Deepika Padukone has been making more headlines for her Twitter outrage against Times of India, than for her performance in the recent comedy ‘Finding Fanny’. In the week gone by, a lot was said about the actresses’ scathing response to a Times of India ‘news’ story titled ‘OMG Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show’ featuring a top view photograph of her dressed in a low neck gown.
While an angry Deepika lashed out at TOI for creating ‘news’ out of this picture, TOI replied by suggesting she take it as a compliment. The issue snowballed further with a majority of the Bollywood fraternity and Twitter influencers joining her in support, while TOI deleted the offensive tweet as well as its equally offensive reply. Her fans also stood by her and this was reflected in the hashtag #IStandWithDeepikaPadukone that trended at the top of India Twitter trends for a good number of days.
Supposedly India’s ‘LEADING’ newspaper and this is ‘NEWS’!!?? pic.twitter.com/D3wiVVXuyM
— Finding Fanny (@deepikapadukone) September 14, 2014
National news publications as well as global news media carried the story far and wide, bringing in the urgent need to look into matters of objectification of women in media. Deepika had also raised the topic of respecting women with TOI that prides itself on working towards women empowerment. While she managed to stir up a whole lot of praise for standing up for herself, she also invited a nationwide debate.
On the other side were the accusations of ‘double standards’ in the film industry, where female actors often have to do a raunchy ‘item dance’ number, or play shallow characters that only serve as arm-candy for the lead actor. Articles forecasted that this too will pass and Deepika will give an interview to TOI to let bygones be bygones. After all, they say ‘public figures and the media make strange bedfellows, conveniently sharing both parasitic and symbiotic relationships with each other’.
Deepika lays all this to rest in her recent Facebook post – “My point of view”. A few excerpts have been reproduced below:
“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”.
“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.”
Talking about the attitude shift towards women, there has been a definite shift in mediums of expression. More and more prominent people now resort to social media to reach out directly with their messages. With Deepika having more than 21.9 million fans on the social networking giant, the post has seen good numbers in terms of engagement. At present it has received over 88K likes, 6K shares and another 5K comments. It appears that the matter will not die soon with the post raking in more direct questions to the actress.
The digital PR team of the actress has leveraged her Facebook popularity this time, a smart move considering that her fans and most Indians are active on India’s biggest social network.