Why can't Television actresses flaunt it like TV's men?
With viewers celebrating men flaunting their frame on TV, mid-day asks why appreciation turns to anger when its women do the same
Alleging that it was "unfair" for the movie business to compel only its women to slip into the minimal, Hollywood actor Tom Hiddleston had stated that he hoped to "redress the balance" of nudity between the sexes on screen by baring it all in Crimson Peak. Closer home, it appears that makers of Indian telly soaps have taken a cue from the Brit actor, urging their male artistes to flaunt their chiselled abs - procured by hours of toil at Lokhandwala gyms - for reel. Avinesh Rekhi from Tu Sooraj, Main Saanjh Piyaji, Shoaib Ibrahim from Jeet Gayi Toh Piyaa Morre or Laksh Lalwani from Porus, are only among a few TV actors who'd find themselves being increasingly vigilant about their diet, given that, ever so often, they may be asked to pop their shirts.
But while viewers of daily soaps don't mind watching the industry's men in towels, why are they easily raged when the women slip into skimpily clad attires? Gul Khan, producer of popular shows like Ishqbaaaz, Qubool Hai, and Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon simply attributes this bias to the "nation's double standards". "When a girl is shown in western attires or off-shoulder tops, it is assumed that she will play the antagonist in the series. The audience is not easily appreciative of unconventional women," she says.
Bahu Hamari Rajni Kant actor Riddhima Pandit welcomes this turn of events. Arguing that she often finds the place of women in television - opined to be driven by its female artistes - reduced to eye candy, Pandit says, "It's a welcome change to see men do what has been demanded of women for years. Just because they are baring their bodies doesn't imply that they are being objectified. I feel, this is what sells now, that's all."
Kinnari Mehta, who produced Jeet Gayi Toh Piyaa Morre, says that asking men to bare it for TV enables them to showcase the chemistry between characters easily. Also, daily soaps, she says, are created to suit women, making this turn of events fitting. Interestingly, TV's blue-eyed girl, Divyanka Tripathi cannot agree more. "Why should they not bare their bodies? If we speak of equality, men too should have to what is demanded of women," she laughs.
What Tripathi wishes to consume, Bhanu Uday is willing to serve. Having flaunted his frame in Saam Daam Dand Bhed, the actor says he's glad the burden to tease has been lifted off the shoulders of women. "For too long, we have objectified women in media. The feminist in me loves the fact that the tables have turned. According to me, women should be worshipped and glorified. There are too many layers to them and it's insulting to treat them merely as [beautiful] bodies."
Ibrahim, however, argues that the situation is gradually changing. "Television is a family medium, which is why women can't be as glamorised as much as they are in films. But nowadays, women are upping their style quotient on TV. The ideal examples are Mouni Roy and Surbhi Chandna."