#Opinion

Taapsee Pannu Criticised For Wearing Temple Jewellery: Can We Stop Policing Women’s Fashion?

Taapsee Trolled For Temple Jewellery
Actor Taapsee Pannu has been receiving flak for walking on the Lakme Fashion Week ramp wearing temple jewellery along with a deep-neck gown. The actor was wearing a shimmering red gown with a plunging neckline, which she paired up with temple jewellery embossed with Goddess Lakshmi. After posting the photo on Instagram, some netizens have been criticising her choice of wearing a neckpiece with the goddess Lakshmi along accessorised with a deep-neck gown. Why do people have to be so critical of a fashion statement?

Temple jewellery can be traced back to the 9th century, during the Chola Empire. So many of us women have at least a few pieces of jewellery that were passed on through generations. However, when was the last time we dug them out and paired them with today’s modern outfits? We seldom do, unless there’s a festival and we are clad in traditional outfits. But then, who sets the rules for fashion? Isn’t fashion subjective?

Besides, fashion is linked to creativity and keeps evolving. So, what is wrong with pairing up temple jewellery with a modern gown? Taapsee Pannu’s gorgeous outfit is just setting another fashion trend. It is up to an individual’s choice whether to follow the trend or not. It’s as simple as that.

Taapsee Trolled For Temple Jewellery

Ah! It’s the deep V-neck that is problematic! As women, we are constantly judged for what we wear, among many other things. It’s 2023, and unfortunately, society still seems to be obsessed with women’s attire rather than focusing on their accomplishments. Taapsee Pannu has an excellent body of work and is lauded for the versatile actor that she is. Yet, here are some people commenting on her choice of fashion sense!

Commenting on Tappsee Pannu’s Instagram post, a netizen wrote, “It’s insulting to Goddess Lakshmi to be worn with a vulgar dress.” Another user wrote, “Shame on Tapsee. Totally disgusting! As a celebrity, you should know how to represent symbols of any religion.” A third user said, “Wearing Maa Lakshmi’s necklace with a vulgar dress, shame on you!” All these comments just left me wondering if these people have ever been to temples and actually looked at the sculptures there.

Hinduism is a religion that celebrates women and cherishes their bodies. It doesn’t objectify or sexualise women in any way. One of the biggest tourist attractions in India is Yakshi, a majestic statue of a woman in Kerala’s Palakkad district. The demigoddess sits with her legs wide open, which is a symbol of women unapologetically claiming power and ownership over their bodies and sexuality. Temples are filled with many partially clothed or even naked statues of goddesses and demi-goddesses embracing their bodies. So, when did Hindu culture ever get offended by women’s sexuality?

If the people who are criticising Taapsee Pannu’s outfit haven’t noticed, goddesses in temples, ancient art, and sculptures never wore blouses but were adorned with jewellery. Sculptures and photographs of goddesses wearing sarees and blouses have only been made in contemporary India because of the male gaze. Sadly, we have gone to the extent of moral policing and dress policing even goddesses instead of teaching men to behave. Because, at the end of the day, even if she is a goddess, she is a woman, right? Society should be ashamed of this, so stop calling Tapsee Pannu “besharam.”

Aren’t women more than just bodies of sexual gratification for men? Instead of telling women to cover their bodies, can we start educating men on how to respect women? Maa Lakshmi is not going to be offended by Taapsee Pannu wearing temple jewellery with a deep-neck gown. In fact, she’s going to be proud of women embracing their bodies and sexuality, shattering the ceiling, and getting the seat at the table that they rightfully deserve. So, can society stop sexualising and objectifying women and just let them be?

Views expressed by the author are their own


Suggested Reading: Kiara Advani’s Reception Look Broke Many Wedding Stereotypes And We Totally Dig It