Cleavage has inspired many reactions over the years, including but not limited to both looks of total shock and looks of total pleasure. Fast forward to this past Sunday, when, according to BBC News, the Times of India tweeted a salacious picture of Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone’s cleavage with the caption, “OMG: Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show.”
Upon seeing the tweet, Deepika Padukone responded to the Times of India by tweeting the following:
YES!I am a Woman.I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??
— Finding Fanny (@deepikapadukone) September 14, 2014
And thus began one of the most intense cleavage-and feminism-related controversies to ever rock the humble nation of India. It did not help when the Times of India followed up on Deepika’s tweet by urging her to chill out and take the tweet as some sort of compliment.
If anything, the back-and-forth Twitter conversation only helped to inspire an avalanche of equally furious outrage from other heavyweights in Bollywood. The Independent reveals that the cleavage controversy also inspired the creation of the hashtag #IStandWithDeepikaPadukone.
Appalled….shocked and disgusted at the level of disrespect shown..Deepika or any women in the world cannot and should not stand for this!!
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) September 14, 2014
I just read here in Malaysia about @deepikapadukone retort to cheap sensational journalism,well done girl.
— arjun rampal (@rampalarjun) September 15, 2014
— Deepika PFC Kerala (@DeepikaFCKerala) September 14, 2014
— ShainaNC (@ShainaNC) September 16, 2014
The premise behind the whole cleavage controversy is that it was disrespectful for the Times of India to specifically point out and make an issue out of Deepika Padukone’s cleavage – that doing so amounts to the misogynist and sexist objectification of women. However, many assert that Deepika is practicing grade-A hypocrisy. Why? About a year ago, fellow actress Katrina Kaif threw a big hubbub after members of India’a paparazzi took photos of her in a bikini. Keep in mind that, at the time, Kaif was on a private beach holiday with boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor.
According to Bollywood Life, Deepika Padukone had responded to that controversy by chiding Kaif on the basis that she should “have been a little careful.”
“Deepika believes that a celeb should always be careful as they are public figure. So when the long legged beauty was asked about the Kat’s bikini pictures, here’s what she said in her interview, ‘It has never happened with me. I believe if you are a celebrity or public figure… these things are bound to happen. And I don’t think you can accuse anybody of anything. If I am a public figure and if someone has captured me then I feel I should have been a little careful.'”
Note that the picture that the Times of India shared of Deepika Padukone stemmed from a legitimate public event. This differs completely from the picture of Katrina Kaif that was shared a year ago. Not that this really matters in the larger scheme of things, as this beef represents just one tiny subset of the huge women’s empowerment movement that is slowly but surely unfolding across India.
Whether the cleavage controversy will inspire any real changes in the way the Indian media covers female Bollywood actor remains to be seen. One thing that’s for certain is that Indian women (and their male counterparts) are just not going to take it this useless objectification anymore!
Image via [Google Images]