The Veet “Don’t Risk Dudeness” ad is now pulled out from the US market. Fair and lovely continues to sell ‘a lighter skin’ to Indian women and men portraying that you can’t be successful without it. In the fashion world, size 8 and up is now considered a plus size model. I will connect the dots. Read on.
While I studied the basics of Design and Economics at my college, I remember being told how products where meant to solve a purpose or a need or demand of the target consumer. Either that was just theory which contrasts starkly against reality or the concept is now clearly obsolete. How else would you justify the fact that most products that we see today are actually being pushed on to us cleverly through marketing. We don’t need them, we are made to believe we do. For the most part, I believe that the insecurities of people and societies are being played upon in this “anti-consumerist” culture ( Merriam Webster defines consumerism as the promotion of the consumer’s interests)
Let me exemplify. Both men and women need companionship — no irreverence to singles-by-choice — I’m talking more in general terms. So, it is a primary need and on some level we are obviously insecure (both genders) if we don’t get a partner. So what do we have? We have Axe promising women to men, and Ponds Age Miracle promising revival of husband’s love to women.
In a society where fair-skinned people, goras rather, encapsulate everything desirable (success, beauty, status, lovability) – fair and lovely gets away with giving the darker-skinned people second citizen status in full public view without anyone even raising an eyebrow. Earlier women were a target but for a while now there is a fair and handsome as well, ironically endorsed by Shah Rukh Khan who became all that successful with a darker complexion.
We have fashion runways, magazines, media dictating we need to be a certain shape and size to be beautiful and accepted. The majority of women need to emulate the minority. Hence, we have discounted diet plans, pills, liposuction, money back guarantee offers and what not to fulfill our “need” to be that certain size.
And even if you manage to be that covetable size and get rid of all the ‘unnatural’ fat bulges (because air brush is the new natural, haven’t you heard?), then too your worry can’t stop. You have to plan ahead 14 days to wear a backless dress, because that is the time Vaseline takes to make you skin tone even! And oh! did I mention that you need to put Nivea whitening deodorant on your grocery list too, because your backless dress is most probably going to be sleeveless.
And latest, we have Veet telling women that you become a man if you have the slightest hair stubble on your legs. That also makes me question if they mean a clean shaven or waxed man becomes a woman? The ads received really negative feedback and sexist allegations. But oh! in their ‘apology’ they say it was meant to be humorous and funny.
So, if you start counting, you will find numerous examples from the things we use or wear everyday (shapewear for one) that will prove to you, that we are constantly made to feel inadequate and imperfect in one way or the other. So how do we become perfect and hence happy? Duh! Buy their product what else…
So mind you, these are not products that are for us, the people, anymore. Instead, we have been molded into becoming the perfect-imperfect people for these products who contribute their unhappy selves to their happy pockets.
What is your take? Are products for people or people for products?
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