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Kheer Pakwai And Her Fate

Throughout our childhood till now, we all have witnessed the blatant glorification and celebrations of certain South Asian rituals associated with deciding the woman's fate in the new household after her marriage. The Pakistani media serves as a powerful tool to stereotype women by restricting them to specific roles such as that of a caregiver, cook, or wife. The Laziza Kheer advertisement has been one that has been repeatedly aired on television since 2013 and has sickened me each time I come across it. This advertisement perpetuates various stereotypes through the way the bride's getup, the characters' acting styles, and its visuals.

The advertisement revolves around the bride being tested on her kheer-making skills, and her fate in the new household is to be decided by her father-in-law. It starts with the mother-in-law taunting her, saying, "Kheer bana tou logi na bahu" This perpetuates the stereotypes of the "Saas Bahu" relationship along with normalizing the unwillingness of her mother-in-law to help her. Throughout the advertisement, the bride is shown to be extremely anxious and stressed and is shown to be dependent on her husband's opinion. Hence goes on to seek his approval, who refuses to comfort her and walks away. Just as you may think, the infuriating glorifying of demeaning the bride stops a child walks into the kitchen, who seems to know that there is an examination panel sitting to test their chachi and say "Chachi aaj tou imtehaan hai" adding to the bride's disrespect and anxiety.

Finally! The patriarch and the head of the household tastes the kheer and gives his approval, and everyone starts clapping.

The Laziza kheer advertisement is just one of the many examples that do not only disregard women as human beings but instead normalize disrespecting them along with perpetuating various stereotypes and defining gender roles. These advertisements reinforce the notion that the entire purpose of the woman is to seek approval and satisfy the needs of the family through the role of the caregiver, who cooks, cleans, and remains a quiet and shy bride.

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