You must have seen the #VogueEmpower video directed by Homi Adajania and featuring Deepika Padukone, right? Or at the very least, you must have heard of it. It features 99 women talking about choices. Why 99? Because he would want you to know that the hundredth woman was not free! Her choice was not to be featured!
Overall, the video has some stunning camera & editing work. Throwing in all kinds of faces with a mixed bag of modern to rustic women. If you watch the video on mute, you will think it is some kind of celebration of womanhood. Hair flowing around, hues of blacks and white – it is surreal! Powerful.
But I can’t say the same about the audio and the content. Deepika’s voice seems oddly controlled. Doesn’t really go with the free flowing impactful video.
Regarding the content – I don’t agree with a lot of points. The most obvious is the choice of having sex outside of marriage. I mean that is just bullshit and I don’t even need to elaborate on fidelity. Also, the choice to come and go as one pleases – sorry but I would like to be kept informed if my husband chooses to come home after 10 PM and why not? The video seems to imply no questions asked – I come and go as I please. Then I would say – please don’t get into a relationship! Because relationship is a partnership and does have strings attached!
Though the video has been lauded by many and seen by most, I fail to see what it aims at? There are faces of ultra modern women to tribal women. It covers them all. But does the content cover them all? The choices of loving temporarily, lusting forever, marry or not to marry, having a baby or not are all choices that most women don’t even want. Most want to marry, have kids, love forever and be loved forever. When you cover 99 kinds of faces in your video, how do you address only the select 1/10th of women in the audio? There is no connect!
Then there is the philosophical talk of universe and taming the universe and infinity and capturing the sun in the palm – all of it just flew above me. I couldn’t get it at all! I tried thinking poetically – if it connected to the other content somehow. But nope. May be I am thick!
And the hash tag they gave is #VogueEmpower. I am sorry I did not find the video empowering. At all. I am not inclined to have a choice to have sex with someone other than my husband, neither am I inclined to come home at 4 AM nor am I inclined towards being compared with the universe. Compared to the earlier two Vogue Empower campaigns, this one just failed big time.
I think when our country is still dealing with rights to education, clothing and marry who you love, these choices they are talking about don’t hold much water. May be 50 years from now. May be not even then. But then, may be its just me.
The one verse that I did love was the one that said bindi and rings are just replaceable ornaments. Love is not. So love is what should be treasured above all else. If only there were things as relevant in this “empowerment” video.