Lucknow: Detergent and dishwasher ads have always reinforced gender roles for women. The fact is that ideologies propagated through advertisements are a reflection of the society. The powerful impact that advertisements have on people can also be used to question the dominant sexist stereotypes existing in the society. There have bee few ad campaigns in India which have attempted to do that and most of them only contribute to the society’s dominant practices of the society.
The idea of writing on the aforementioned issue surfaced after watching the recent Nirma add featuring Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan. The add is adversely breaking all sexist stereotypes. The very fact that Hrithik Roshan chose to feature in the Nirma (deteargent soap) commercial without any women being involved in washing his dirty shirt and pulled it off so naturally is absolutely wonderful! What is even more wonderful is that he is shown as a working man who also very expertly deals with his household chores without needing a wife or a maid.
To be honest, objectification and commodification of women in Indian commercials have been a trend. These advertisements mostly portray the dominant sexist belief and we just cannot deny the fact that we don’t find anything absurd reflects the strong ideological, cultural and social impact they cast upon us, without us being aware of it.
The two serious problems are that the way men think has to change and more importantly, the way women think also has to change and the latter will not happen unless men take an initiative.