The Buzz Cut: A Roundup of Brands That Tried To Subvert Traditions, But Subverted Their Own Credibility Instead
In The Buzz Cut, we bring you a round-up of news you wish wasn’t news.
It would seem that a brand advertising bleach to actually erase one’s skin-tone is now a social justice martyr. All because, in a groundbreaking feat, it asked not just one woman to apply corrosive chemicals on her face, but two of them. The two women were then seen participating in a mutual starvation ritual to profess their love for one another. In doing so, they wished one another a long life. While the ad has been taken down, it wouldn’t be the first time it made us compelled to agree with distasteful people that the world was better off without it.
A matrimonial site and foundation of the modern-day wedding industrial complex recently informed us that 76% of women feel pressured to say yes to marriage, even when they don’t want to. The Seema Taparia from Mumbai IndustriesTM conglomerate reassures us that we, unlike our mothers, can say no to “Rohan,” whoever he is. Because for every Rohan you reject, there are Rahuls, Rishabhs, Rishis, Ranveers, and Rohits to choose from, a la carte — as long as you don’t say no to any of the other fun accompaniments on the site, like casteism, colorism, and casual discrimination.
Speaking of weddings making a feminist comeback apparently, a bridal wear brand also came under fire for its bold subversion of a bride “giveaway” (kanyadaan) ritual, by reframing the exact same practice as bride “acceptance” (kanyamaan). The ad taught an important lesson to all: if you try hard enough, everything that seeks to devalue women as property can be feminist if you bend language hard enough. The “maan” in “kanyamaan” did so much of the heavy-lifting for the empowering message, it reportedly caused a rip in space-time, throwing everyone back a few decades.
A social media giant whose attitude toward communal hate speech against religious minorities and violence fuelled on its platform is a prompt and efficient shrug, made a campaign around said minority’s festival to promote itself. The ad shows a young man helping others getting vaccinated — arguably racing against the platform’s own efforts in convincing everyone not to. It is a losing battle, as the ad shows the man posting about losing his parents in the pandemic. Nobody is sure what any of this has to do with the festival. Something about love and togetherness, it would seem, even as the company prepares to send us all into our doom.
It would be remiss to not include the brand that is best at patronizing to us about what beauty really means while selling us more beauty products. In a campaign that asks society to #StopTheBeautyTest, a brand that has products to whiten armpits bravely took on the various judgements and shaming that women go through while being subjected to the matchmaking process. Many have reacted strongly to the ad, and it’s not just trolls: “we would like to be humiliated in peace without a beauty brand butting into the process,” said one unnamed source.