This world around us has undergone several transformations and has evolved over time and so have people. But there are a few things that would stay the same – that aunty next door whose ultimate concern in life is to see that you reach home on time and would die to see you get married; a cousin who is always better than you at math and a “manual” for a woman to be pronounced “perfect”– only that the list might have seen a few things added to it over time!
Flashy television commercials, glossy magazines, and glamorous outlets in malls… everywhere you go, whatever you do, you see an advertisement that suggests that life is worth living only if you have a physique that fits into ultra-slim fit jeans and flaunts about it all over!
We have seen multiple fairness cream commercials over years claiming that fairness is the only way to beauty. Now advertisements have gone to an entirely new level and are just downright tomfoolery! Using a fairness cream brings back a lost love, convinces your boyfriend to move to a different country along with you leaving his entire life behind and all that you need to clear an interview and even attain self-realization in life is a beauty cream! Why on earth would my skin tone define the levels of confidence, perspective and the purpose of my life? Heights, don’t you think?
A lot has been said about the objectification and self-image issues (at both psychological and economic levels) that have been caused by these advertisements. We never seem to dig deeper beyond this. Or do we? Think twice!
At some level, it redefines the meaning of “beauty” for my entire generation. It places doubts on my very orientation in life. Do I project myself as a woman of intellect and talent? Isn’t that enough? Or do I have to possess a waist of size- zero and paint layers of make-up on my face in the process of seeking validation from others?
And how many of us realise that these commercials do pave way for gender policing in an indirect way? I am a woman and certain norms have been culturally established for me to be identified as one. After centuries of struggle, women have succeeded a fair amount in breaking the traditional construct of this gender. Yet, till this date, a woman does become a subject of taunts, if she fails to understand the difference between “coral” and “ruby-red”! It’s only natural that you find a woman lost and maybe even in the middle of an identity crisis in these times!
Thankfully, we do have a Kangana Ranaut refusing to do a fairness cream commercial and a Malar from Premam amongst us to remind what “true beauty” is!
Photo Courtesy: Wall 321