JOSH- Only for Men?
In Pakistan, discussing sexual life is still taboo. Pakistanis are highly reluctant to talk about sex or other related problems in public. This is visible in mainstream media, where intimate scenes continue to create headlines. In that situation, what happens to condom advertisements? The condom advertisements starring Mathira are frequently riddled with controversy since they are deemed inappropriate for public consumption. The Pakistani censorship board plays an important role here by prohibiting most of such advertisements. This demonstrates Pakistan's dissatisfaction with the open display of female desire. The media's objectification of the female body is centuries old and goes unchecked. But the question here is whether PEMRA's decision to ban Josh condom advertisements is wise.
Other condom commercials, according to PEMRA, are shown on mainstream media such as Sathi condom Ad because they advocate family planning and emphasize how family planning can result in a healthier lifestyle. Josh, on the other hand, airs sexualized content by objectifying women. It is also claimed that men use this product; therefore, why is a woman seen in this advertisement? When Mathira goes to buy condoms, the general public's sentiments are harmed; this is how toxic masculinity comes into play since people assume that males can do anything they want, but women cannot. It is obviously utilied for intercourse between men and women, yet women cannot openly claim that they have it.
The latest Josh TV commercial portrays Mathira Khan on vacation with her husband. The idea of family planning is retained in this advertisement. It's a romantic getaway with her husband, not a casual fling. Small bits of 'Hubby' and 'Mrs. Rana' keep our cultural sensitivities under control.
Not only that, but Josh earlier broadcasted a TVC in which Mathira enters a shop and openly asks for a condom, subtly highlighting the need for behavior change among individuals when they buy a condom, this is how they are educating people about inclusivity.
However, there are certain issues associated with josh advertising. Why do they use curvaceous models in their commercials? Female objectification and body shaming can be used to explain their casting strategies. Only Mathira appears in their advertisements since she has a curvy figure, and her appearance is exploited to attract people's attention. People believe that women are objectified in food, clothes, and appliance advertisements without creating controversy, but when Mathira appears in a condom advertisement, their 'Ghairat' is hurt. But whatever media product, if women are objectified, it is immoral. One cannot argue that because it is a condom advertisement, it is acceptable to sexualize female bodies.
Some individuals will embrace the idea of Josh advertising by viewing it through the lens of women empowerment. However, others will take offence since it is sensitive to our culture and might be considered as insulting by feminists because it objectifies a particular gender. These issues will persist, but they can improve it by removing certain elements from their advertisements, such as depicting women in a way that promotes passive, submissive attributes and encourages them to perform a subordinate secondary position in society. However, one argument stands unanswered: are these advertisements intended to empower women or at objectifying them?