This Ad Telling Women They Need Jewellery To Feel “Complete” Is A Load Of Garbage

Posted on September 23, 2016 in Sexism And Patriarchy, Video

By Saswati Chatterjee:

“After watching this, I’ve realised that jewellery can really define you.” – A cringeworthy line delivered by a woman at the end of this ad, complete with the slightly glassy-eyed look of a person repeating lines on rote.

The only honest reply to this is, well jewellery can define you if you want it to. It’s a purely subjective matter, though if any person feels like their personality would be expressed best with jewellery, great, if not then that’s fine too.

A memo that Melorra Jewellery seems to have missed.

The video opens with five women expressing the perfectly reasonable opinion that they don’t personally consider jewellery important to themselves. They said, ‘I am not a jewellery person’ or ‘It’s how you carry yourself, with or without jewellery.’

None of these sound like radically incorrect ideas. And more importantly, these women are talking about what jewellery means personally to them. This is something that the video turns completely on its head by showing these women that their personal opinions about their appearances are wrong and the only way they can feel better is by donning these jewellery products.

The point is – this isn’t the first time this has happened. A large part of such advertising often invalidates a woman’s right to self-expression by telling her, “Only if you fall into these certain categories will you be successful/will people like you/will you get a job.” This is like indirectly telling her that she only becomes ‘worthy’ if she uses a certain product. To note here, it’s understood that the point of advertising is to obviously convince the customer that the product is ‘necessary.’ But demeaning the person in question is not the way to go about doing this.

Ads for products like Fairness creams particularly sell this message. Such as, this series of Pond’s Cream ads starring Priyanka Chopra and Saif Ali Khan, where Saf Ali Khan’s character and Priyanka Chopra’s character only get back together when she uses a fairness cream to look prettier. Great job, selling the point that a woman is worthy only if a) a man wants her and b) she’s ‘fair’ enough for the man to want her.

The thought mentioned above is something this ad uses to full effect. The five women (shown first in the ad) are asked to participate in what seems like a pretty manipulative ‘experiment’: where they are asked a set of leading questions about identical twins sitting in front of them: one wearing jewellery and one not.

Ads exist to sell, but not in a manipulative and super problematic way. Watch this video and tweet to me at @RunaChat93 to share your views!

For an example of an ad that got it right, check this out: In 3 Minutes, This Ad Destroys Every Sexist Stereotype Women Face At Work.