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Empowerment, in vogue lately…

Did you watch the Vogue Empower video with Deepika Padukone in it? She looks gorgeous in the video, talking about empowerment, freedom and her choice to live her life the way she wants. It is a montage of 99 different women expressing  their emotions on their faces while DP talks in the background. The stunning black and white visuals with flowing drapes, DP’s lithe body, her adorable dimpled smile and wide eyed wonderment make it a treat to watch.

The video has great points about how freedom should be given to women to live the way they want to. It is a woman’s choice to be able to have s*x or not, to fall in love or not, to marry or not, and to cover her body or not. Sl*t shaming in the society needs to be stopped. There is a demand to be given respect regardless the choices a woman makes. DP asks the world to let a female out of the cage, so that she breaks the cycle of expectations in order to exceed them. She has the choice to be straight, g*y or bis*xual and only she can decide who to surrender her body to. She alerts them that her signs of love and wedded bliss are just replaceable ornaments. The only truth is her love, which is irreplaceable. It is a very powerful video asking for freedom, respect and humanity when a woman decides to have a say in how her life will shape up. The video wants every woman to embrace her choice and courage of conviction. It re-iterates all the points I stood up for when our leading Indian daily published a very demeaning picture of her cleav*ge. A woman must be allowed to live, thrive and grow, the way she wants. Heck, a woman must allow herself to grow.

Those are the good points I took away from the video.

The rest of the time, I was busy thinking how and why is DP so perfect looking with the flowing hair and the s*xy collarbone. I actually mistook the video to be a shampoo ad. Then I thought that it could be an ad for sanitary napkins. But then the video ended and I realized that it was not so. I watched it again, a little confused. Call me stupid, or laugh at my low IQ, but the whole I am a tree-I am not snowfall-you are a snowflake-universe infinite-cotton or silk wrapped around energy confused me. What was that ‘you are a snowflake!’ It sounded like me saying ‘I am not stupid, you are stupid.’ I have read much powerful lines with much simpler words that make impact. The very cute Alia Bhatt ad was a case in point. So was the ‘men don’t cry, and don’t make others cry’ campaign. That one hit the point across with a targeted ferocity.

They showed such pretty women in the video, with a few ladies from a rural background. It had a very elite, upper class feel for me. The points about freedom here lean more towards liberalization than empowerment, and was meant for A-listers I guess. It is very important I agree, but I feel it is the next step to feminism. The first one is to make both the sexes have equal footing in all walks of life. There is a debate in USA about white girl feminism and a colored girl feminism. It opens up the can of worms regarding how empowerment means such different things for different races, classes and strata of the society. Empowerment for some means equal pay and social standing, for others it means justice against violence and the right to make their own choices, while for so many it means to have the basic right to breathe and survive. What I would have liked to see here was women for education, women in science and technology, women in teaching, in medicine, women at home raising kids to be strong and independent; women running a business, working up a career or building a home. That is a choice the women have a right to which is usually denied.

When DP talks about her choice to have s*x whenever and wherever, I feel she is extending her choice of freedom to infidelity, which is just so wrong for any gender. If I can get really mad at a boy for cheating on me, how does my empowerment lead me to cheat on him. It reminds me of the fun Koffee with Karan episode where she bashed RK for cheating and being a s*x addict. She should not be that mad since after all it was his choice(even if it’s a sucky choice). Just a few months later, for a couple of weeks, they were super chummy again, when Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani was to be released. But people do change all the time and hopefully she has matured to actually follow her own message. It also brings to my mind the number of rape cases that are filed when a guy backs out of marriage after having s*xual relations with a girl. She speaks about a choice to have babies. That is a choice where a man and a woman must have an equal say for, in my humble opinion.

Vogue magazine is another story altogether that tells me that I am not beautiful unless I use a $50 Dior lipstick and curl my hair every single day. It tells me how I can’t catch his eye or succeed in the boardroom without the perfect skirt that will cost more than my rent. I do not want to go into their photoshop-body image-skin color issues and how bang opposite empowerment they are. “They do not have a size for my spirit.” Take that, Vogue! I am not fat. Also, is it the same DP who endorses the K challenge to get a flaunt-able waist in 2 weeks? I have written about her previously and recently wrote about Anushka getting bullied as well. I spoke up how they both were being shat on for no reason.

Do watch the video, and take away the great points it has to offer. But don’t confuse freedom of choice to be a reason to shirk away responsible choices and good sense. My freedom of choice may make me take all the cash from your wallet. But that won’t be right now, would it?