My Fair Lady, Literally

I have no idea how long back this happened, and I am extremely disappointed in all my friends back home that they never told me about this mini movie that Ponds released in five 45 seconds advertisements. Maybe it has been discussed and maligned or appraised a million times in every possible media, but I saw the five ads for the first time today and I am appalled.

Now, I love the advertising strategy of releasing the ad in five episodes and I am sure it created a reasonable amount of buzz when it first hit the television. Basically, these ads are a beautiful work. They have every element that I love: romance, suspense, glamour. They tell a simple story in great detail in less than four minutes, approximately.

The first ad begins with the boy (Saif Ali Khan) parting ways with the girl (Priyanka Chopra), they take apart their heart-shaped lockets as they walk away. Then three years later, the girl sitting in her flower shop spots the boy’s picture with a sexy girl (Neha Dhupia!) on the glossy cover of a magazine. The boy is back in town and will now bump into the girl every five seconds. This constant bumping into her ex and his sexy girlfriend prompts the girl to use Ponds whitening cream, that does not make you white, but pinkish white. You chose whether you want to be pink n white or just white, coz being brown is a sin and will definitely lead to you ending up alone with only three cats for company.  Coming back to the story, the new sexy (apparently fairer too) girl is actually a bitch, who screams at the boy in public when he accidently breaks her manicured nail while slipping on a huge rock on her finger. The boy then goes to the only flower shop in the town and sees his ex, who is increasingly becoming pink and white.  He notices she still has her locket on, and this makes him instantly text her to tell that he still loves her. Soon after this text, he is back with his sexy girlfriend to offer her the rock in style over a romantic dinner. But a simple “be happy always” reply from the girl beeps on his phone and he excuses himself. The bitchy sexy girlfriend reads the message, and responds telling the girl to get lost. This breaks the girl’s heart, she applies some more Ponds whitening cream and takes off the locket. While the boy finds out about the ugly reply sent from his phone, and breaks up with the fairer bitchy girlfriend, the girl decides to leave the country. The boy comes running to the airport and looks for the glowing white n pink girl, finds her and she sees he has donned his locket and she cries happy tears and they live happily ever after. Phew.

What the fuck! No, seriously.

It is a shame that a former Miss World is promoting fairness creams in such a fashion. While there is nothing wrong with fairness creams and even in wanting to be fairer, but giving the message that you will not get the one you love until you are fair is repulsive.  Fair and Lovely has been making ads where a girl gets a job or gets a good match after she uses the fairness cream for ages, but I have never seen a star (and that too the one I thought was opinionated enough to understand how damaging her promoting this product could be) do this before.

Our society, like any other, struggles with hundreds of serious issues that need sorting out for a better tomorrow. However, making fairness one of the prominent problems in life is something we all can happily do without. While I see many people concurring with me on this point, there is always someone who wants to milk this opportunity for their gain.

Or maybe, I am wrong. Maybe one needs to work on the melanin instead of trying to be a fun-loving, well-read, and open-minded person. Maybe Ponds will release episode six of the ad, where Neha Dhupia will rub in some cream and then Saif will run back to her, requiring Priyanka to work a little harder on her face. Saif will continue to ping-pong until one of the girl looks like a snowman.

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6 Responses to “My Fair Lady, Literally”

  1. But the Miss World crowns were won when the (int’l) cosmetics brands had to make a breakthrough into Indian markets! And why would a former Miss World not endorse an industry that (probably) got her where she is, in the first place?! 🙂

  2. sunshin3girl Says:

    Yes, you have a point there but my real problem is not with the product but the content of this ad. Why do we have to push whitening creams as something that will get one married, or fetch one the love of their life, or get them a job? If that were the case, all the Himachali/Punjabi/Kashmiri girls would be ruling the world, no?

  3. Its bad enuf that this distinction exists – the black versus white complex in the households with perpetuating it on media. I have a cousin for instance who is on the darker side – a lifetime of comments like “dont wear this or that color” has resulted in such a serious complex about it now that she has grown up – she goes to ridiculous lengths to buy these creams and has ruined her skin in the process. I get SO mad with my aunt about this conditioning. But then i get slapped back with “oh you are fair, what would you know” kind of comments”. Oh ok. this was a tangential rant. but i find the concept of fairness creams obnoxious.

  4. sunshin3girl Says:

    Well, elderly in my community equate fairness to beauty much to my annoyance. But I have had my extremely beautiful but dusky friend’s boyfriend tell me that my life would be a cakewalk because I am fair. This was back in college and I remember feeling deeply insulted. Thankfully, my friend did not end up with that guy.

  5. I am wondering what else could be the content,theme or motto of fairness cream ads? The fact that these creams exist itself tells a lot about what ppl think of the dark complexioned.
    Btw, I love my complexion 🙂

  6. Kill’em all. 😐

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