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Shoop : #TrustTauMustHai

Despite the massive evolutionary change, it is unfortunate that we still find the elements of conventional school of thought in our media representation of women. For women are either misrepresented or underrepresented, and rarely do we see examples of them depicted otherwise. For decades, the media representation of women has been favoring the patriarchal view, while reinforcing the traditional gender stereotypes that are embedded into our culture. From dramas, movies, and advertisements, Pakistan’s entertainment industry is replete with such examples. Either a woman is shown in her vulnerable, suppressed state or used as a magnetizing element in ads where we don’t even necessarily feel the need of a female figure.


However, as brands are now moving towards thematic ads now, we see a significant change and perhaps, progress in the kind of media productions taking place. Therefore, these brands should be given the limelight they deserve, for they play a distinctive role in smashing the stereotypical mindsets of society by reversing the gender roles. One such example is Shoop Noodles, that came up with its campaign #TrustTauMustHai.

The commercial begins with a man attempting to change a tyre on his car when his teenage daughter notices him and steps outside to assist. When the man sees her, he asks for a glass of water, as we usually do with the youngest members of the family. Instead, she asks for the tool to get the tyre fixed. Her father reluctantly passes the tool to her, leaves his trust upon her and thus steps aside. The look of surprise on his face as he discovers that his daughter is actually adroit at the skill is understandable, for it is not normally expected from women to know such practical skills.

Shoop’s advertisement is, therefore, subliminally pointing towards the reversal of gender roles that are deeply woven into our patriarchal social structures. Traditionally speaking, the onus of tasks such as changing a tyre or an electric wire, or as simple as hammering nail into a wall is expected to fall upon men. Women, on the other hand, are expected to be caretakers of families and involve in tasks such as cooking and cleaning as this is what they are handed down since decades, even if this is not what they necessarily want to do. How often do we get to see the rare sight of a woman in the middle of a road, fixing her tyre herself or how often do we see men being the nurturers of house?


We definitely need more such ad campaigns, for they not only help in bringing about a paradigm shift in the mindset of society regarding women, but also targets the masculine standards men are expected to maintain. Shoop’s ad serves to be a perfect example of how an Individual's abilities are to be trusted, regardless of age and gender.


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This reminds me of a similar advertisement of Shan Foods in which the man cooks biryani for his in-laws and gains their approval. This reversal of gendered roles by not only making a man cook but trying to impress his in-laws instead of the girl being interrogated for whether she knows how to cook or not and being scared that she might get rejected, deserved the appreciation it go. Because advertisements like these are small steps in the right direction.

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Iman Ahmad
Iman Ahmad
Dec 09, 2022

I really appreciate how ad's are becoming increasingly inclusive and critical of gender stereotypes but don't you think that when you sensationalize women/men for doing tasks of the other gender, you actually make it more "unnatural" for them to do these tasks? I understand that in the commercial the father is surprised, because he was unaware of his daughters skills, but what if the commercial was reformulated so that the audience sees the daughter ready fixing the car like it was something that was normal. To sort of elaborate on this point, there are a lot of ad's which prompt men to carry out domestic work like cooking, or cleaning -- and there's really no problem with that, but these…


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Going through your blog post, my mind has recalled instances from my childhood where consuming gendered media products in Pakistani television had subconsciously instilled a particular approach regarding gender roles in my young mind. I definitely resonate with your point that such a positive subtle shift in media representation of women will allow today’s children to be brought up with a patriarchally shattering worldview and is definitely a great step taken by the advertisement agencies. These media products and the appreciation they receive from audiences subsequently motivate further products to be produced similarly in the feminist aspects.

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This reminded me of the Shan masala ads which were lauded for somewhat reversing gender roles and also moving away from the conventional representations of housewives. I think these ads are particularly powerful because for years and years have we been associating the kitchen with the woman, to see her coming home from work and not being expected to cook is refreshing to see. Apart from those they also have been running campaigns promoting steps towards gender equality. This particular advertisement in the newspaper was effective because it was subtly reinforcing tolerance in the household as well:

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Mujeeb.khan
Mujeeb.khan
Dec 06, 2022

Such content in Pakistani media is quite unexpected. This demonstrates that our media is transforming; producers are now aligning with feminist movements and have learned that gender portrayal may have a significant influence on the audience. "Dostea" is a tea brand, and its advertisements also included the reversal of gender roles. They portrayed this man as a chef who generally cooked for his family. His wife was shown as an artist. I understand that this is a really ideal representation, however if we continue with such works. It will help in changing our society's patriarchal culture.

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