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Deepika Padukone’s Twitter outburst: Stunt or Statement?

There are some who believe Deepika Padukone's reaction is a “well timed stunt” to bolster the collections of her just released Finding Fanny.

Written by Harneet Singh | Mumbai | Updated: September 15, 2014 3:04 pm
there are some who believe Deepika’s reaction is a “well timed stunt” to bolster the collections of her just released Finding Fanny and also to propel the chances of her big Diwali extravaganza Happy New Year co-starring Shah Rukh Khan, if you please.  (Source: Varinder Chawla) There are some who believe Deepika’s reaction is a “well timed stunt” to bolster the collections of her just released Finding Fanny and also to propel the chances of her big Diwali extravaganza Happy New Year co-starring Shah Rukh Khan, if you please. (Source: Varinder Chawla)

It’s tough being a female actor in Bollywood. Even if on screen this is the year of the Girls, off screen we continue to live up to our (miss) marketing pitch of No Country for Girls… heroines included.

On Sunday, Bollywood’s Number 1 female star Deepika Padukone declared twitter war on a leading newspaper for publishing a gallery of tasteless images featuring her. The web post titled “OMG: Deepika Padukone’s Cleavage Show” were all top-angle shots, unaesthetic and definitely put up with the intention to outrage the actor’s modesty. Deepika’s retort: “YES! I am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??” was no-nonsense and resounding.

While Deepika Padukone amassed a thunderous wave of online support from her film industry colleagues, thought leaders and fans, predictably there are some backstage naysayers who see everything with Bollywood tinted glasses of cynicism. Just like Preity Zinta’s complaint of misbehaviour of her ex boyfriend and Kings XI Punjab co owner Ness Wadia, was labelled as a “fading star’s meltdown” and “publicity stunt”, there are some who believe Deepika’s reaction is a “well timed stunt” to bolster the collections of her just released Finding Fanny and also to propel the chances of her big Diwali extravaganza Happy New Year co-starring Shah Rukh Khan, if you please.

Talk of synchronicity! So let me get this right. If a female actor (who mind you, is at the top of her game) speaks up against objectification at the time of her film’s release then its publicity. And if she does so when her film is not releasing then again it’s for publicity because she is seeking a career revival and needs to be in circulation. So basically, a female actor can’t express her opinion about herself and her portrayal. Ever. Talk about diabolical. Take a bow, misogyny.

If a top Bollywood female star has to go through the line of fire for taking a stand for herself then can you imagine what it’s like for regular girls in our country who are not as empowered? No Country for Girls, like I said.

If this is a publicity stunt then well, it’s a great one because it once again exposes our hypocrisy in how we treat our women, especially those who speak out. By speaking up for herself, Deepika has shown that she has a cleavage and a voice too. It’s about time we started seeing our heroines beyond their cleavage. And lips. Maybe all those filmmakers who are applauding Deepika can bring about a change in the way they promote their movies? Surely a film is more than the number of liplocks. Wonder why every kiss in every film still makes for a page one story and “exclusive” pictures? Like a director famously said, “Kissing is the new hugging” so by now aren’t we over the fascination for liplocks? While we applaud a female star for speaking out against her objectification maybe her ecosystem can also show her and her female colleagues some respect by not pegging their presence in a film just on their lips and cleavage.

harneet.singh@expressindia.com

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    Hersh
    Sep 16, 2014 at 2:10 am
    Deepika, you got the fame, be happy about it now. All readers, thank you, one just needs some e. Extremely myopic those who said to deepikA and deepikA as well. Kudos, long live india...
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      Kapali
      Sep 16, 2014 at 3:46 am
      The rule of the game is very clear and "civil": if you wish to sell the womanhood of Ms. Padukone (or any other Actor) in reel or paper, you must get Ms. Padukone's (or the Actor's) agreement and approval. Otherwise, it is outrageous and an affront to women empowerment. For example, the following adver is not at all outrageous and does empower women as a w because Ms. Padukone has not complained that the commercial house that made the adver did not pay her or used her in a manner that she objected to. So, it is fine.:www.youtube/watch?v...
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        KarmaBicth
        Sep 16, 2014 at 8:09 pm
        Yeah..but its ok for deepika to pose in clothes..does she have dad/brothers at home?Or are they banned from watching any of her cheap antics...sau choohe khake billi jee chali haj ko...
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          Abhishek01
          Sep 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm
          PPl like you makes paper like TOI to publish it. When she exposes herself she knew and not being snooped.Respect woman will do something good for mankind.
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            abhilash
            Sep 15, 2014 at 4:49 pm
            I don't understand what all the hoopla is about. Agree with Deepika that it is natural for women to have , but then it is equally natural for men to be attracted to them. Men shouldn't feel guilty about looking at a woman's body. It is nature's impulse. Imagine you are driving a car with the FM radio on and suddenly a beautiful song starts playing. Should you feel ashamed and try to shift channels? No, you would go on enjoying it. Similarly, men with even with an iota of pride would not try to look away when they happen to gaze on a pretty female body. If beautiful are natural for Deepika, why should any onlooker or newspaper try to avoid saying something about it? What is wrong in commenting on cleavage as it is admittedly a perfectly natural thing Deepika is proud of? Is she suggesting that should be kept a taboo subject? Who is guilty of hypocrisy here? The Times, or as I think, Deepika? I guess we are falling victim to the honored Indian habit of trying to sweep everything related under the carpet, and pretending that it doesn't exist.
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