The world isn’t done raving about DC’s latest release Wonder Woman and Gal Gadot who has become an inspiring figure for all feminists out there. Gadot has managed to sweep people off their feet with her ravishing portrayal of the superhero character from DC comics but her Indian fans are busy obsessing over the fact that she lost to Tanushree Dutta at a beauty pageant years and years ago.
We know Gal Gadot for her roles in The Fast And Furious movies and in the action movie Knight And Day, for her constant rise to stardom and her enigmatic depiction of a strong female lead in Wonder Woman. But let’s throw light on how Dutta managed to beat Gadot by making it to the Top 10 whereas our very own Wonder Woman could not qualify for the elimination rounds. We all know despite what the judges’ panel at that beauty pageant thought, but to compare the two when both of them have a strikingly variant graph for their careers. Let us not rule out Tanushree Dutta just yet, who is indeed the Indian diva that has made us proud and made a small yet significant career in Bollywood for films like Aashiq Banaya Apne.
Through no fault of her own, she is being pitted against the Wonder Woman and to be fair, none of the Indian media chose Gadot to be the hero of their stories. It is like continuing to compliment a child for coming first in her high school examinations despite her being a college graduate. The things we are taught in a middle-class Indian household, the continued appraisal of accolades become a mere habit as children are pitted against their peers, pushed to do better. However, in this case, the case for complimenting Tanushree the gates were thrown wide open to eager neighbours hoping to pat their own backs to steal credit and from whom.
While impressive details about the actor’s dedication seemed to have missed the point of the fact that she was pregnant during the filming of the movie or how about the fact that the 32-year-old has served in the Israeli defence forces for 2 years. But let us obsess over the fact that she lost to an Indian first because that’s more relevant? Even Wonder Woman’s armour cannot dodge these bullets, apparently making it to the Justice League franchise doesn’t count.
Not many people are aware of the fact that before stepping into the movie business, Gadot was in the spotlight as a contestant in the 2004 Miss Universe pageant. But the kind of headlines that made the news were only full of self-appeasement. Some of the headlines that made news read: “Gal, who represented Israel at Miss Universe 2004, lost to the Indian contestant Tanushree Dutta” and many more of the same variety were downright complacent to Gadot’s laurels and demeaning to her recent shoot to stardom. Why didn’t this fact about Gadot’s apparent defeat to the great Tanushree Dutta resurface earlier? Even so, why is a matter of debate at all? Why are we hell-bent on trivialising someone’s achievement based on how well they faired in a beauty pageant?
Twitterati seemed to see some sense in this and guffawed at the idea of comparison:
— Od (@odshek) June 8, 2017
The Gal Gadot lost to Tanushree Dutta article though. Can we not be so needy and validation hungry?
— Hiral (@TranceWriter) June 11, 2017
tanushree dutta may have finished 9th but she was also in good boy bad boy so _
— macchiato jesus (@neesh_chal) June 11, 2017
Can’t believe Tanushree Dutta beat Gal Gadot at a beauty pageant. How drastically time changes!
— Bharat Bahl (@BharatBahl) June 12, 2017
In 2004 Tanushree Dutta and Gal Gadot were competing with Each Other in Miss Universe on same platform. Look at Them Today !!
— TheGhostRider31 (@TheGhostRider31) June 8, 2017
— Sanjiv Rao (@sanjoo16) June 11, 2017
While beauty pageants may have their own place in the world, comparing the results of one with the life achievement of another is like comparing apples and oranges. But hey, since both of them were in a beauty pageant, their highest form of achievement can only be in terms of beauty because we live in a world that is so pre-occupied with appearances that we cannot see beyond the curve of a woman’s body or the slimness of her waist. Women in India (and this is not for you Tanushree) have had to rise to the bar of over-achieving standards of beauty before they can become socially acceptable to the masses and have careers or be strong independent women at all.
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