It all started on Sunday, when Deepika Padukone took a stand no one could ignore. The actor strongly reacted to an online report by the Times of India that carried pics of her at an event, purportedly taken from a high camera angle, captioned, ‘OMG: Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show’. In a tweet that has since been retweeted close to 9000 times, an angry Deepika posted, ‘YES! I am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??” The matter only escalated when the news daily justified its action via its Twitter handle, “It’s a compliment! You look so great that we want to make sure everyone knew! :)”.
While expressing outrage at the pictures and the justification that followed, social media stood by the 28-year-old actor, as the hashtag #IStandByDeepikaPadukone trended on Twitter and people slammed the publication for objectifying women with an example such as this.
However, the publication has come up with an "explanation" for this whole episode. Excerpts as printed in TOI:
So Deepika flaunted her perfect assets and some gawked and gaped, some others drooled and swooned, while some raised eyebrows and friends and feminists went into protest overdrive about the media coverage of it.
In this era of women emancipation, we have forgotten that it should be about equality, not being over-sensitive. We don't go into a hostile frenzy when cameras caress and capture SRK's and Hrithik's perfect six-pack abs. We marvel, we envy and we drool. Why should it be different for a woman? When you are a public figure and you go out to a press event, you are bound to be dissected from your chipped nail polish to your repeated shoes. If admiring and focussing on a woman's assets is a crime, all item numbers should be banned. How fair is it to say, I will dress to tantalise publicly, but you have to look the other way? In your homes, you dress keeping in mind the reactions you will receive from your family, in-laws, husband and neighbours.
For a celebrity, going out in front of the cameras is a responsibility to flaunt only what they want noticed and it's really silly in the name of women's rights to say, "Why did you notice and focus on what I flaunted?" Or, "How dare you give a public appearance media attention!" We react to situations from our point of view. Of course, to us, our point of view is absolutely valid and correct; else we wouldn't be so vehement about it. It's often quoted that one man's meat is another man's poison and that one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. Everything in life is about perspective, and while you are governed by yours, you must keep an open mind about the flipside of the coin. As long as there is no violence or unlawful methods being adopted, everyone is entitled to their point of view. Even if it's top angle!
How we choose to dress doesn’t give someone the right to peddle voyeurism, says Deepika
Deepika tells HT City, “Every girl deserves to be treated with respect ... whether an actor, a dancer or a girl walking into a restaurant. How we choose to dress doesn’t give someone the right to peddle voyeurism, or eve tease or do anything that is disrespectful to a woman.” She also said in an interview to NDTV, “It was unethical for the photographer to click a picture like that. This has nothing to do with being a celebrity or actor. I feel violated as a woman.”
Meanwhile, Bollywood has not just came out strongly in support of the actor, but also driven home the point that the paparazzi should know where to draw the line.
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ok so this is turning into a bigger thing than I expected
btw, that Femina cover is this month's. It's a Times of India publication