…is what my son asked me as I was casually browsing through a photo gallery of slebs at an event. Sometimes (actually more often than not) children come up with most interesting and accurate summation. There was Deepika with her usual left foot before right pose, then there was Milind Soman looking ‘oh soo old’ in young clothes and also Siddharth Mallya wearing ink blue jeans and a tight ripper of T-shirt that showed off all his muscles (biceps) looking funny in his ensemble. How I wish he would really concentrate on his family business (sorry sorry, I mean the business that has shareholders in it, like Deccan Aviation for instance. Sorry Mr Mallya you are my pet peeve) and not potter about such dos. Then there was Rocky S and if you didn’t know that these were photographs, you would really mistake them for statues for their poses were so awkward- shoulders raised at a weird angle, legs positioned in an unnatural way, head lowered but eyes staring at the camera dramatically etc etc.
Trust my son to come up again with one of his gems when he stared at me quizzically one day (and that was not the end of it) He kept staring at me. Then he looked away into the newspaper. Oh oh something was definitely coming. And then he observed- You never work at your laptop wrapped in a towel or just a white shirt, do you? I looked at him. “See this picture”, he pointed at a picture (alas Times of India again) of a woman with a laptop in her lap and wearing just a white T-shirt. How do I know that? Her thighs were showing! He says how come I never cook in the kitchen in you-know-whats, when he could see a picture of a woman chopping vegetables dressed in just that. He is quite the owl- looking like a wise old sage in his glasses. What do I tell him? He thinks women are disgusting (having only recently learnt the word from my older one) because they wear clothes that are generally worn on the inside…outside (this was when we caught a glimpse of a song where a single male was surrounded by females running their hands all over him and I quickly changed the channel) but only a glance is enough for such strong imagery always stays the longest and the strongest. I have no answers to that. He also has plenty of other interesting questions which I shall not bring up here but it is because he constantly sees such visuals across all media- print and TV (obviously my friends and I not responsible for this!)
I have been constantly harping, nagging, begging, pleading (oops the last two activities are fictitious) with the TOI not to use images that are a far cry from the articles they represent. By now we are so used to mismatched images and the written content that we don’t bat an eyelid the extent of artist’s liberty taken by this daily. Yesterday of course, the TOI was well within its rights to show a naked picture of a woman with her nipples circled, magnified and labelled. It was an image blown out of proportion (literally) . But then the article was talking about breast cancer and it awareness among woman. They left no nipple....err stone unturned and nothing left to the imagination of the dumb readers.