Fighter, which stars Siddharth Anand, is advertised as India’s first airborne action movie. Despite the release of the trailer, nobody is discussing the intense dogfight sequences. Rather, Deepika Padukone, dressed in a black monokini, is the one making waves. And why? How could Bollywood portray a fighter pilot in a bikini, especially one who leads an Air Force squadron? Women IAS officers, fighter pilots, teachers, and models are not allowed to party in bikinis, but dancers, models, musicians, and artists are.
As Squadron Leader Minal Rathore, often known as Minni, Deepika Padukone has raised eyebrows among India’s self-described cultural brigade. A brief glimpse of an intimate moment with Hrithik Roshan’s character, Squadron leader Shamsher Pathania, can be seen in the teaser. However, that was sufficient to quell the fury.
Padukone’s orange bikini from Pathan earlier this year also caused quite a fuss, but this time the controversy isn’t over the hue or the dress itself. Currently, it’s because she portrays a fighter pilot in the film, which will be released on Republic Day.
When a lady in a “serious” occupation puts on a bikini, her respect seems to evaporate.
People are so offended by the piece of fabric that they have referred to the representation as “perverted” and “cheap.”
Deepika Padukone Facing scrutiny
The remarks reveal our twisted moral compass. The topic of professionalism and what behaviours are appropriate for women in the workplace appears to be influenced by one’s wardrobe choices. Because people interpret what they dress as a sign of their work ethic. Public servants are subject to the most scrutiny. What would happen if a high-ranking bureaucrat or female IAS officer was spotted dancing with pals at a party or on a beach in a bikini?
Sanna Marin, the former prime minister of Finland, came under fire after a video of her having fun went viral. The 36-year-old politician has never denied that she enjoys dancing. But following the release of the videos, she was inundated with calls for her to submit to a drug test and inquiries about her suitability as the country’s leader. It set off national discussions about the appropriate level of partying for a head of state. India delivers tougher judgements. Furthermore, social media is not necessarily where this reaction starts and ends.
A lecturer in Kolkata lost her job in 2021 as a result of a bikini photo she posted on her personal Instagram account. The thirty-year-old former assistant professor at St. Xaviers University claimed she was asked to quit. In addition to facing moral criticism over her photos. She was required to compose an apologetic letter.
Her father had seen her images on the phone of a first-year student. He then went ahead and filed a formal complaint on the “obscene” photos with the university. The fact that the photos were obtained from her personal account did not disturb anyone. Because the lady is a teacher, that put the burden on her.
Trustworthiness and a bikini
Deep-cut saree blouses are acceptable, but bikinis are not part of Indian culture. How “seriously” a lady is taken also depends on the depth of her blouse. Bollywood’s top ladies have always been evaluated and examined for their fashion choices. When Sharmila Tagore debuted in a bikini in the 1967 movie An Evening in Paris, there were supposedly objections raised all the way up to the parliament.
Famous for her roles in Pink (2016), Thappad (2020), and Haseen Dillruba (2021). Taapsee Pannu faced cyberbullying for her bikini appearance in Judwaa 2 (2017). Deepika Padukone, in her role as a fighter pilot, won’t be the last genuine woman or reel to be called into doubt.
We would rather discuss issues like the gender pay gap, lack of opportunity, or workplace harassment than analyse a woman’s professional performance based on her personal choices. Whether they be sartorial or otherwise. It’s time we accepted that women can still fly aeroplanes and wear bikinis.