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Respect us as women off-screen: Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone says she has an issue when people "propagate objectification of a real person and not a character being played" and wants them to "respect" artists as women off-screen.

Also read: Bollywood backs Deepika Padukone's stand against 'cleavage' tweet

Ever since she condemned a photo titled "OMG: Deepika Padukone's Cleavage Show" on Twitter, saying: "YES! I am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??", this has invited comments from all quarters - some favourable, others not so.

Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone

Setting the record straight and clarifying her point of view, the actress Friday issued a statement on her official Facebook page.

Her post is titled - “There is only ONE sign that a woman wants to have sex and that is that she says “YES”.

“The reason I write the above line is because we all know that in India we are so desperately trying to make a change in the way sections of our society think in order to move towards a happier world devoid of inequality, rape, fear and pain.”

“I am not naive about my own profession; it is one that requires lots of demanding things of me. A character may demand that I be clothed from head to toe or be completely naked, and it will be my choice as an actor whether or not I take either. Understand that this is a ROLE and not REAL, and it is my job to portray whatever character I choose to play convincingly.”

“What my concern is and I am stating it clearly so it is not misconstrued or confused with Shah Rukh’s eight-pack or any other woman’s or man’s anatomy. I have spoken out against an ideology that such regressive tactics are still being employed to draw a reader’s attention at a time when we are striving for women’s equality and empowerment.

"In a time where women should be applauded for making headway in a male-dominated society, we blur the lines between REEL and REAL life and dilute all our efforts by making a one-year old back sliding piece of news a headline. Digging out an old article and headlining it “OMG: Deepika’s Cleavage Show!” to attract readers is using the power of influence to proliferate recessive thought.

“When an actresses inner wear decides to do a "peek-a-boo", she most definitely did not step out with the intention to do so. So instead of zooming in, circling it and pointing arrows at it, why don't we give her some 'respect' and let it go instead of making it 'headlines'!? Are we not human? Yes we marvel, envy and drool over a male actors eight pack abs in a film, but do we zoom in on the man's 'crotch' when he makes a public appearance and make that 'cheap headlines'??!!," she wrote.

Deepika says that she has no issue celebrating her body and "I have never shied away from anything on-screen to portray a character".

"In fact my next character portrayed is a bar dancer (in 'Happy New Year') (sorry Farah (Khan) for the spoiler!) who titillates men as a means to support her livelihood. My issue is you propagating the objectification of a REAL person, and not a character being played. Sure, dissect my characters if you wish - if it is of so much interest then discuss the character’s cup size and leg length if it is relevant to making the role convincing. All I am asking for is respect (us) as a woman off-screen.

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