I came across this advertisement for close-up toothpaste and was pleasantly surprised to see it featuring two guys as a couple for the Valentine’s theme. Myntra has been regularly featuring same sex couple ads. This is indeed heartening for the large LGBT community which is hiding behind the shadows for fear of persecution by the “morally upright” individuals of our society.
If we do an analysis of these ads several positive points emerge. What the LGBT community needs the most today is awareness in society. Largely, people hold a very biased and myopic view of what it means to be gay. An image of a guy who behaves girlishly, garish makeup and overdoes every action is what they think of a gay person. Here I am speaking about the perception of a lay man.
We need society to see gays as ‘normal’ people, with the only difference that they love one of their own genders. The key word here is DESENSITIZING. To cite an example, imagine you watching a horror movie. The first time you watch it, it may scare the living daylights out of you. The second time you watch, it will have a slightly lesser effect on your senses. If you watch the same movie again and again you won’t feel scared any longer. The same thing can be mapped to the situation of gay people. Ads like Myntra and Close-Up are truly ground breaking. They are a tiny step forward in the long winding road ahead to the acceptance of gay people in our society. Imagine a family watching the ad together. At first they may be horrified and talk of the corruption of morals and lament about what society has come to. Despite this, what has also happened is that awareness has been generated. The next time they watch the ad, similar to the horror movie example, it may dull the senses. The opposite may also happen in that they may continue to feel alarmed. But that’s a risk that needs to be taken.
I am not a stakeholder in either of the products but in my opinion the LGBT as a sizeable population must contribute to the growth of these products. If these companies come to know that we are buying from them, they will come out with more such ads which will directly work towards the DESENSITIZATION of society towards gays.
Some critics may argue that these companies are doing it solely for their benefit alone and they aren’t donating a part of their profits to the cause of LGBT activities. This could be true. But we have to begin somewhere and look at the benefits it brings along with it.
I support these daring companies, who are actually taking a big gamble with their profits, to bring the community to focus. I applaud and support their bold move. More to such companies.