Not that it is wise to indulge in Bollywood gossips, particularly when it is about the tabloids and movie stars’ marketing stints and gimmicks. However, when the nation’s leading “newspaper”, Times of India (TOI), is absurdly obsessed with a woman’s anatomy and her private parts (read: Deepika Padukone), it is time to get alert. Before I go further, let me first get the juicy story right. Apparently, several months ago, when Deepika, India’s leading female movie star, appeared in a public event, a photographer managed to raise his camera 3 feet above his head for a “top view” and clicked what he needed to sell his picture- her cleavage. Times of India published it with a headline “OMG, Deepika Padukone’s cleavage shows”, as shown in the tweet picture below, which was clearly a deliberate and desperate attempt to objectify a woman’s anatomy to garner attention. Deepika retorted and tweeted, “YES! I am a woman. I have breasts and a cleavage. You got a problem?”
As powerful as her tweets sound, particularly they voice the opinion of millions of girls who are tired of men staring at their breasts while in public places, yet, why she countered right when her movie was releasing, bothered many viewers. While it would have been wiser for TOI to just keep quiet and let the matter disappear, instead, it published the lamest article last night, justifying its act (which was in no way moral and apposite) by further publishing Deepika’s several cleavage showing photo-shoots from her modelling days and justifying what they did was right.
First thing first, let us not get into Deepika’s past work. What she did, who she was, how much she exposed- that should be the least of our concern. Personally, for me, she is an accomplished actress with a divine body and a flawless smile. If her work requires her to go naked, and she finds it acceptable, that is her life, and her choice- let us move on! But taking her “cleavage” picture from an angle without her knowledge, and pointing to her cleavage with ‘circles’ and ‘arrows’ just so readers do not miss it, is plain wrong.
Second, Deepika’s cleavage-showing magazine shoots that the TOI is publishing today to justify why their “pointed” cleavage photo was no different, had “Deepika’s permission” to “glamorize her body”. It is an art, and part of her profession that she chose to be. Third, by pointing and circling Deepika’s cleavage, TOI actually “grossly” objectified a woman’s body. Perhaps TOI does not care that objectifying women means somehow it is also promoting violence, trivializing sex, and damaging a woman’s sense of self-esteem, but let me not get too serious about women violence that we are facing in this country today , and focus on Deepika’s cleavage only. Frankly speaking, I would have no issue if TOI had simply claimed that publishing “OMG!! Deepika cleavage show?” got them more “likes” in the hit market, and being a public figure, Deepika’s cleavage sells. But, when Deepika raised her concern, least TOI could have done was an “apology”, if not, at least “keep quiet”. Instead they had the goddamn guts to justify their shameful act by further publishing all the cleavage showing pictures of Deepika, making unfortunate personal attack by citing Deepika beginning her career as a ‘calendar girl’ for a liquor brand, and further boasting how TOI is careful enough to ‘pixelate’ a woman’s vagina or nipples if they show up in a picture (BTW, if vaginas and nipples are shown un-pixelated on a newspaper website, then it actually becomes a pornography site). Zooming into her cleavage and pointing with an arrow itself is degrading enough, on top of that, arguing how she had “knowingly” posed many times in the past and thus she should have no problem if TOI decided to publish one of the creepiest photo about her cleavage- is wrong, shameful and unfair. For a second, even if we forget about Deepika Padukone, is it even appropriate for a leading national newspaper to make news out of a woman’s cleavage? Seriously, Times of India, enough is enough. High time, you stop digging your own grave and take some responsibility, decency and progressiveness.
And I just hope, for her own sanity, Deepika does not respond to this outrageous article published by the TOI. Silence is golden, specially when dealing with morons. And let us move on..!!