women should be applauded for making headway in a male-dominated society,we blur the lines between REEL and REAL life and dilute all our efforts by making a one-year old back sliding piece of news a headline. Digging out an old article and headlining it â€śOMG: Deepikaâ€™s Cleavage Show!â€ť to attract readers is using the power of influence to proliferate recessive thought.
When an actresses inner wear decides to do a "peek-a-boo",she most definitely did not step out with the intention to do so.So instead of zooming in,circling it and pointing arrows at it,why don't we give her some 'respect' and let it go instead of making it 'headlines'!? Are we not human?Yes we marvel,envy and drool over a male actors 8pack abs in a film,but do we zoom in on the mans 'crotch' when he makes a public appearance and make that 'cheap headlines'??!!
I have no issue celebrating my body and I have never shied away from anything on-screen to portray a character. In fact my next character portrayed is a bar dancer (sorry Farah for the spoiler!) who titillates men as a means to support her livelihood. My issue is you propagating the objectification of a REAL person,and not a character being played. Sure,dissect my characters if you wish-if it is of so much interest then discuss the characterâ€™s cup size and leg length if it is relevant to making the role convincing. All I am asking for is respect as a woman off-screen.
It is not about breasts,penises,or any other body part being reported.It is a matter of context and how out-of-context the reportage is just to sell a headline. And more so during a time in dire need of an attitude shift towards women.
For me this topic ends here.Everyone is entitled to an opinion.I have little interest to take this further as it might get more attention than it deserves and might be further misconstrued and twisted to sell more undeserved headlines.
Having said that,please may we show love,dignity and respect to each other.
Live well, laugh often and love much.