‘My Choice’ is Hypocritical or Empowering?

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone’s video ‘My Choice’ is a viral hit on social media. In this video, the Bollywoohttp://www.tewot.com/in/259384/my-choiced actress is talking about prerogative of making choices in life. An initiative taken by the popular fashion magazine – Vogue, this video was released last year in October to mark the seventh anniversary of the fashion house in India, but was only posted some two days back on social media platforms.

Through this video, Vogue’s intention was to raise awareness to the cause of women’s right nationwide. Directed by Homi Adjania, it is a video featuring 98 women including his wide Anahita Shroff Adjania, Anupama Chopra, Nimrat Kaur and several others. Deepika Padukone, the heroine in his movie ‘Finding Fanny’ is the brand ambassador for women empowerment. This video earned nearly 2 million hits in a couple of days since it was posted on social media.

The world has never been kind to celebrities and the same is the case with Deepika Padukone’s video too. It drew a lot of flak from some people who brushed it aside stating it is hypocritical while some felt that the 2 minute black and white video did not deal with empowerment in the right manner. Let us be honest here – the fashion magazine Vogue and Deepika have few things in common – both are from an industry that believe in reinforcing and objectifying sexist standards of beauty for women. And so when these two sources combine, one is left a bit confused as to – can fashion and Bollywood empower women really?

In my opinion, Bollywood or the Hindi film industry and the fashion industry are mere propaganda machines of an ultra-narcissistic culture that vehemently defines or sets parameters between what is right and what is wrong. For the past one year, Deepika has been vying for the topmost spot of a confident empowered woman who knows her mind. She put her foot down against a sensational post published by Times of India and retaliated in a polite manner which had the entire backing of the Bollywood fraternity. Sometime back, she came out in the open and spoke about her mental state – depression and the road to recovery thereafter. Live Love Laugh, a foundation was launched by her to tackle those battling depression and other mental issues.

However, she continues to appear for songs and movies that objectify women in the worst possible manner. Take the example of her latest movie ‘Happy New Year’ where she performed a pole dance in an item song and was even referred to as the ‘hottest firecracker’. So now the question is – why choose this? And is this her choice?

The basic problem of fashion magazines like Vogue and celebs like Deepika is that they actually do nothing to empower women except talking about appropriating rights and choices. They do not explain the burden of making such noises in a society like ours. They talk about empowerment when they themselves are slaves of consumerism. What Vogue and Deepika is endorsing is that it is fine to make choices so long as the generation is conforming to the stereotypical standards of beauty and the latest fashion trends.

I firmly believe that freedom of expression and empowerment solely comes through experiences in life and cannot be gained from glossy pages of a magazine and video clippings. I know that the video is being lauded and appreciated for being bold and making a woman’s choices clear, but such contrasting observations cannot be brushed beneath the carpet too. Such observation warrants attention too. Don’t you think? And if you haven’t seen the video yet, here’s the link for it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtPv7IEhWRA.

Aakarsha Mehta (have 101 posts in total)

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