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Gillette's Ad on India's 'Barber Shop Girls' is Shaving Off Gender Stereotypes in Jobs

In Gillette's new video, two young women tackle gender stereotypes about jobs and pick a profession which isn't usually associated with females.

Raka Mukherjee | @RakaMukherjeee

Updated:May 1, 2019, 8:20 PM IST
Gillette's Ad on India's 'Barber Shop Girls' is Shaving Off Gender Stereotypes in Jobs
Image Credits: Youtube/Gilette.

'Is this the best a man can get?' was the tagline of Gillette's controversial advertisement in January that broke the Internet.

The ad challenged a lot of pre-existing notions about masculinity, questioned the gender status quo and attempted to dismantle toxic adages such as 'boys will be boys.' The ad garnered much controversy as it got viral.

Now, in an ad following a similar thread, Gillete's new advertisement tackles gender stereotypes in jobs. In a video posted on their Youtube page on April 26, they tell the story of two girls who work as barbers in a small village called Banwari Tola in Uttar Pradesh.

Google 'Banwari Tola,' and you aren't likely to find much on it save a few mention in maps. In this village, however, two girls are breaking the 'gender norm' by choosing a profession that isn't usually associated with women.

The video starts by being focused on a young boy, who alerts the viewers and brings to light facts we all know exist: Some jobs just aren't meant for women. It shows the traditional gender roles in full swing - men have jobs that involve inherting their father's businesses, while girls are limited to just 'inherting' jobs of household chores like cooking and cleaning.

Gillette then attempts to challenge that, in a barbershop which is run by two sisters. Two young women provide the services you would usually associate a male barber with. "How does it matter which gender holds the razor," the advertisement states.

The best part of this story? It's based on real women. And the women themselves are featured in the video.

The two girls were teenagers who took over their father's business when he fell sick, initially donning the disguise of boys. While there was initial apprehension about female barbers, the village eventually accepted them. In January of this year, they were even awarded by the government for 'battling all odds.'

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