Dove’s #AapkeBaalAapkiMarzi campaign targets stereotypes
Developed by Ogilvy India, the campaign is an endeavour to encourage women to wear their hair as they like
This Independence Day Dove took forward its long-standing narrative on societal benchmarks of acceptability by encouraging women to talk about stereotypes attached to their hair.
Dove’s #AapkeBaalAapkiMarzi campaign highlights the biases women face solely because of how they wear their hair and urges them to break free from the shackles of a narrow perception of beauty.
For most Indian women being told to grow their hair long and black is the earliest memory of ‘beautiful’ imbibed in them. Slowly, the stereotype becomes jarring and evident as most movies, advertisements and societal norms depict long, straight black hair to be the symbol of beautiful women, concretizing the biases that exist.
For instance, an earlier study by the brand, in collaboration with Hansa Research, found 71% of Indians think short, coloured and curly hair is less beautiful than long and straight hair. This approach creates a tendency for women to measure their beauty on the scale of social norms, making them feel under-confident and diffident.
The typecasting limits choices for women who conform to pre-defined standards of ‘beauty’ to be socially acceptable.
Dove’s new campaign, developed by Ogilvy India, is an endeavour towards addressing these archaic, pre-defined stereotypes and encouraging women to stand tall and wear their hair as they like #AapkeBaalAapkiMarzi.
Harman Dhillon, Vice President, Hair Care, Hindustan Unilever said, “Dove recognizes and realizes the impact typecasting can have on an individual’s being. For over 60 years, Dove has showcased the beauty in diversity. Through our campaigns we try to create awareness around and break the narrow definition of beauty, creating a space where women feel nurtured and liberated from societal beauty barriers. There is a lot more to be done to create a systemic change in mindsets and celebrate the individuality and independence of women.”
Unveiled on Independence Day, the campaign shares the story of real women Farishte, Huda and Pia, how they view their hair vis-a-vis how the society perceives them. In an inspiring and moving narrative, it draws focus to the conditioning that women undergo, early-on, towards hair beauty norms. Whether it is short or grey hair, curly or coloured hair, it is the time women are the creators of their beauty standards and feel free to choose for themselves that reflects their true personality.
According to Zenobia Pithawalla, Senior Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy India (West), “As a brand that celebrates inclusion, we at Dove decided to celebrate the inclusion of all kinds of hair, in a society that has glorified just one kind of hair. Straight, long and black. After all, the freedom to do what one wants with one’s hair is implicit in the fight for emancipation. We interviewed women across the country to arrive at these inspiring stories. These women were left in a dilemma at some stage in their lives, all because they didn’t conform to society’s idea of beautiful hair. Instead of succumbing to societal bondage, they continued to wear their hair their way and emerged even more triumphant because of it. These are their stories. Stories that helped us arrive at our campaign idea, #AapkeBaalAapkiMarzi. What better day, than Independence Day to share these stories of freedom and diversity with every woman of India.”
With campaigns like #AapkeBaalAapkiMarzi, Dove hopes to ignite a conversation amongst women, across generations, on experiencing biases and the need to overcome them –to inspire others who have held back so far.
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