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  • Ekta Kumar

Ranveer Singh row: What do you see?


Ranveer Singh is a good looking guy, who clearly has a great body. No doubts on that anymore! As a man, he obviously likes to take risks, which is actually exciting for most women. We rarely fantasize about a man who makes lists and combs his hair.


It is also fairly uncommon for a man to take off all his clothes and offer himself to us, mostly it is only women posing and pouting while selling cars, chocolate, shampoo…even tractors. So why are we still not impressed?

art - henri matisse


My phone buzzed. I got a very excited WhatsApp message, with fire emojis and ‘hot hot hot’ pasted all over Ranveer Singh sprawled across the screen. But I must confess – this was one of the early reactions, from a man friend who prefers the male anatomy, and definitely an exception. The response from the girls has been quite different.


It has been a few days since the photos went public, but the jokes and the comments haven’t stopped. By now we’ve all seen, smiled and sniggered at the very imaginative memes that are doing the rounds, we’ve raised our eyebrows at the FIR being filed, and read and reread all the gossip around it. There have also been long laborious threads on the ‘how, why and what’s of the photo. He has been seen, discussed, and debated, but nowhere are women swooning over him. I wonder why.


Ranveer Singh is a good looking guy, who clearly has a great body. As a man, he obviously likes to take risks, which is actually exciting for most women. We rarely fantasize about a man who makes lists and combs his hair. It is fairly uncommon for a man to take off all his clothes and offer himself to us, mostly it is only women posing and pouting while selling cars, chocolate, shampoo…even tractors. So why are we still not impressed?


One constant feedback from many women is that nudity does not push our buttons. Research shows that most women find a man’s chest most attractive, but all out, legs strategically folded and pouting on the floor doesn’t quite do it for us. Perhaps him chopping wood would have been more effective. But we shall never know. I am trying not to be sexist, but I do want to dig a little deeper.


Clothes speak. They don’t only reflect our personalities, or highlight our boring and consistent preference of blue over grey. Sometimes they help us disguise, and pretend to be someone else. They help us hide, not only our bodies but also our reflection, and moods. Slipping into old pajamas and smelly t-shirts brings comfort. The thin slip, that is the only thing between you and your lover at night brings intimacy. They help us express who we are – a quirky scarf, red shoes or a striped tie that pulls us up, and straightens our spine. Clothes can mean many things. But what about the lack of clothes. What are we trying to say when we take them off?


I am not sure if Ranveer Singh really thought about it, but as women, we often do. We know the skirts that are ‘that short’, or clothes that are suggestive, inappropriate, too deep and too low. We’ve been often told ‘don’t wear that, it’s asking for trouble’, and not necessarily by anyone else, but the voice in our own head. We know the implications of a short hemline and a tight top. And yet many of us do it – slowly hesitantly, reduce and remove clothing.


The internet screams and labels it as ‘attention seeking behaviour’. It may or may not be. At the risk of oversimplification, sometimes we shed clothes just because it is a hot day, or because shorts are more comfortable, or it’s trendy, or we feel like a party, or a long lost boyfriend is visiting, or the print is pretty, or it is a beach, or the fabric is soft, or…it is the only thing washed and ironed. The choice of clothes is complex. And the lack of it even more so.


Khalil Gibran tell us that garments can be a harness and a chain, that they ‘conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful’. Ranveer Singh has every right to express himself, and his sexuality. Perhaps he was being bold, or just naïve. But the truth also is that when we see a bit of flesh on someone, it changes how we think of the person. We are constantly translating our visual cues. We judge, and are usually quite superficial. It is called objectification. In his case it obviously did not go the way he wanted. But at least he made some of us think, and all of us smile.


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