LIFESTYLE

Bollywood Actress Deepika Padukone Champions Women's Rights, Gets (Ironically) Attacked On Social Media

01/04/2015 14:11 BST | Updated 01/04/2015 14:59 BST

Bollywood Actress Deepika Padukone has starred in a powerful video which calls for society to champion the rights of women everywhere.

The short film by Vogue India, entitled 'My Choice', hopes to instill beliefs that women have the right to make decisions over what they do with their bodies, what they wear, how they approach sexual relationships, who they love, as well as other major life choices such as whether to have children or not.

Sadly, and somewhat ironically, the empowering video has come under fire despite the fact that Deepika constantly reiterates that she has a right to make her own choices.

deepika padukone

"To wear the clothes I like, even as my spirit roams naked - my choice," Padukone says. "To be a size zero or a size 15 - they don't have a size for my spirit, and never will."

"To use cotton and silk to trap my soul is to believe you can halt the expansion of the universe or capture sunlight in the palm of your hand," she says as the video spans across the faces of 99 other women - including some other celebrities.

"My choice: to marry or not to marry. My choice: to have sex before marriage, to have sex outside of marriage, to not have sex. My choice: to love temporarily or to last forever.

"My choice: to love a man, or a woman, or both," she adds.

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Directed by Homi Adajania, the film has since racked up a staggering four million views.

But despite her (and Vogue India's) best intentions, people are now questioning whether Padukone is a feminist at all.

The Bollywood star has also faced a severe backlash from both men and women for suggesting that having "sex outside of marriage" is a good choice to make - although it remains unclear whether she was talking about having sex without marrying (and remaining as partners) or having sex while married to another person (extramarital relations).

Some have even suggested that she is a "slut" for appearing in the film.

Additionally, there are those who believe that the video only represents a small segment of more privileged women in India.

Writer for DNA India, Soumonty Kanungo describes the video as a "commendable effort to portray equality". However, she adds: "When it says 'My Body, My Mind, My Choice', what is the video really trying to convey?"

"Whose choice?" she continues. "Urban women? Educated urban women? Educated, working urban women? Is there any choice for those unexposed to this video? No!"

But regardless of the rather foreboding cloud of negativity which hangs over the film - and now Padukone, who's received threats on social media for a video which highlights her freedom of choice - there are those that believe the video can only have a positive impact.

Malikka Narang writes on Twitter: "Do what you like. Say what you think. Its high time we break stupid stereotypes #MyChoice."

Amen to that, Malikka.

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