Deepika Padukone’s My choice by Vogue goes viral
The topic of women empowerment has garnered attention like no other in the past few months and that undisputedly is welcome owing to how grave the issue is. Discussions acquiring prime time on television, articles in the print media and content on the internet have all been involved. While people from various walks of life have taken to support the cause (singers, song writers, photographers as activists, NGO workers, app developers, student protesters to name a few), the government is not idle either. While there has been an increase in the commendable efforts by all forms of activists, there is no denying that knee jerk reactions by ill informed enthusiasts has become commonplace and the number of pseudofeminists is also on the rise. Such a situation presents a much greater responsibility on the people who are actually working to bring about change. Which is why, Deepika Padukone’s “My choice” video by Vogue ought to have been made more responsibly.
Bollywood enjoys the unwavering attention of the whole country and unites the nation like nothing else (beating even cricket). So it is only expected that Bollywood actors and actresses are bigger public figures than all others in India. Young kids idolize the “stars”, the youth are awed by them, and even as the older people may approve or disapprove of their acts, they are never ignored. Hard to find is a soul oblivious to the news that centres around them. This is to say, they hold enormous potential to send a message across. It is appreciable that some of them do tap this potential to bring the causes that they believe in into focus. This is why Deepika Padukone bravely volunteering to open up on depression and urging people to seek help when needed was laudable. Her attempt to get people thinking about women empowerment however, turned out to be a damp squib.
Visual media is extremely effective and in today’s age where the internet has become more accessible than ever before, the “My choice” video featuring Deepika Padukone went viral unsurprisingly fast. Coming from Vogue, the aesthetic appeal is also assured. The big problem, however, is the very message being sent through the video; in the form of the actual words being mouthed(/played). What could be a very promising tool in getting people to think about the issue and change for the better, ends up causing more harm than good because of its thoughtless nature. While whether Homo sapiens are wired for monogamy is a question for another debate, getting beyond the basic principles of civilization as mankind defines it today, is far from acceptable.