While we’re all for Milind Soman’s nude picture on the beach, we can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened had it been a 55-year-old woman?
Milind Soman recently posted a nude photo of himself running on a beach to wish himself a happy birthday. While the actor shouldn’t be shamed for posting whatever he wants to, one can’t help but think how people would’ve reacted had it been a woman.
Would social media blow up? What kind of comments would have people left? Would people share the picture talking about how she was a ‘free woman doing what she wants’?
I think a scroll through social media and the prevalence of slut-shaming should tell you that society would have taken the opposite tone. An Instagram post like that would invite moral policing, nasty comments or even body- shaming.
If the picture makes it through stringent censorship that targets women’s bodies, not a lot of positive things await on the other side.
A section of comments would try to teach the woman how she should dress or behave. Another section would dedicatedly try to remind her of the ‘modesty’ or ‘honour’ that has been long attached to the female body.
While one full set of comments would term her a ‘slut’ or a ‘whore’, another set would be dedicated to pointing out bodily ‘flaws’ or ‘unwanted’ hair. In essence, women simply cannot expect respectful, appropriate responses to their natural bodies.
The aspect of age also plays a role. Milind Soman, in the picture he posted, is turning 55. Since men apparently ‘age better than women’, a 55-year old woman could not possibly have escaped age-shaming. A nasty set of comments would ask her to ‘act her age’ or cover up her aged, wrinkled body.
Needless to say, society coats its judgements with sexist double standards. Women are asked to cover up the same bodies that are objectified in every second line of an item song.
Media’s headlines that are morally policing women of all ages are only magnifying the views of the community we live in. While men pose, speak, sit and dress however they want to, why does society become myopic when it comes to women and their choices?
With paragraphs and paragraphs setting precedent I’d like to ask – is a woman’s body her own anymore? Or does it belong to the white-collared men on the censor board? Does it belong to the middle-aged man telling her how to dress? Or to aunties that disapprove of crop tops that are the size of their own saree blouse?
Something to think about?
Picture credits: Milind Soman’s Instagram and a screenshot of his tweet
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A student of International Relations at Shiv Nadar University. Enjoys old bands and acrylics.
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