Who Wore the ‘Sexy Lamp’ Best? Priyanka, Deepika or Serena?
Who wore the celebrity ‘sexy lamp’ the best? 
Who wore the celebrity ‘sexy lamp’ the best? (Photo: The Quint/ Erum Gour)

Who Wore the ‘Sexy Lamp’ Best? Priyanka, Deepika or Serena?

TL;DR: It is all in the headline.

Here’s Twinkle Khanna, stepping out for her husband’s birthday celebrations.

Twinkle Khanna with Akshay Kumar. 
Twinkle Khanna with Akshay Kumar. 
(Photo: Yogen Shah) 

And here is the headline chosen by a news publication:

(Photo: Screenshot) 

Interesting, yes?

My concerns: Did Twinkle wear a ‘bold’ dress? Sounds like the ‘bold dress’ wore Twinkle instead? Dear headline-writer, when you label a dress as ‘bold’, you are implying that the said dress is showing a willingness to take risks.

The more I look at the choice of words in the headline, the more I realise that the headline has nothing to do with Twinkle at all. It is about the misadventures of the ‘bold dress’. Period. Twinkle’s name can be replaced with any other celebrity’s and the story will still be the same. A class candidate for the ‘Sexy Lamp Test’.

Does this headline pass the test?

I bet you a hundred misogynists it won’t.

The Sexy Lamp Test measures how relevant a female character is to the plot of a work. “If you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft. They have to be protagonists, not devices,” says American comic book writer and editor, Kelly Sue DeConnick,

Let’s take a look:

(Photo: Screenshot / Altered by The Quint

Tomaytos, tomahtos?

The story is still about the courageous dress, right? Dear headline, you need another draft!

The ‘Sexy Lamp’ in question. 
The ‘Sexy Lamp’ in question. 
(Photo: Wikipedia) 

I read more headlines in a day than I read books/novels/comics. And what exactly are the recent headlines telling me? I decided to take a few such celeb headlines and see if they pass or fail.

Take a look:

Serena Williams

Arguably one of the best tennis players in the history of the game:

Serena Williams.
Serena Williams.
(Photo: The Quint/Erum Gour)

Alia Bhatt

An actor indisputably worth her salt:

Alia Bhatt. 
Alia Bhatt. 
(Photo: The Quint/Erum Gour)

Next, a piece about “famous actresses’’ and their “wardrobe malfunctions”. The piece focuses on “heroines who accidentally ‘flashed’ in public and were caught on camera.’’

If you promise to not gag yourself with a spoon, I will show you the original headline.

Let’s, for a moment, set aside the outrageous need for an article like this, which fails all conceivable tests, and focus on the headline, and then the reworked headline:

(Photo: The Quint/Erum Gour)

Here’s another such gem:

(Photo: The Quint/Erum Gour)

Priyanka Chopra

An actor, singer, film producer, philanthropist, and National Award winner:

(PS: Sexy Lamp is allowed to be ‘sexy’ only on selective occasions.)

Priyanka Chopra.
Priyanka Chopra.
(Photo: The Quint/Erum Gour)
(Photo: The Quint/Erum Gour)

Deepika Padukone

A celebrated actor, a former national-level badminton player, and a National Award nominee:

Deepika Padukone. 
Deepika Padukone. 
(Photo: The Quint/Erum Gour)

Alia Bhatt, Again...

Alia Bhatt.
Alia Bhatt.
(Photo: The Quint/Erum Gour)

If we allow ourselves to cross the seas,

Jennifer Lawrence

An Oscar-winning actor:

Jennifer Lawrence.
Jennifer Lawrence.
(Photo: The Quint/Erum Gour)

Vanessa Hudgens

Singer, actor, and Teen Choice Awards winner:

Vanessa Hudgens. 
Vanessa Hudgens. 
(Photo: The Quint/Erum Gour)

Maisie Williams

An actor, a Screen Actors Guild Award nominee, and a celebrated women’s rights advocate:

<i>GOT</i> star Maisie Williams&nbsp;
GOT star Maisie Williams 
(Photo: The Quint/Erum Gour)

Our women celebrities and public figures can be replaced with something as still and passive as a lamp in fishnet stockings and the narratives are still the same.

Isn’t that awfully sad?

Bottom Line: Our news headlines are bringing ‘sexy’ back... not in a good way.

(The above is a part of TLDR (Too Long. Didn't Read), a weekly blog that aims to crunch things down for you. I will give you the long and short of most things that need to be taken extremely seriously like your bookshelf, beer, existential dread, aimless conversations, rainy days and bubble-wrap. I promise to cater to all readers, but I brazenly harbour a soft-spot for skimmers, bathroom-readers and infinite scrollers. Now, let's bring the written word back!

P.S: Follow me @medhac1)

(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)

Follow our NEON section for more stories.

    Also Watch