What Happened to …

This is a question which i ask myself when i see some of the advertisements on tv. You may ask what the question is, but then, thats trivial compared to what i am thinking. Do i hear you saying that maybe its better to start with the trivial things? Ahem, if those trivial things are what i am writing about, to begin with, then they become even more important. Trivial things becoming “more” important? One’s assumption of one’s close acquaintance with the language can bring about these fallacies.

So lets not think about these oddities, and just move on to the topic i am writing about. What happens to the public imagination over a period of time? What happens to the way society thinks of beauty over a period of time? There was a time when hennaed hair and beard were considered the summit of fashion, while lips reddened by paan were considered an essential part of sex appeal. Of course, this was way before the term was even invented. Would you see women swooning over hennaed hair today? Not unless you can also imagine dinosaurs in pink tights. But dinosaurs in pink tights, or any tights, or making any kind of fashion statement is not what i am writing about, as i suppose you would have guessed by now.

So what am i talking about? I am talking about a different kind of fashion statement. The advertisement for Vaseline Men. The advertisement stars Shahid Kapoor. Or, for that matter, take the advertisement for Garnier Men starring John Abraham. So why am i writing about it? Read on. The idea of the advertisement is that there are so many stupid things men do, when all they need to do is to invest one minute of their time every day rubbing Vaseline Men on their faces. What are these stupid things men do? They spend hours every year brushing their teeth. Imagine! When they could have been so much more impressive rubbing Vaseline Men on their faces. After all, a fair face is more of a turn on than bad breath is a turn off. So, even if we were to subtract the bad breath, we would still have a positive answer. And of course, facial complexion is so much more important than dental hygiene unless you are one of those dinosaurs in pink tights i mentioned earlier (or you support a movement for the restoration of those dinosaurs in pink tights, which would come a close second). While of the topic of advertising for Vaseline Men, there is another one where Shahid Kapoor is complaining about the massive time men spend shaping their crowning glory (read combing) compared to the time they spend on applying fairness cream on their faces. Which probably explains his hairstyle in the advertisement.

But the question i want to ask is what are bewildered men of today to do? The women have been brought up on a steady diet of the tall, dark, handsome prince charming (read knight in shining armour on white steed, where the armour could be replaced by a Reid & Taylor, and the steed by BMW) coming to the rescue of the damsel in distress. And men have been brought up to believe (maybe by evolution, please dont brand men as MCP for this) that they have to woo these very women. So which is it then? Fair, or dark? Suddenly this has become a major dilemma for men. Whatever happened to men sitting at barstools guzzling beer, shouting at every four or six, with four or six letter words (depending on who was hitting them) or at every wicket falling, with a well rendered burp being considered par for the course, the only comment from others being about whether the burp in question is good form, or whether more practice is required. These are important things, ladies and gentlemen, compared to complexion. Now, i agree this is the age of the metrosexual man (thats right, evolution is still with us, heterosexual seems to have evolved into metrosexual, whatever your opinions about it), but i also remember reading a quote which read (cant remember who said this, so if you know, please do write on the comments) … “Metrosexual man reminds me of someone who would like to have sex on the tube”, and so many more such inane moments or ideas, and i wonder where this is headed. Thin edge of the wedge? The end of civilization as we know it?

While on the subject of advertising, i wonder what possessed the guys at Aircel to come up with a name like INQ for their mobile internet service (thats what i think they are talking about … social networking on the mobile). This is almost an invitation to competition to dig in … one could almost read the storyline … Why be in Q? Maybe they need to rethink? Hmm … maybe.


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