Dabur Honey’s Mangalsutra Ad

Have you watched this ad for Dabur Honey? I’m not sure how old it is because I don’t watch much TV beyond Masterchef Australia and DVR’ed episodes of Sex and the City (I know. I know). So, anyway, I saw this ad for the first time a few days ago and got me really worked up. The Hero just rolled his eyes and thought I’m being extreme. In case you’ve missed this ad, here it is. Detailed analysis follows.

The first thing that threw me off is the “Husbands jab jealous hote hain to kitne cute lagte hain na?” line. How is jealously cute? It’s a sign of insecurity and possessiveness. Why on earth would you be happy if someone you love is feeling threatened or insecure?

Why is the man so worried by how good his wife is looking? Why does he need to adjust his wife’s mangalsutra the way one would adjust a dog collar and presumably for the same reasons? Is he marking his territory? If so, for whose benefit? Is it for those who might be leering at his wife to remind them that his wife is “spoken for”? Or is it to remind his wife that she’s married and to not react to any attention she’s getting? Doesn’t he trust her?

If it’s not the wife but the general public who needs a symbol that a good looking woman is married, what does this say about the state of society and its attitude towards women? Does it mean it’s fair game for anyone to lech or at an unmarried woman or harass her with unwanted attention? Does a woman need a mangalsutra and by extension a man to keep her safe? If it’s a husband’s duty to “protect” his wife, shouldn’t that sense of duty arise from a positive emotion like love or attachment rather than a negative one like jealousy? Just changing the look on the man’s face might have changed the entire feel of this ad.

Ads that show men pawing wives who’ve transformed their looks by using Champak Lal’s Fairness Formula (TM) are bad enough. But promoting jealous husbands as a good thing? Ugh, Dabur! Just not done. Please borrow Vicco’s young at heart Dadaji.

What kind of person

makes his pregnant wife think like this:

“if the baby growth is good then ok otherwise I have to  answer many people , my husband is the firsy person in that”

when she’s got a horrible case of morning pregnancy sickness?

ETA: or even otherwise

Dear Companies who make ads

Dear Fair and Lovely,

Could we tone down the promised fairness a notch please? Unless they decide to re-make Twilight in India, it might be hard to find a use for all that fairness. Thank you! But oh, thanks for the new and improved formula that will help me win a singing competition or become a news anchor instead of “just” an Air-hostess…

Dear all other Fairness Cream Peddlars,

When you do make ad’s, could you make them a little more interesting please? I mean, if you are asking me to part with hard earned money to buy some combination of chalk, saffron, gunk, and bleach that will render me fabulously fair, could you just promise me real fairness at least? For the kind of money you’re asking for, I don’t want to have to settle for Deepika Padukone’s complexion (I’m looking at you Neutrogena). Could I at least be lured in with images of this really fair (Chinese? Japanese?) Asian lady please?

I mean, Deepika is nice and all. And her dimples and legs are surely fabulous. But with my features, I really need a lighter shade before my husband will turn around to look at me. I need a complexion like Kareena Kapoor’s. Whiter than milk and lighter than cream. That’s the sort of thing I’m looking for. Or Katrina Kaif maybe? But no Priyanka Chopra, Kajol, and Ash please. No, wait, if these women are already beautiful without being fairer than fairness and whiter than the dewy morning lily, why do I need fairness cream? I’m confused now…

Oh, and makers of underarm lightening deodorants, you mean to say a man’s attention span and love for his woman are proportional to the fairness of her underarms? I’ve been wasting my money buying fairness creams, then! No wonder my husband doesn’t look away from discovery channel cricket when I walk by…

Dear Kellogs and other Nutritious Breakfast Makers,

I’m the modern woman you’re targeting who has Rs 300 to spend on a box of cereal. But really, I don’t think I want to have a “regular” system just because I want to jump with joy at the opportunity to hand my husband his socks. My husband’s a well brought up man who has been taught the basic life skills required to locate his own socks. And on the occasions that he does misplace them, he knows better than to expect his wife to find his socks for him. So can I have better reasons for eating your cereal?

Also, since I’m already buying fairness creams, anti aging serums, hair colour, perfume, and hair removal cream to attract and retain my husband’s attention even after four years of marriage, could I just eat breakfast for myself please?

Dear Advertisers of Sanitary Products,

Women really don’t want to be reminded in graphic detail of what happens during their periods. And men really don’t need to know what happens during a woman’s periods. And tweens and teens denied basic sex-ed do not need to grow up thinking menstrual fluid is blue. And I really, really don’t need to switch products just to be able to jump over a fence or pick up garbage on the street. I can do that on any day I choose with or without the aid of white pants and your products. Could you just stop advertising please? (ladies, check out this post about menstrual cups while you’re surfing).

Dear Axe and Gillette,

You guys have got to stop implying that it just takes one sniff or a smooth cheek to make a woman lose control over her simmering sexual energy. Really.

Dear Vicco Turmeric nahin Cosmetic,

Thank you for bringing a moment of sanity to my movie going experience. Please don’t ever do away with a Dadaji with strong teeth in your ads.

Thank you,
The Goddess A regular TV viewer