These sexist comments on this Raja Ravi Varma painting prove we’ve regressed as a nation


These sexist comments on this Raja Ravi Varma painting prove we’ve regressed as a nation

Toxic

By Simone Dhondy  March 21st, 2018

Oh, so you think that just because it’s 2018, body positivity and gender equality should become so ingrained as to not even require a second thought? Contrary to our hopeful expectations, the idea that a nude body is unnatural seems to have become our first natural thought. Recently, a Raja Ravi Varma painting of Tillottama, a celestial nymph from Hindu mythology who embodies the nearly perfect being, was sold for a whopping $795,000 (approx. ₹ 5 Cr) at a Sotheby’s auction.

And while we thought this beautiful work by the father of modern Indian art deserved a special shoutout, it seems all the internet could focus on was, you guessed it, boobs. The comments ranged from angry to absurd, with many people taking offence that an artist could depict the human body in its most natural form. Especially because in India, we’re grossly ashamed or terrified of bare biological facts.

Like this user who didn’t hesitate to remind us that we don’t live in the cradle of sin that is America. 

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Some did choose a more rational approach.

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At the end of the day, art is supposed to be provocative — whether offensive or beautiful. Raja Ravi Varma became legendary as an artist who took mythological beings and depicted them in palatable and commercial forms for mass consumption. But who cares because, BOOBS. 

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Sure, it’s easy to be offended by everything, but maybe some art will help calm you down?