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.