An image of Shruthi Menon from the jewellery ad.
This is how it goes. A bride is handed some heirloom jewellery and decides to try some on, right away. Everything’s pretty generic until she emerges wearing only her bridal jewels — she’s nude from waist up. And this ad — featuring Malayali anchor and actress Shruthi Menon — has kicked up a social media storm.
“The magazine and the photographer had a very clear idea about capturing the beauty of a bride donning her jewellery on her wedding day. I loved the concept and absolutely loved my final pictures,” says Shruthi.
Comments online, aimed at Shruthi, have asked why she agreed to such a shoot in “conservative India”. The backlash against the actress follows the controversy around another South actress, Kasturi, who received flak for posing for a shirtless photo while cradling her child. “Kasturi had to give an explanation but it should not reach that level wherein she had to explain her actions. The public should have understood... but they are not subjected to such ads for causes. I was very confident that my photos would be appreciated and taken in the right sense. Keralites have a very keen aesthetic sense and it is just that if more and more actresses come forward and pose for such beautiful photographs, the audience would love it. Yes, I am getting negative comments like how I could pose showing my bare back etc but largely, it has been appreciative words.”
The star continued, and defended her state. “I would not say it is only Malayali mentality but the general mentality. I personally feel, as actresses we have a certain amount of power and if we come together as one and do more such pictures creating a united front, people would understand the bigger picture. Obviously, when such photos appear for the first time, there will be uproar but it is when more such ads come out that the public will finally understand. There is a renaissance and change happening and I am sure there will be a change in attitude soon!”
Kerala is also one of the biggest consumers of gold and the ads have so far, been “traditional”. Shruthi’s ad then has been rather groundbreaking for the state.
Shruthi says, “Honestly, I am not a big fan of gold and I prefer smaller metallic jewellery, but for this particular shoot I also wanted to see how I would look and feel wearing so much of gold which I have never donned in my life. Turns out I may have changed my mind about my aversion to wearing gold! Ultimately, it is about how a person wants to see herself and I am not advocating gold in any form nor do I have anything against anyone wearing a lot of gold too.”
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