Gillette puts Indian barbershop girls front and centre of new gender stereotype campaign

Gillette is aiming to address gender stereotypes in India with its latest campaign, featuring the barbershop girls of India.

Created by Grey, the film titled #ShavingStereotypes is based on the insight ‘children always learn from what they see’. It tells the story of two barbershop girls, 18-year-old Jyoti and 16-year-old Neha, from the village of Banwari Tola in Uttar Pradesh, and an eight-year-old boy whose thoughts are summed up from everything that he witnesses around him as he notices how gender roles are clearly defined in society.

When the young boy accompanies his father to a barbershop and to his surprise, sees two girls ready to shave his father, the boy is puzzled and asks his father why girls can shave men’s hair.

The father pauses before addressing the prejudice effect and subliminal patriarchy has on the young boy’s mind, responding that a razor wouldn’t know the difference between a boy and a girl.

The film then moves to the two sisters Jyoti and Neha Narayan, showing how they have challenged gender stereotyping often found in Indian villages by running their father’s barbershop.

With their father and their fellow villagers support, the village is seen to be setting the right example and inspiring the next generation of men because children do learn from what they see.

“Neha & Jyoti and the entire village of Banwari Tola are an example of how when we take positive actions, we create meaningful change and set the right example for next generation,” said Karthik Srivatsan, the associate director and country category leader of shave care for the Indian Sub-Continent at Procter & Gamble.

“Gillette is proud to further enable their dream through our Saflta Apni Muthi Mein program (Safalta Apni Mutthi Mein). It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. Our actions need to inspire us all to be better every day and to help create a new standard for boys to admire and for men to achieve. Because the boys of today are the men of tomorrow.”

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