These days, there’s lots of hue and cry about beauty products and the unreasonable standards that their advertisements promise. The whole I’m-too-dark-no-one-will-marry-me and then I-will-use-beauty-cream-and-glow-ghostly-white and finally, everyone-will-look-at-me-love-me-and-give-me-a-job is such a passe. Sheesh.
Enter Patanjali with its 1000% natural, chemical-free beauty products and an ad concept that blew my mind. Some might say they packaged old wine in a new bottle, but I am a firm believer in Baba Ramdevji and his desire to do good for the Indian woman’s self-esteem.
…Which is why this particular ad equates natural beauty with – wait for it – sanskaar. Tradition. Meekness and submission. All hallmarks of the perfect Indian girl/wife/daughter/sister. AMAZING, right?
And guess what, our heroine is a girl called Saundarya, which translates from Hindi to ‘beauty’, and her sister (the “bindaas, wannabe type girl”, who’ll learn her lesson in time) Aishwarya, which translates to ‘luxury’. Geddit, guys? Such. A. Genius.
Women must not be materialistic, we all know that. Now, come on, don’t puff up your chest and get ready to outrage. The ad gives another beautiful message too, and it's very relevant to the modern Indian woman who fought tooth and nail for her place in the public space beyond her appearance –
THE NUMBER OF PIMPLES ON YOUR FACE IS INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL TO THE RESPECT YOU COMMAND.
And there’s a really easy way to get rid of them too: turn sanskaari, follow parampara (become traditional, follow customs). Don’t tell me that didn't send you into a spasm of ecstasy. You can just throw your Masters’ degree and all those certificates in the trash because what can be worse for a girl than PIMPLES? Nothing.
The ad shows you what happens when you don’t listen to your sanskaari sister too. While she gets to smile and walk through the passage of her college-mates proudly, you can't do the same because you aren’t sanskaari and don’t use natural Patanjali products. People will laugh at you.
Come now. Don’t listen to people who say that it’s unfair to ridicule women who use make-up (chemical, of course) to conform to ridiculous beauty standards. Sexism, vexism boohoo! You being the sanskaari naari should be the one to conform. Don’t you want glowing beauty like Saundarya and everyone’s eyes looking at you with adoring respect? Yes. Of course, you do.
See, I know you’re shaking your head, but you’re just in denial, like Aishwarya from the ad. Didn’t you see what happened when she started using the Patanjali’s Saundarya products? Her skin cleared up and she became instantly happy! And fair too.
Happiness = pimple free face. What more do you want in life, girls? Don’t be ungrateful.
And the ad is also very progressive! Haven’t you seen that the girls are wearing western clothes? None of that old-fashioned salwar-kameez/saari. They’re wearing jeans and t-shirts and in the last scene, Saundarya, our perfect heroine, is wearing dungarees too! Of course, they’re probably products of Patanjali’s swadeshi jeans, which are “loose so that they comply with Indian cultural norms”.
So, ladies, I’m ready to shed all the “bindaas” and “wannabe” in me and go be a Patanjali girl. Are you?