One fine day, Ranveer Singh decided to drop his robes for a magazine shoot and the people on social media dropped their jaws. You should know by now that I’m referring to the actor who made headlines for posing bare for the cover of Paper magazine. And publications used words like “daring” for Singh to be baring it all, literally this time.

Even while some people applauded and others turned to generate memes, it was clear that no one was bashing Ranveer Singh’s character for the nude photo shoot. Why would they do it, after all? How can an actor strip off for a magazine cover warrant such snarky and nasty remarks? What does the fact that he isn’t wearing any clothing at all have to do with who he is as a person?

But I bet nobody would be raising similar questions if it had been a female actor. She would actually have to deal with some pretty unpleasant criticism for that. Even Ranveer Singh’s photo was altered by the e-commerce site Myntra by adding a printed shirt and red pants in an effort to “fix” it. The shopping site, however, was appropriately reprimanded for doing so because, according to fans, it never needed any fixing in the first place.

Meanwhile, actresses donning a bikini are still controversial and are viewed differently even today. Including the clothing they choose for movies or even in real life, not simply for magazine covers. 

If you recall, there was fury when Deepika Padukone, a well-known Bollywood actress and Ranveer Singh’s wife, had to deal with flashing her midriff in the movie Padmaavat. The film censor board asked that the makers conceal it in the final cut because the outrage had grown so strong.

Deccan Chronicle

Due to the fact that the actress was portraying an Indian queen, simply showing a few inches of her belly caused fury throughout the entire nation.

In a recent interview, actress Mallika Sherawat, whose entire reputation was based on the kinds of scenes she portrayed on screen, was open about how people saw her. The actor, who has been working in Bollywood for about two decades, started out by performing “bold scenes” in movies. 

Her participation in these ventures has positioned her in a particular light to this day, but her male co-star has had the privilege of not being subjected to the same.  

Another incidence included the actress Taapsee Pannu, who probably had no idea what kind of backlash she would face after sharing her Maxim cover photo shoot on Instagram. Even though there was hardly no nudity in the photographs, the length of her shorts was enough to offend some online viewers. The moral media brigade criticising women on social media for their clothing choices is also highly troubling.

Nevertheless, model-actor Milind Soman received no negative feedback when he chose to celebrate his 55th birthday by posting a photo of himself running nude on a beach. Despite the fact that trolls didn’t spare him much, he wasn’t criticised in the same way that women in the industry would be if they made even the slightest attempt at it.

The strong ties of patriarchy are the root of the hypocrisy that permeates our thinking when it comes to subjects like these. It conveniently enables men to engage in activities that, in this society, women could hardly imagine. In comparison to a woman in minimal clothing, a man’s naked body does not upset us as much.

The gender prejudice when it comes to nudity is fairly obvious because we are so willing to objectify the female body and celebrate the male body.