Is Deepika Padukone’s ‘My Choice’ Video Really Empowering?
Well yes the latest video in the Vogue Empower series has attracted a lot of flak! There are people who are supporting the thoughts expressed in the short film while others are not. In the video, Deepika Padukone has done the voice-over and has mentioned a lot of things that should be a woman’s own choice but not everything is that simple. Even I am in two minds regarding the choices made in the video. To me feminism is equality and not about women supremacy and also not about making unreasonable demands and arguments.
First of all, watch it here if you haven’t already-
The video seems quite powerful and has a few famous faces on board as well. Deepika is the face of this campaign being run by Vogue magazine India. These are obviously not Deepika’s words rather she has said this because she got paid. Celebrities do and say a lot of things that they wouldn’t if they were not paid for them. So, I am not going to compare this video with Deepika’s brand endorsements for sake of criticism.
Vogue has said things on behalf of every woman and statements like dressing up as you want resonate well. Choices like body size, freedom of mind, getting married, having a baby, sexual orientation, using husband’s surname are definitely a woman’s choice and there is nothing wrong in choosing what you want. The film states that choices make a person unique.
The Not So Empowering Choices
This all sounds very well and if a woman cannot make these choices then obviously she is not free. But there are some points that made me wonder about her choices. Loving temporarily and lusting forever is fine till you do not become a pervert, yes this is what a man will be called if he does so.
Then there is this line about having sex before marriage, that is definitely personal and no one should guide a woman or even a man on that. Having no sex is also fine but having sex outside marriage is called cheating! I think the makers of the film ignored this very important point. If you are doing adultery then it affects a lot of lives. No woman will be comfortable if her husband is a philanderer. Having sex outside marriage is considered fine if you have an open marriage and both of you are OK with that otherwise it is definitely cheating and a bad choice.
Another choice is coming home whenever a girl wants, that again has been mentioned in a really challenging way. Whether you live with your parents or with your partner, you both need to know when everyone will be home. If you are late without informing then any one who cares about you will be worried. You cannot justify coming late every time just like a man cannot. It is like trying to defy a really basic point of understanding. I would say, better communication is the key here.
Vogue is talking about size but if you have ever read Vogue, you will swear by the presence of the thinnest models. If there are some ‘big girls’ then they are classified as ‘big’, plus sized fashion-models and not treated like their thin counterparts. And also, did you notice that a pregnant lady is shown in ‘size 15’ and not a ‘fat’ girl who is happy with herself.
And lastly, a seemingly empowering line is- You are my choice, I am not your privilege. Vogue has totally forgotten that a woman is also her partner’s choice and her partner is not her privilege. A woman cannot do whatever she wants in the name of freedom.
Here is a response to the video-
Vogue’s My Choice video has provoked men to make film as well. The film has been made in a lighter vein and the message is simple. It states that one should respect both men & women and it is also against cheating and adultery. Watch it here-
Yes, you are not a forest lady but do not be a tree that is not fit for any forest
What are your thoughts on these films?
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