Pursuit of UN-Happiness_Minakshi_IMI Bhubaneswar_July

The pursuit of ‘Un’-Happiness: Is the glamour industry minting money using our insecurities?



Glamour Industry: A Page 3 hot topic has always been the talk of the town. Whether be it over a cup of coffee or over a sip of wine, this is what has always got people going. Life at the other side of the fence has always been glamorous. Or has there been any another side of the story? A side people have not come across! A side that appears to be a garden of roses but is waterless like a desert. But who has created that side? Is it us, the organisations or the society?
An aspect that haunts every individual is ‘Log kya kahenge” because they want to be perceived as the finest in the society. Every girl wants to be the “baby doll” or “bebo” and every guy wants to be the “kukad kamaal da” of their respective societies. For e.g. the definition of Indian weddings has changed, the brides are facing intense competition from their sisters, aunties, maybe even their mother. Heavy expenditures on makeup, dresses, jewellery are done to make their Dp’s look flawless. It’s become a “Clash of Clans” to portray themselves as picture-perfect idols. Hence walls created by society between black & white, men & women, tall & short, rich & poor, beautiful & ugly have become too high for individuals to cross over. The psyche of individuals runs on the perception and preferences of society, not their own happiness or choices. So they start chasing and changing everything that makes them a goody-goody symbol in the society. How are this change and chase happening? Are brands eventually modifying their communication strategy by taking advantage of the psyche of individuals by highlighting the glamour industry? Is there a connection between the society and the glamour world?
Glamour has gone beyond the realms of any segment. Everyone hunts it as their breakfast. It has changed the consumption patterns, by serving a different taste, style, appearance or opinion. The idealistic image of the industry has persuaded them to look new and improved if they use products or clothes like them. We find it fanciful because we compare our real life with a reel life world. For E.g. Slim actresses, muscular actors, nude makeup, classy dresses, in fact, there lifestyle has driven us crazy, whereas our dusky complexion, extra size, short height, specs instead of lenses has made us feel inferior.
So is the Glamorous industry just a fake reality of what a common man aspires to have?
Hoi polloi with a desire to look perfect as their glamorous role model has created a new business for companies. So what are consumers looking for: Do they want to look beautiful/ attractive or they want to hide their insecurities? Because consumers are ready to spend any amount to look alike their role models. Plastic surgeries, pants that tighten your stomach, Botox injections have become too common.
An evolution in makeup, skin and hair care, health clubs has been brought according to the psychology of the consumers. In fact, their daily spending has started revolving around these issues, like Kellogg; a breakfast diet for women in order to lose weight in two weeks or Horlicks makes your child “Taller, Stronger, Sharper’’ or Creams that makes you fair or 12 hours long lasting makeup to make you look beautiful. All these messages are being communicated through glamour industry by the organisations. Companies have connected with the emotional psyche of the consumers and flooded them with uncountable products. I still remember going gaga over Kareena’s size zero- A Tashan that flopped but her size became a big blockbuster, or an excess hair fall made me use L’Oreal because “I felt I am worth it”. Sensitivity in my teeth shifted me towards “Sensodyne”. Believing these models or actresses as a “Miracle of God’’ I rubbed, scrubbed my skin to look like them. Was it correct on my path? Was it natural or was I falling into a trap? All in all, the advertisement played to its objective.
Many campaigns came as a bolt from the blue. Like, Fair and lovely were criticised for a racial discrimination act where they portrayed a financially struggling father wishing for a son instead of a dark-skinned daughter, who could not support her family. She decides to become an air hostess and starts using “Fair & lovely” to change her complexion. Other similar ads like a girl getting rejected in an interview due to dark skin or Saif Ali Khan leaving Priyanka Chopra in an ad because she is unattractive, and starts dating beautiful Neha Dhupia. And when Priyanka starts using “Fair & Lovely” and finally Saif Ali Khan comes back to her.
Belittling dark skin or gender discrimination or ageing in their campaigns; is this type of marketing justified? Are these brands targeting such audience or segments intentionally? By putting their actions on the border of discrimination and deception! These marketing efforts are robbing the morale of people rather than giving them a hope. They are creating a world of façade and taking away the natural instinct of people. It’s become “Baby I am preying on you tonight, hunt you down eat you alive” syndrome for organisations.
“Kuch to log kahenge, Logo kaa kaam hai kehna” therefore Pursuit of happiness is living a life that gives you joy, being comfortable in your own skin. Accepting who you are and not getting deceived organisations that are minting money on your insecurities. Be cherry and merry in the world of “I am” rather than “I could be”, because it has no final.
Minakshi Rana