Dear Deepika Padukone, Acid Attack Face Isn’t A Makeup Look And We Expected You To Know Better.
I watched Chhapaak the same weekend that it released and before I went for it, I warned my friend to expect waterworks. I am a big crier when it comes to emotional films, but somehow I didn’t cry as much as I had expected to. Maybe it was because the movie didn’t focus on the struggles of an acid attack survivor has to go through before they learn to build themselves again. I am in no position to say how it’s supposed to be but my heart is not convinced that the struggles are as light as they showed. Malti, is understandably shown to be in psychological pain after the attack and isn’t willing to leave her bed. Yet, with just a few minutes of pep talk, you see a thorough change in her demeanour. She is an acid attack survivor but the way they handled her struggles, it felt like a young girl is just going through a bad breakup. That was the first time I felt that Deepika Padukone and the makers had no clue how to be in Laxmi Agarwal’s shoes. But I was still okay, because I am grateful that a movie was made on this subject in the first place.
Unfortunately, the movie didn’t do as well as it was expected. Was it because of Deepika’s JNU visit that people deemed as a publicity stunt? I don’t think that was a publicity stunt but even if it was, this is a movie that deserves attention. However, it seems like Deepika is now making up for all the promotion the makers didn’t invest in, prior to the release. Maybe they thought the cause was enough to pull in the numbers. But apparently, we as a society are insensitive, and so are the makers of the film.
The problem with Deepika Padukone endorsing a makeup challenge on Chhapak is that she treated it as one of her “looks” and dismissed the entire trauma behind it. She proved that it was merely makeup for her & she clearly doesn’t understand the depth of what survivors go through.
— x (@krownnist) January 18, 2020
Recently, Deepika Padukone evoked the wrath of the netizens as she challenged make-up artist Faby to recreate three of her favourite “looks” including her roles from Om Shanti Om, Piku and Chhapaak. And Faby did complete the challenge! If you’re wondering where this “challenge” took place, it was on Tik Tok. Together, they not only trivialised Laxmi Agarwal’s crusades but also ridiculed her appearance by treating it like a mere “look”. Giving her the benefit of doubt, I believe Deepika assumed that she was helping acid attack survivors feel included and beautiful. But really, that was just insensitive and for once, I agree with whatever the netizens are saying.
— Sonal.. (@HerLavishHustle) January 18, 2020
A Twitter user wrote, “The problem with Deepika Padukone endorsing a makeup challenge on Chhapaak is that she treated it as one of her ‘looks’ and dismissed the entire trauma behind it. She proved that it was merely makeup for her and she clearly doesn’t understand the depth of what survivors go through.”
No @deepikapadukone.This promo isn't cool or cute. It's insensitive & ghastly.
The movie wasn't about you & your make up. It was about a woman scarred for life.And victims like her,whose marks can't be wiped off,unlike your make up.
You lost the plot,alas. https://t.co/9Zt8XEmSqI
— Smita Barooah (@smitabarooah) January 18, 2020
Another user wrote, “No @deepikapadukone. This promo isn’t cool or cute. It’s insensitive & ghastly. The movie wasn’t about you & your make up. It was about a woman scarred for life. And victims like her, whose marks can’t be wiped off, unlike your make up. You lost the plot, alas.” Okay, we need to stop making acid attack survivors (let’s not call them victims) feel like they are “scarred for life” or “victims”. Keeping that aside, I do believe that recreationally using makeup to imitate an acid attack survivors face is just the terrible most thing to do. It’s not like they volunteered to get those scars; they are not tattoos! What is next? Using tattered clothes to look like a rape survivor? I know I have made a very harsh comparison here but isn’t this is what they have gone ahead and done?
ALSO READ: Uyare Got More Critical Acclaim Than Chhapaak. Why Do We Need Bollywood To Talk About A Subject To Make It Mainstream?
So I decided to read up and found a leading publication calling everyone who criticised Deepika “trolls”. And then, they have gone ahead and justified everything point by point and honestly, I have read press releases that are less obvious at promoting a person. Yes, I am calling out Deepika for being insensitive but I believe that she didn’t intend to be disrespectful towards acid attack survivors. However, I wish she would have been more sensitive about it and hopefully realises that this is not cool.