We get up in the morning because we love what we do, making words come to life while hoping to empower people like you and make a dent in the world. And here I was going on about my day when I saw the latest Gillette ad.
The brand has touched upon Bullying, MeToo Movement, Toxic Masculinity with a loud and clear appeal for change—from within and on the outside.
For many years, Gillette engaged its customers with “The Best a Man Can Get.” Now it is breaking its own stereotype with “The Best Men Can Be”. And to my surprise, the ad is on its way to become the most disliked video with 1.2 million thumbs down on YouTube.
It reached out to me through a brand that I seldom use. In less than 2 minutes the video redefines masculinity and calls upon men through a message – look for strength of character that makes one stand up to protect and respect women.
The film evoked a strong emotion in me as a woman and as a mother of a 3-year-old son. We raise our daughters to fight stereotypes and pursue their dreams, but we don’t do the same for our boys. How will I raise my son to embrace equality when the world around me believes in a hyper-masculine culture that celebrates violence and shrugs off misogyny…a countless number of times I have been told to relax as a mother and let “boys be boys”.
Bullying. MeToo Movement. Toxic Masculinity, are these not real issues??? And someday or the other conversation about this needs to happen. But there are people who take this as an attack on their “Normal Male Behaviour”. Phew!!!
The social construction of the term “Masculinity” is changing and it is high time that it should. A lot of people mistake Masculinity with “Agrarian” male who takes pride in being macho, seeks social respect through limited means. We as a community expect men to tear open their shirt and reveal the big S on it. Well, times are changing and people need to understand that in no means a testosterone party can set the real example of being ‘Real Men’. Mind you, bravery needn’t be a display of raw strength and purely physical in nature. It’s about taking action.
And that’s what the commercial reinstates. It advocates the fact that the time has come when men should stand up and be accountable for stifling or resisting expression in support of what’s true or just.
As it is said the longest journey starts with a single step. So, for now, I hope more brands awaken to such issues and make a difference. Amen!