Do you believe in getting bullied by plastic? Sounds strange right? I am talking about the perfectly chiselled-bodied mannequins, which welcome you in shops, malls etc. It almost seems as if they are mocking us and our body, standing there with every body feature that the world worships, ie. a flat stomach, good height, perfectly chiselled jaw line, fair skin colour with absolutely no blemishes and the most important thing, a good-widely appreciated-wanted by many, small or medium clothing size. While to some, and by some, I mean nearly 80% of the global customers, this may seem as something beautiful and inspiring but to many, it is a source of constant criticism of one’s unique body type and body shaming. And if we are talking about mannequins, we cannot miss out on the bigger picture, ie. the advertisements. Advertisements are something which not just promote the sale of a product or an idea, but also reflect our society on local, national and global levels. Advertisements showing racism, sexism, regionalism and other discriminating scenarios reflect the society we live in and somewhere, also promote discrimination and refute the basic concept of everyone being equal.
There have been many controversial advertisements, which explicitly discriminated on some basis or the other. For eg: A Madison Avenue 2009 ad showed a pressure cooker being called women’s best friend. This screams sexism out loud. One might wonder as to how these advertisements affect the society? In many ways, actually. Some ads show a young girl or guy applying some beauty product which makes them glow like the Haley’s Comet and then they go ahead to have an amazing day while earning many stares from the opposite sex. For starters, these ads impose a draconian beauty standard to be achieved, on people. They body shame the people and lead the person to the verge of Atypical depression. Secondly, these ads make people believe that they have to be dependent on certain products for even stepping out of the house, thus causing low self-determination. A long chain would show a huge pressure of being “beautiful” being achieved by Photoshop. Discrimination reaches a dangerous level here. However, many Ad agencies and companies argue that the mannequins and advertisements showing a particular body type, indirectly help oversized people to loose weight.
A recent ad showed a famous plus sized comedian, Bharti Singh advertising a beauty product. Bharti’s casting in the ad shows that somewhere, the concept of beauty and the beauty standard set by the world is diminishing before awareness, sensibility, a sense of responsibility and dwindling stereotypes. It is promoting body positivity. Nevertheless, strict censorship and filtration laws should be set on the advertisements as we cannot really see the ads having an adverse effect on the people and leading them to the verge of body-hating.
Image Source: Youtube