Thank You, Lady Doritos, for Saving My Delicate Lady Hands

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Feb 7, 2018

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I’m so happy everyone! Finally, Pepsi, our snacking messiah, has read my mind, heart, weighing scale and EKG, and come out with LADY CHIPS!

My corporate lady-crush  Sell-out  Lady-CEO of Pepsi, Indra Nooyi, CEOsplains on a Freaknomics podcast that men love eating Doritos. They lick their fingers, pour the bits from the bag into their mouth “because they don’t wanna lose that taste, yo!” (I might paraphrase) and generally behave like pigs. But we dainty ladies aren’t doing that. Nooyi concedes that she thinks we might like to, but we don’t enjoy crunching loudly in public or licking our fingers generously or pour Pepsi’s over-processed preservative laden crap into our mouths.

Hence, Pepsi has come up with LADY CHIPS – which I will only refer to in caps from now on.

“Are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently? Yes, we are looking at it, and we’re getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon,” Nooyi said. “For women, low-crunch, the full taste profile, not have so much of the flavor stick on the fingers, and how can you put it in a purse?”

We all know why this idea was floated. Indra Nooyi works 20 hours a day – and after multiple complaints from litigious juniors over her continuous crunching in meetings, she said, “Come up with crunchless chips, or else.” I’m picturing Nooyi and other female Pepsi employees snacking – quietly — on LADY CHIPS, fresh from the lab, at midnight in the office, wondering how they can liberate as many women as possible. I’m happy to give them the following sure-to-go-viral film idea, for free:

A woman, veiled and gagged, in a burkha, stands in a desert. She takes a single Man-Chip out, removes her gag and eats the chip with a loud crunch. Instantly, thousands of nukes are levelled against her.

“Goddamnit, woman, why you so loud?” says a male voice.

Pepsi’s LADY CHIPS comes into the frame, and the nukes go away.

LADY CHIPS: Don’t be seen or heard, and you won’t be dead.

Boom. Sales go through the roof.

LADY CHIPS isn’t the first why-is-this-gendered product out there in the market. In patriarchal, so-developed-but-so-low-on-women’s-rights Japan, Suntory Whisky (of the movie Lost in Translation fame) is coming out with a collagen-infused light beer specifically for women. Two whole grams per serving, so you can drink beer to stay young in heart and in skin! (Man-skin doesn’t need collagen. It stays taut and young by bathing in the rights, aspirations and dreams stripped from women.)

And then there’s the lady Kinder eggs range, which comes in pink and features jewellery as the surprise inside. Because only boys like blue and need figurines or little puzzles – girls just need to werk it. (If I ever have a daughter, I’ll be sure to take her for pitching practice outside your offices – with real eggs that are good for everyone.)

There was also BIC for Her pens, with slender barrel and, presumably, with less ink – after all, women only write grocery notes and practice their new after-marriage-surname signature all day.

But we can list gendered products all day. The point is, LADY CHIPS are actually made for India. We’re a nation fighting tooth and nail the very idea that women are humans, too. We even tax sanitary pads (because how dare we XX-chromosomes bleed, eat, or live, amirite?)

In fact, that should give Pepsi another free idea. They should take a cue from our lady-tax and, of course,  from the razor industry – which charges women more for a flimsier version of the same product. Aww, you guys. Always thinking of ways to help me give you more money!

I, for one, will welcome LADY CHIPS, LADY COLA (fewer calories, ‘coz who wants fatties?), LADY LAPTOPS (ha ha, women and technology), LADY CLOCKS (timed to run faster coz women are always late, ya know!) and LADY TOOTHPASTE (for super-white, lipstick-repellent teeth) – all in pink! I’m fed up of wanting rights, self-worth or money in the bank. I want to be pretty, pink, quiet, pink, shiny, pink, thin, pink, and pink. Thank you Indra Nooyi, and Pepsi, for telling me what I want, and what I need – even before I knew it myself!

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Written By Akhila Vijaykumar

Akhila Vijaykumar is a writer with experience across advertising and journalism. Occasionally, the crossover does make her demand truth from soap and try to cajole quotes into starbursts, but no harm no foul. She loves books by Terry Pratchett, dogs and pizza, often at the same time.

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