Why Modern Indian Women Deserve Better Ads to Reclaim Their Individuality

The ideal Indian woman has three pairs of arms, each to cook a different breakfast demand for her husband and children, What about her own breakfast? Well, no one really cares, because we all know she to lose two kilos in two weeks with a few bowls of cereal. This is just a sneak peek of how Indian advertisements represent women; the ever sacrificial mother, the change-making champion, the sensual woman with the perfect body and fair complexion. Moreover, the roles she plays as mother, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law and highlighted much more than her being an individual or a career woman.

Ads portray the ideal Indian woman who conforms to tradition

The transition a woman makes from daughter to wife is something that is both celebrated and revered in advertisements as she buys jewelry, makes herself beautiful and wears designer clothes. However, few Indian ads have celebrated a woman’s choice to step out of the traditional conventions that are plaguing Indian women in society. Whether it is choosing not to get married or adopting children rather than having her own, the majority of companies continue to promote the “ideal” Indian woman who conforms to tradition. 

Only she can make the toilet sparkle and ensure her husband stays healthy

However, in spite of technology making the running of the home easier, a woman is never shown to purchase these things for her own pleasure, like a dishwasher, a washing machine, for example, their purpose is to make more time to look after her children. Everything she does and purchases are for the purpose of becoming a good wife or securing a good husband, like fairness creams, for example. From winning the battle against, mosquitoes and cockroaches, to banishing dark skin and wrinkles, she is the only one who can make a toilet sparkle and ensure that her husband’s heart remains disease-free. The truth is that a majority of Indian brands have women to sell their products, however, they take away their inequality, promoting the myth that all Indian women are the same and want the same thing. 

In addition to this, there is the ultimate pressure to be the sole source of change in India. She must change, but what about the rest of India? What about society, conventions, culture, the men? One cannot facilitate change if the people around you refuse to do so. India cannot expect high standards from women and no standards from the rest. Women are people too, just like everyone else, with opinions, feelings, and individuality, ads must acknowledge this, rather than forcing them into a tightly fitted box.

Image credit: Branding in Asia

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