Skip to main content

Tanishq Ad Is A Clincher

Someone once said the raw material of advertisement is life, but that is true of all creative arts I think. I do not watch much of television but being on Facebook makes me connected to all news Indian through friends. So when I saw the ad on Tanishq attached to friends’ status, I ‘shared’, something I normally refrain from because I do believe over publicity is nauseous nor do I like attaching myself to brands.

The new Tanishq ad created by Lowe Lintas India with filmmaker Gauri Shinde has a dusky widowed woman getting married again. As she does the ‘pheras’, a ritual where the bride and bridegroom go around the fire saying their vows, her little daughter asks if she could join the ceremony. The scene is poignant as the new father takes her in his arms and together all three of them complete the ritual. Two things stand out in the ad – the portrayal of a dusky skinned bride in a country where being ‘fair and lovely’ is the benchmark of beauty, and the idea of second marriage in a country where the place of widowed or divorced women is often in the periphery of society. They are definitely a break from tradition. In the words of Arun Iyer, national creative director, Lowe Lintas, the ad definitely  “makes a bold, progressive statement”. 

When Nina Davuluri won the Miss America pageant recently her critics argued she is not a typical Indian beauty. As one news article hilariously summed up, “Because her epidermis is far too many shades removed from ‘fairness’ for her to be considered beautiful. This matter is, in the Indian dialectic of beauty, nonnegotiable. In matters of pigment, Indians can be as dogmatic as party chieftains once were in Stalin’s Moscow.” Which explains why in 2010 the whitening cream market was worth $432m and growing at 18 per cent per year, according to marketing research firm ACNielsen. Actress Nandita Biswas, the poster girl of ‘Dark is Beautiful’ campaign has said this obsession with fairness has led women to the brink of suicide.

Our ‘Snow White Syndrome’ is rooted in caste and culture and it is appalling that we are still talking about it in the 21st century. I am guilty of prejudice myself and having been swept by a pervasive culture. Growing up, I hated the sun as I thought I would go darker. In adulthood I am more comfortable in my skin than I ever was. I also must admit I love living in Australia where brown is considered beautiful and where people love their tan. Arriving once more at the universal truth that for us humans the grass is always greener on the other side!  Also, that physical appearance or the colour of one’s skin does not sustain relationships or does not make lasting impressions. What matters really is what is inside us, our thoughts, feelings, and intelligence – the intangibles. My mother’s wisdom - if you are beautiful from inside, you are also beautiful from outside - that made no sense as a kid is old but that is my beauty share for today. Of course, I do love possessing a dream beauty bag of my favourite cosmetics and perfumes but those are some things that money can buy.
  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies. The mad man said [sic] " You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer ." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the ma

O-B-A-M-A

Two million people at the National Mall in Washington alone. The world watched too as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. So did I. I rudely cut roomie's soap operas and switched to CNN to witness history being created. Some day I may live to tell the tale of how Barack, the much touted Afro-American President of the United States, stumbled with his swearing-in oath. I was a bit disappointed as I watched the man who had run the most successful of election campaigns, the man who Americans were pinning their hopes on, take his oath. Clearly, he was under too much of a pressure to be the best. So before Chief Justice John Roberts could complete the first sentence, there was Obama abruptly breaking out into his first names... " I Barack Hussein Obama.." and then waited for the judge to complete the sentence.. The next line was even taxing. He stopped short after two words... " That I will excute ..." and then Justice Roberts cont

Good Girls Don't Drink?

I have been disturbed by the news coming out of my region – the northeast of India - where a teenage girl coming out of a bar at 9:30 pm was molested and beaten by a group of 20 men. The news has even found its way down under for the shocking nature of it. Tabloids and even TV have carried the news. I have always prided myself in belonging to a region that is known for its high tolerance and where women are generally safe and independent. But I have always felt a bit squidgy about Guwahati unlike the rest of the seven sisters. The place is so like the rest of India in many ways, dirty and claustrophobic. That explains why bars are looked upon as sleazy places and women going there beaten up as with the recent case. Just 150 km away is Shillong, the place where I grew up. Night clubs thrive there and till date there has been no case of attacks against women. Reading the news, I am appalled by some of the reactions. “But the girl was drinking,” or “only prostitutes visit that