Days after De gets it right, she does a De again.
You know, I must admit that I kind of like Ms. Shobhaa De. I like the way she writes – her writing style, full of garam masala and Indian spices. But that doesn’t mean I agree with everything she says.
It’s probably been a little more than two weeks since popular TV actor Ms. Pratyusha Banerjee, of ‘Baalika Vadhu’ fame, committed suicide. This act obviously attracted a lot of media attention, but veteran actor Ms. Hema Malini’s comments did not go down well with many. Ms. Malini called people who commit suicide “losers”.
Popular journalist Ms. Shobhaa De was quick to react with a post of her own, “imploring” Ms. Malini to take her words back. She said as a mother of two daughters and as a grandmother, Ms. Malini ought not to have passed such an insensitive remark.
Wow! I thought Ms. De has written a really heartfelt post! Quite different from her cheeky pieces ripping apart someone’s fashion choices. But then, I woke up to the news this morning that Ms. De is at it again – and this time, the victim is none other than the lovely Ms. Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.
In her new post, Ms. De, goes on to discuss each of the Duchess’ outfits and has passed disapproving remarks about each of them. What is ironic is that Ms. De starts off the post by saying how everyone shouldn’t really be talking about what the Duchess was wearing, but in the paragraphs to follow she goes on to do exactly that. She describes the Duchess’ wardrobe with words like ‘chaka chak’ and ‘wishy-washy’. Huh?
When did Ms. De become an authority on fashion? And even if you have an opinion, there must be dignity in expressing that opinion.
“Honestly, there is a busy gali right behind the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (where the royal couple stayed in a modest 700-pounds-a-night suite), which is crammed with beaded, chaka chak outfits much like this one. It has always catered to Arab tourists and used local embroidery-walas to create glam abayas that made sure the ladies stayed appropriately covered up”.
Narendra Modi’s pristine white, smartly fitted ensemble, stylishly set off with a baby pink bundi jacket made a bigger statement than Kate’s pheeka wishy-washy aqua dress. Her expression was equally listless. There wasn’t a touch of saffron in sight. It was so theek hai as to be boring.
But wait, the worst was yet to come. I was appalled to read that Ms. De finally body shamed the Duchess for not having a full, vivacious waist and a fuller, plump derriere. And because of these reasons, Ms. De is “thankful” that the Duchess did not wear a saree. Her exact words were:
“Khair, let’s count our blessings, ji. Kate has skipped wearing a saree. Her waist is perfect for crinoline ball gowns from “Gone with the Wind”. But a saree needs curves. A saree demands a derriere. Kate has none. Thank God, some misguided fashion guru has spared her and us so far. Now, I am keeping my fingers crossed she isn’t polite enough to say “Okay” to advisers who may want her to wear a lehenga during the ultimate photo-op in front of the ultimate Monument to Love – the Taj Mahal”.
Ms. De, let’s just get some things clear – a saree does not “need” anything. It does not “demand” a body type. It is a beautiful, traditional wear of India, to be worn by ANYONE. Same with lehengas. The only thing an attire requires is the comfort of the person wearing it. So please, keep your “patli kamar” remarks to yourself. Surely, as the mother of four daughters, you wouldn’t want anyone passing comments that they are too big to be wearing shorts or too small to be bearing cleavage. It’s the same with the Duchess.
It is such a pity that persons of such stature and influence succumb to passing remarks and mocking people for their body types. Is this the example we want to set for children and young adults? So, Ms. De, the next time you want to pass remarks about the body type of a person, take a minute to think of the implications of your statements.
Please, I implore you.