Capture The Real You*

If you think that this ad about mansplaining is bad, wait till you watch the 9-month-old brainchild of OPPO to be a companion in our dreams!

 Watch this ad before proceeding: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljbCyumiVAQ
Caution: Viewer discretion adviced

This ad is a 19 minute ordeal that reinforces our biases by carefully shrouding it in the wraps of enlightened sexism. With over 19 million views and positive comments about the good looks of Siddharth Malhotra, the larger narrative of a man dictating a girl’s life has been played like a broken record. The damsel in distress is saved from her toxic past by the limited edition phone and made to find her “inner beauty” by using its editing softwares.

In a time when content is generated for profit to take away our autonomy of thought, we need to become ‘citizen consumers’ in this pseudo progressive world. It is a time when people are the ‘product’ and our dreams are sold to us in the form of a modestly priced 32GB, 7.5 mm, dual sim, 40k phone.

The more problematic aspect is that type of comments on this video. They range from thirst messages for Siddharth Malhotra and Kriti Kharbanga (atleast we have equality in one place!) to how the ad motivated them to follow their dreams. While we might think that the ad was successful in attaching aspirational value with an object, it has some worrisome consequences. In a country high on emotions (among other things), we seem to be victims of the indifference towards a little sexism as long as it serves a larger purpose.

In the book ‘The Rise of Enlightened Sexism’, by Susan Douglas, we are forced to rethink the definition of new age “feminism”. Women have come a long way, but not as far as we’d like to believe. The discussion of equality has been morphed in a suggestive way and has been supplanted by a more insidious form of bias, where sexist messages are hidden in plain sight couched in irony.

As conscious media consumers, we need to be more careful in identifying this sexist imagery where men are a part of the solution. Celebrity endorsements should not be the sole criteria for blind faith in the brand and its message. We need to question everyone and everything!

Capture The Real You*

*With filters and dash of casual sexism

The video referred to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljbCyumiVAQ

Blog by: Navya Singhal

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