"Chubby cheeks, dimple chin
Rosy lips, teeth within
Curly hair, very fair
Eyes are blue - lovely too.
Teachers pet, is that you?
Yes, Yes, Yes!"
We were all taught this nursery rhyme without considering how discriminatory and inappropriate it was. The only thing it did was give impressionable young minds faulty, problematic ideas about beauty and femininity.
Months after Nike came up its blockbuster advertisement, Da Da Ding, with its superbly catchy tune, Culture Machine's lifestyle channel Blush, along with Dove, have now come up with a video that attempts to question the real meaning of beauty and femininity. The video seems like a promotional campaign for Dove given the end credits mention the brand and its tagline.
The timing of the ad could not have been better - both for us and the brand. With women Olympians like Dipa Karmakar dominating the headlines in India at present, the ad is bound to strike all the right chords. It works wonders for a skin and beauty products brand in its attempt to set itself apart from the clutter of companies selling similar products. And for us, it's refreshing to see sportswomen--who are otherwise not hotly pursued by MNCs like male cricketers are--get their due. One can only hope that the brands don't forget these women after they are done riding the Olympics wave.
The 'Chubby Cheeks' rhyme plays as a teasing, provocative song in the background as the visuals focus on these sportswomen playing and practicing. The fatuous lyrics of the song juxtaposed with these women kicking some serious ass, lays bare how misleading and disturbing, the ideas of beauty we are constantly bombarded with can be.
The video features real-life sportswomen and not actors. There's table tennis player Aditi Sinha, Rutuja Parkar is the gymnast, the wrestlers are Akshita Karkera and Sakshi Shetty, Mrudula Parande is the archer, the shot-put star is Iccha Priti, Amruta Satre is the runner and then there is the Mary Immaculate Girls' High School's hockey team.