It may be 2019 but casual sexism is clearly alive and kicking; only now, women are clapping back. When The Telegraph chose to run a provocative photograph of Lisa Ray alongside an interview where, ironically, she talks about women struggling with stereotypes, the actor took to Twitter to express her disappointment. "I hate to be labelled and put into boxes but I had to deal with it since a young age because I was a sex symbol at the age of 16. It was completely unanticipated. To suddenly become this figure for an entire nation and on top of that, to look much older, that has haunted me my entire life up until now," she says in the interview.
Lisa, who recently launched a memoir, Close to the Bone, has been giving interviews to promote the book. She tweeted, 'Does anyone else see the irony in using THIS image - instead of an author image provided- for an article about my memoir @CloseToTheBone_ where I talk about struggling as a women with overcoming sexist stereotypes? Just landed in Kolkata and I must say I’m disappointed @ttindia'.
Twitter users were quick to support Lisa and criticise the newspaper's choice of photograph. 'This is exactly wht (sic) problem is. The sexual stereotyping is so deep in our patriarchal mindset. story about @Lisaraniray‘s book should carry an author image & not an image of photo shoot she did or of a role she played. Utterly poor editorial choice @ttindia . @CloseToTheBone_', wrote Sayantan Ghosh.
Another user questioned if the photo desk of the newspaper is all men. Lisa replied saying, 'What I want to know is do they even bother reading the copy - forget my book - before taking editorial decisions like which photo to use'.
Lisa further acknowledged that a publication reserves the right to pick the visuals. 'But one would expect journalists and media to be part of the solution not the problem in perpetuating casual sexism in 2019. It’s not enough to say ‘aisa hota hai’ anymore,' she added.
This is not the first time a media house has been called out for objectifying or stereotyping women. In 2014, Times of India was heavily criticised for tweeting a Deepika Padukone video with the caption: “OMG! Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show”. In 2017, after Anushka Sharma's wedding, Hindustan Times called upon four men to assure the actress that her career "has a long way to go and is far from over."