Editor's Comment: Deepika Padukone's Fiery Outburst Against Cheap, Crass & Irresponsible Journalism
I think I caught Deepika Padukone's explosive tweet minutes after she posted it and I just had to devote a post to it.
"YES!I am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??", Deepika had tweeted earlier this week. "Don't talk about Woman's Empowerment when YOU don't know how to RESPECT Women!", she further wrote.
Of course, this isn't the first time that a leading daily has posted something controversial, out there, derogatory, insulting and downright crass against a film actress, leading or otherwise. Most take it in their stride, laugh it off, ignore it or retaliate diplomatically. It seems Deepika though, is made of sterner stuff and on Sunday, 14 September 2014, BLASTED an article in The Times Of India, which posted a video of DP's wardrobe malfunction, which temporarily exposed her cleavage.
She has a point though. In a country where female foeticide, child sexual abuse, rape, dowry and male chauvinism are rampant, is an actress's cleavage the only thing the journalist in question deemed newsworthy?
Deepika's tweet quickly caught on with industry bigwigs with celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D'Cruz, Ritesh Sidhwani, Karan Johar, Alia Bhatt, Shraddha Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and other prominent names tweeting in her favour, revolting against a media powerhouse, one that is widely regarded as one of the most respected newspapers in India... And why not?
The video was totally uncalled for, cheap, trashy and quite obviously piggybacking on the actresses soaring popularity to grab eyeballs for an otherwise pointless and sleazy article. It isn't the first time that the Indian media has resorted to cheap gimmicks in order to sell their publications, online or otherwise, it just so happened that Deepika singled out this particular one and made a point that was loud and clear.
The publication then went on to dig themselves into a deeper hole by posting a feeble tweet which they then went on to delete, but by then it was way too late.
The question is was this a publicity stunt? I doubt it. Deepika is sitting pretty at the top of a heap of hits and is perhaps the most in demand actress today. And any way a massive film like Happy New Year which is already making all the right noises, doesn't need to resort to this to raise the profile of an already big film.
I suspect the actresses's actions, will force the media to reconsider their strategies going forward and not take women (actresses or otherwise) for granted. Deepika's move was a bold one, but she reacted bang on the buck, and for that she deserves our tag of 'star of the month' for not taking any bulsh-t lying down.
A few days after her nuclear outburst, Deepika elaborated on why she was so riled by the tweet in question. This is what she had to say:
My Point of View...
There is only ONE sign that a woman wants to have sex and that is that she says “YES”.
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 Shahrukh’s 8-pack or any other woman’s or man’s anatomy. I have spoken out against an ideology that such regressive tactics are still being employed to draw a reader’s attention at a time when we are striving for women’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 “OMG: Deepika’s Cleavage Show!” 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 character’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.
More power to you Deepika... Now what was that little saying about hell having no fury like a woman scorned?