8 Indian Ads That Did Right By Feminism

We're getting there, folks…

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Ariel: Share The Load

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As two grandmother-figures sit and gab about all the sexist sh*t they needed to deal with growing up, and their faces beaming with pride at the fact that the daughter-in-law earns a higher salary than the son, the son interrupts with a sexist remark that throws all that positivity off, leaving us with the hashtag: #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob 

Weddings: TBZ Garland

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In this ad, the traditional custom of the bride reaching up to the groom to garland him as he bounces up and far out of reach is ridiculed gently and interestingly. The bride simply smiles at the man next to her groom (who is within garland-able distance) and almost puts it around him instead, till the husband quickly concedes and falls at her feet. The nuanced metaphor of the whole construction of circumstance is just feminist brilliance. (Also refer to Beyonce's Irreplaceable video for an elaboration of this particular thought). 

My Touch The Pickle Moment: Whisper 

A woman rides up to a store and asks for a packet of Whisper. The shopkeeper, in the normative bashful fashion of buying sanitary napkins, bandages it in newspaper. She smirks, unwraps it, pops the packet out and makes a little paper plane out of the paper and gives to the little boys playing on the side of the road.  The ad shows instead of telling, avoiding a perfunctory explanation of the fact that the shame in the act of something so natural and common needs to be dispelled.

Sofy Conversations: #ImNotDown (Poetry Slam)

This whole campaign was a good concept, making people reassess their choice of phraseology when they loosely said 'I'm Down' when they're on their period. This particular poetry slam had a very real element to it as well, talking about the things we're supposed to do and think about our period, and how it can all go to hell. 

Anouk: Bold Is Beautiful (The Visit)

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Here, two pretty girls dressed in Anouk kurtas (that don't conform to any of the trademark lesbian stereotypes) are prepping for one to meet the other's conservative (by the sound of it) parents and tell them about their live-in relationship. What's nice about this one is that most of the nerves we see are classic, heterosexual ,parent-meeting jitters, until just one tiny 'you sure about this?' at he end, taking the anomaly factor out of it all. 

Havell's Fans: Hawa Badlegi

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A couple walk in to a government office and while a magistrate writes down their names, she puts down the maiden name of the woman, auto-correcting it aloud to her married name for the future. The husband cuts in, amending that he'll be taking her name and not vice versa. We phase out with a 'Hawa Badlegi' (the winds will change).  It's not a work of art, but it's a nice-enough progressive thought (albeit not terribly realistic in today's context, we admit). 

Hyundai: Life is Brilliant

This one, a delightful situation-flip on the absentee-dad trope, has a little child pestering his father repeatedly on when the out-on-a-project mother will come back home. It's interesting to see what the situation is like reversed, and we feel a surge of unbridled pity for the dad who deals with the son's tireless questioning about the mother's return. It gives us an idea of the situation so regularly glossed over with taken-for-granted mothers who centre lives around their kids and are rewarded by the child pining away for the dad instead. 

The Raga Woman Of Today: #HerLifeHerChoices

A beautiful, middle-aged woman bumps into an ex from forever ago who looks at her fondly and tells her she hasn't changed a bit. As they rehash their relationship and why they fell apart, he inserts the stray thought 'If only you'd quit your job', and when she asks him why it didn't work likewise, his response ('How can a man quit working?!') leads her to smile and gently imply that he hadn't changed a bit, either. The subtlety and implied affirmation of this ad is utterly brilliant. 

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