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These women centric ads are making rounds on the Indian Television, and for all the right reasons. They take us a step forward.
These few women centric ads are making rounds on Indian television, and for all the right reasons. They take us a step forward!
“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Recently, I watched an advertisement (ad) that went viral on YouTube. It was called ‘The Visit’ by an Indian company selling women’s ethnic wear. While, I checked that ad, there were a few more ads from the same company that caught my attention.
And here’s what I felt. These advertisements are undoubtedly what Indian women need right now. They are a welcome change from the daily dose of messages on Indian TV, like, “I used to hide my face in shame before because people called me ‘chipchip’.” Or, “Be selfie ready at all times”. Or better still, those hypocritical ads by one of those beauty brands which claim to be portraying real women that said things like “Have you ever observed how you’re never happy with your skin/hair?”
Well, the first one called The Visit is about a lesbian Indian couple, who are living together. Despite what mainstream media/Bollywood usually depicts, these girls are just ordinary people like you and me. Not the stereotypical lesbian image of one partner being the tomboy. The ad focuses on the tenderness of their relationship, and not on their gender.
The two women in love are waiting for one of their parents to come over. They’ve decided to disclose their relationship to the parents. The nervousness is palpable, and so is the strength of their relationship. At a point in time, when section 377 takes India a few steps backward in terms of progress and accepting each other, this is such a relevant and bold comeback. Kudos to the makers!
The other ad titled The Wait also breaks conventions. Here, a lady waits for someone at a bar with a hard drink, and a man approaches her unabashedly, assuming that since she’s drinking alone, she must be ‘easily available’. The comeback he receives make you root for the lady. It also gives you the confidence that the time has come for Indian women to venture alone into restaurants, bars, theaters, clubs, etc. And no one has the right to stop us from having fun!
The third ad titled The Whispers brings into light another social issue of a woman being a single parent. And how she need not give justification about the existence of her husband!
The ads are unpretentious, carrying extremely poignant messages for today’s Indian women (and also men) and help us fall in love with a brand without that brand being too intrusive and commercial.
Do check the ads outs, if you still haven’t (and before some of these get banned!)
First published at author’s blog
Kasturi’s debut novel, forthcoming in early 2021, had won the novel pitch competition by Half Baked Beans Publishers.
She won the Runner Up Position in the Orange Flower Awards 2021 for Short Fiction.
Her read more...
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If you want to get back to work after a break, here’s the ultimate guide to return to work programs in India from tech, finance or health sectors - for women just like you!
Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend related to personal financial planning and she shared how she had had fleeting thoughts about joining work but she was apprehensive to take the plunge. She was unaware of return to work programs available in India.
She had taken a 3-year long career break due to child care and the disconnect from the job arena that she spoke about is something several women in the same situation will relate to.
More often than not, women take a break from their careers to devote time to their kids because we still do not have a strong eco-system in place that can support new mothers, even though things are gradually changing on this front.
A married woman has to wear a sari, sindoor, mangalsutra, bangles, anklets, and so much more. What do these ornaments have to do with my love, respect, and commitment to my husband?
They: Are you married?
They: But You don’t look like it
Me: (in my Mind) Why should I?
Why is being married not enough for a woman, and she needs to look married too? I am tired of such comments in the nearly four years of being married.
I believe that anything that is forced is not right. I must have a choice. I am a living human, not a puppet. And I am not stopping anyone by not following any tradition. You are free to do whatever you like to do. But do not force others. It’s depressing.