A few days back The Times of India published a video tweet of leading Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone in its online entertainment section. The video highlighted Deepika’s low neck dress and accused her of showing her cleavage. TOI also went ahead to prove its point by drawing a dotted red circle around her cleavage.
Deepika came up with a swift reply to this on Facebook – “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.’
Following Deepika’s response, TOI came back with a response on its Bollywood page. This time TOI accused Deepika of throwing a publicity stunt before the release of her upcoming movie, ‘Finding Fanny’. TOI also pointed out occasions when Deepika had ‘flaunted’ her cleavage in real life or during photo shoots for various magazines.
Surprisingly, there are a few weak points in TOI’s argument that any reader would notice:
1. Deepika obviously didn’t object to the images posted by TOI as the image in question actually showed very little of her cleavage when compared to her photos in many other magazines, which she has voluntarily posed for. However, TOI seems to have gone overboard by pointing out someone’s body part in public with a red circle over it to shame the person concerned.
2. The way an actress dresses in real life is her own concern and though media can report on her fashion sense, showing off someone’s body parts in a vulgar way is not expected from a leading national daily. These things are better suited to porn magazines. Moreover, it is weird that TOI got back to Deepika after her response by questioning her dressing sense in real life, because all female actors today dress very similarly in public and there is no way that Deepika can be singled out.
3. Also, the use of language in TOI’s response was nothing short of absurd: Deepika, who began her career as a ‘calendar girl’ for a liquor brand…. Like it or not, Deepika Padukone is a leading actress in Bollywood today and most of her fans would agree that she doesn’t need to show her cleavage to get fans because she has proven her acting skills and she has got natural good looks.
4. Moreover, the concept of highlighting a cleavage in 21st century India seems weird in the first place. Female actors in Hollywood have started stripping down naked long ago. Some actresses in Bollywood have also tried to emulate them though we have not seen scenes as bold as the ones in Hollywood. Such media censorship will only push back the Indian film industry a step back.
It was good to see Deepika’s colleagues and other independent writers come out in support of Deepika. We at ‘Hind Today’ also stand by her.