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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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For International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, let's look at how we 'accept' mothers who avenge violence against their kids, but not wives who fight back.
The silver screen is replete with depictions of male rage and men engaging in violence, but when women engage in violence, even when it is reactionary violence, it doesn’t sit right with us. We allow mothers (as portrayed in Sridevi’s Mom and Raveena Tandon’s Maatr) to avenge their daughters and resort to violence when all else fails, but when the abuser is an intimate partner, the rules appear to be different.
Depictions of female rage on screen garner mixed reactions. We root for protagonists and films we agree with like Mom or Maatr, but there are also films like Darlings which drew flak for its depictions of reactionary violence.
This begs the question, which women on screen are allowed to fight back and why do we root for some of these characters while refusing to see where others come from?
This Generation To Generation Violence towards A Daughter-in-law Needs To Stop!
It is ironic how women in the same home do not think twice before harassing a woman who left her parents and family behind to live with her husband.
“My daughter needs a husband who listens to her. He should leave his family to stay with her after marriage. He should be well-off and not let her do chores.”
“I also need an obedient daughter-in-law, who will be an unpaid servant and a punching bag who shouldn’t have a life of her own.”
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