Every time I turn on my Television whether to watch some sports channel or a normal program, what I see is, every 6 out of 10 advertisements in the middle of any program, portray women as absolute self-esteem lacking creatures, who are desperate on reducing their weights, displaying lack of self-confidence because of their dark or wheatish complexion, some having hair less lustrous than their female counter-part and things like that. Branding of various beauty products depict women in a completely negative frame, although the agenda behind extensive marketing is enhancing a woman’s beauty. But do these efforts really augment that beauty “factor” in women? These advertisements are like small boosters pricking women to buy the product and experiment with their bodies.
Branding (in terms of brand management) not only involves a product and its marketing through print media and television, but also it attracts women with emotional factors. In various adverts women are used as means to attract other women watching these adverts to buy the product. In either cases, women are commodifying their bodies, in short, selling their bodies. Women are portrayed as maid servants, models, beauties on the beach playing voleyball as well as seductresses irrespective of the product requirement. Ironically, women whose bodies are sold through such adverts are assumed to be ideal body types and illustrate female sexuality. In such advertisements, women are knowingly or unknowingly selling their bodies and such body images make women who are watching them feel uncomfortable.
Advertisements began, even before 1900s, during that time, the mere use of adverts was to sell the product without much manipulation or persuasion. Times have changed now and so are the product selling techniques. Slice mango drink, for example is merely a “mango drink”, that is, but few days back the product launched their 3 new mango flavors with Katrina Kaif(the bollywood actress) in a seductive avatar promoting these flavors. The advert is obviously unrealistic having no meaning attached to the mango drink. Now come on, a mango drink is just a beverage that is to be drunk or sipped, and for this purpose, no one needs a Katrina Kaif or any goddamn skinny beauty going about saying “Aamsutra” and god knows what all crap.
Another hilarious example would be of the deodorant and condom ads. A certain pron star from the US of Indian origin, comes to the country seeking role in a movie with Bhatt camp. This porn star goes about spoiling the kids, with kids of various age groups, browsing through porn sites and other websites to know who the much talked about lady is. I do not intend to say that porn starts are inhumane, are cruel as mankind, or have no right to have careers of their choice. But definitely, the launch could have been done without much nuances. I assume, you got my point and the woman I am talking about. Yes, its Sunny Leone! Today this same woman, is grabbing eyeballs featuring in deodorant and condom adverts.
Deodorant that are sprayed on a person’s body to suppress the body odor, are now using females roaming around beaches seductively in search of that one fragrance that would attract them to the core. This is the case of almost every brand. Sometime in early 2011, there was news of India banning sensual deodorant adverts, but this hasn’t stopped as yet. Condoms, a rubber like tool once upon a time used as a contraceptive to avoid unwanted pregnancy, is now being showcased as a product to infatuate women with its different fragrances or flavors. Again, Miss Leone flaunts her body, amorously and erotically promoting a well known condom manufacturer. Make a point of answering your children if they ask you what these adverts are about. Miss Leone is not to be blamed, for she certainly is here to earn to money and just another medium of vulgar branding. But shouldn’t this be stopped somewhere?
Women, after watching adverts with immense sexual display fall prey to the captivating ads and crave for the bodies like women shown in those ads. Your Bodies are not for sell, women! Even expectations of men from their partners tend to increase. Men and women both tend to forget that beauty is a state of mind, and not a “thing” to be bought or sold.