Top 5 stereotypes ruling the roost in ads today- 1. Women, the nurturers. Running after giggling babies to watching the pool of pee drain that initial happiness off her face; hounding at the kid and the overgrown kid to eat cereals and juice; worrying about the lack of shine in her plates, the mother was born to nurture. Breakfast like a king, while the queen eats like a pauper to fit into that dress she wants to dazzle in. Besides, where is the time with all the duties of womanhood? The woman runs the house, and is territorial about this, enough said. The way to this domination is through the kitchen. Moral: The men bring the bread; the women make it edible, tasty and healthy.
2. Young girls and fairness. The only way an educated 21 year old can get the job of her dreams, or gain the confidence to showcase her talent, is to dab the magical cream for the magical period of one week, and let the transformation from a dark duckling to a white swan swoon the employer to give her the job. In all fairness, beauty comes first. Moral: Degree, talent, skill all come to a screeching halt if one doesn’t abide by the lovely fairness meters. 3. Young men and smelling good. All young men need to do, is douse themselves with deodorants and watch the girls fall on their tracks, after chasing them down the street like dogs chasing flying meat. The better the deodorant, more are the clicks, sorry chicks! The way to a woman’s heart is through her nose. Moral: Hygiene can go take a shower (of deodorant). Keep your brain at home, but never step out without the axe effect. 4. Parenthood and family. While the father dunks the cookie into the milk, the mother dunks her hands into soap water to get the chocolate blots off the shirt. While the mother doles out one health drink after another to make the child taller, sharper, stronger, the father is busy planning life insurance and children education funds. The women are charged 24*7, with the power of special K Protein, while the men exhaust themselves at work. That angry boss who is driving you up the wall and making your hair turn grey is a man, while the wife waits at home to try that latest hair dye in the market. Moral: Run to the father for financial assistance, and rush to the mother for the intangible services and other such perks. 5. Gender-ed products. Cement, steel, and everything strong needs a man to use his macho masculinity to drive the product home. The rose fragrance detergent powder and the germ killing floor cleaner require the domesticity of women. While the man drives the newly purchased car and home, the woman inhales a happy breath of pride when she looks at how multi-functional her new washing machine is. Moral: Advertising blatantly feeds on gender monopoly. So the next time you see an ad, look a little more closely. What else are we imbibing apart from the seeds of materialism? Here’s a little food for thought- a recent Pantene ad which not only makes you marvel at the simple yet effective concept, but also appreciate the truth behind it, and nod in approval. http://youtu.be/kOjNcZvwjxI It’s time to remove those labels and shine strong. —————– ABOUT THE AUTHOR- This article is contributed by Nivedita Kasturirangan, our intern. Nivedita is a Journalism student from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. She writes to make sense of the hundred thoughts fluttering in her head, and hopes to make sense to readers in the process and make a living out of it. If she had to describe herself in three words, she would say ‘Work-in-progress’.