Deepika Padukone Controversy: Who Is A Real Hypocrite?

Media’s hypocrisy over Shweta Basu Prasad case was still raw when yet another case of media hypocrisy struck and this time the target was Deepika Padukone.

The style diva has walked the ramp with oomph and spright. She has been effervescent and gentle with the media so far. However, the recent reportage by the leading newspaper of India that zoomed on to show series of images of Deepika’s cleavage has shamed the entire media fraternity.

Outraged and disturbed by this, Deepika took to a micro-blogging site and received enough support from around the world.

Deepika Padukone Cleavage controversy

The film fraternity and fans of Deepika supported her. Her adversaries too stood by her this time around.

Deepika in an instant gained a massive fan following for her bold avatar. But this wasn’t enough so she vented her anger through an open letter that she wrote to the so called “leading” newspaper.

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 8 pack 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.

– Deepika Padukone

Now that Deepika’s boldness put a blotch on the newspaper’s image they came out in open to call the lady a hypocrite. This is what the newspaper had to say.

Over the past few days, there’s been a flood of tweets and stories in other media in support of Deepika Padukone’s response to a video and tweet posted in the online entertainment section of TOI.

As one of the largest media houses in the world with interests in print, TV, radio and online, we approach each medium differently, as do our audiences. There isn’t a one-fits-all formula for either distributing or consuming content across various media.

On Friday, Deepika wrote on FB: “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.”

Deepika, we accept your reel vs real argument, but what about all the times, and there have been many, when you have flaunted your body off screen — while dancing on stage, posing for magazine covers, or doing photo ops at movie promotional functions? What ‘role’ do you play there? So why the hypocrisy? What’s equally hypocritical is that several media outlets have freely displayed Deepika’s cleavage even as they sounded all outraged on her behalf. Surely they could have reported the story without those pictures?

Yes, the headline could have been better. But the world of online is very different from that of newspapers. It is chaotic and cluttered — and sensational headlines are far from uncommon.

We have always campaigned against the moral police. We believe there’s no shame in Deepika showing off her body, but does she now want us to first check with her as to which pictures of her — taken at public events — we can or cannot publish? Are we going to have a parallel censor board for pictures of film stars taken off screen but in plain sight of the world, as Deepika’s was? It’s not as if the pictures were shot with hidden cameras, or that someone sneaked into her home, invaded her privacy, and took those pictures without her knowledge/permission.

Deepika, who began her career as a ‘calendar girl’ for a liquor brand, has written, ”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’??!!” Deepika, just for the record, we do not zoom into a woman’s vagina or show her nipples. As a newspaper, we take every care to ensure that we pixelate them if they show up in a picture, but your cleavage is as sexy as Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘8-pack’ abs. Given the nature of the online media worldwide, there could well have been a story headlined, “OMG…Shah Rukh’s 8-pack sexy abs!!!” You’ve also written, ”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.” Despite having made your point on Twitter, you have chosen to re-tweet every message and given as many interviews as you could. This has obviously been great publicity for you, timed perfectly with the release of your new film. The video’s been on YouTube for a year, why object now?

As for our friends in the media, we wonder if they’ll henceforth stop carrying pictures of cleavages, including Deepika’s.

While we agree that there isn’t any moral police that comes to check on the celebrity images that go viral, we also believe it is unethical for any brand to endorse themselves by targeting a known figure. Who is a true hypocrite we leave it to our readers to decide for they are sane enough. But all this farce has gained both the parties immense publicity.

We’d like you to leave us a comment on what do you think of the letter from the newspaper.

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