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Sunsilk shine but at what cost?

If you were to ever scroll through Sunsilk Pakistan’s YouTube page, you would come across a video whose title says “Shaan se Shine”. However, the advertisement ends up doing the exact opposite of allowing you to shine. The opening scene shows a woman rallying for electoral votes and soon after her colleague tells her to focus on protecting her hair instead of getting involved in politics and rallies as the environment and the “mitti” might ruin the shine of her hair. This statement reflects countless problematic aspects that have been deeply engraved within our society. A guy is essentially telling a woman that she should avoid the “mitti” in order to keep her hair shining. Does this mean they should altogether stop heading outside since dust is a cause of concern every time one steps out in the open for anything? Also, do men not have hair or are their hair not affected by the dust? Or shall each and every human being sit inside and wait for a sunsilk product to protect their hair from the excessive dust that apparently is so damaging that we need to avoid our work for it?

Another major issue is that this advertisement is easily available on YouTube and is constantly being broadcasted across TV channels throughout the country. Given the already problematic patriarchal nature of our society, the kind of an impact this advertisement can have on growing kids is severely damaging. Unfortunately, keeping in mind our country’s culture and the ideology, even our elders fail to see the shortcomings of such advertisements. Not only do such ads conform to the pre-existing cultural beliefs that have been instilled in us, they also subconsciously alter our mindset in such a way that we forget to differentiate what is right and wrong. Our media is constantly producing similar media products and we are so accustomed to this kind of work that it no longer gets criticized as can be seen by the lack of criticism and attention this ad has gotten. Lastly, the presence of influential celebrities within such ads further worsens the matter at hand since more people are accepting to such huge flaws within the ads and are ready to accept the kind of thinking presented in the ad.


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9 Comments


Khubaib Riasat
Khubaib Riasat
Dec 12, 2021

I think this commercial may have been a justification for some of the conservative parents trapping their daughters inside houses. These advertisements are very common because they conform to the patriarchal audience. We have been accustomed to these ads when growing up, and this has a significant effect on our mindset subconsciously.

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I keep getting that ad and it's so annoying. I'm very happy to see that someone has commented on it here. He tells her not to get involved in politics and focus on her hair instead. What does that even mean lol. It's disgusting and honestly quite sexist and Sunsilk should be doing better. It's 2020!

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I saw this ad the other day and realised how all ads in Pakistan are prone to stereotyping and enforcing absurd gender roles. I’ve hardly seen any cooking or chaaye ads with men in the centre. It’s pretty disturbing...

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Totally agree! The advertisement makes no sense. At this point it feels like these brands are just trying to use feminism because they think its a good way to sell products. Don't think this ad was empowering at all.


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This advertisement is extremely problematic as it literally says that because you are a women you need to be concerned about your hair rather than the politics of the country. We really cannot expect a change in this country till media stops giving messages like these and I do not think this is happening anytime soon.

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