A couple of days ago I had my facepalm moment of the day when I saw the print ad for Zubaida aapa whitening soap (Zubaida Tariq a.k.a. Zubaida aapa’s own beauty product line) with the tagline “Ab gora hoga Pakistan”. Next I saw the TVC it was a kill me please moment.
This ad is the epitome of discrimination. From portraying sanwle saloone chehre as unacceptable to focusing on superficial beauty standards of being fair is done in extremely bad taste. We have other brands talking about fairness, all of them have progressed enough not to say out loud that being “colored” is bad. Their message is being fair is good. Zubaida aapa, instead of learning from the history of fairness creams/lotions/soaps, has decided to reinvent the wheel, by starting from the lowest rung of the ladder.
Zubaida aapa is an icon for the women in terms of home remedies and food recipes. She has always been trusted like a dadi amma and is famous for her totkas for a number issues from hair problems to skin care. There is a whole generation of women who grew up with Zubaida aapa and idealize her.
Watching this ad seems like Zubaida aapa has over utilized her fame, and the respect she always had from the homely mashriqi larki. For me, this is the final block in her fall from the heights she has reached. It all started with her “Zubaida aapa jhoot nahin boltin” (or something in those lines) in Doctor’s hair tonic ad.
The best part, Zubaida aapa herself cannt be classified as fair (not that it matters), her apparent fairness coming from hard work at Photoshop / video editing and of course an expert makeup artisit. Zubaida Apa skin whitening soap demeans and degrades women. It is an insult to womanhood.It is a setback for the society where people are working hard to reduce the concept of discrimination on the basis of skin color. Zubaida apa has successfully kicked herself (a tough feat itself) from the pedestal she worked hard and long to achieve.
Apart from her own line of beauty products (aka fairness treatments), Zubaida Apa is a chef on a famous food channel. If it was my channel, I would get rid of Zubaida aapa to salvage my channel’s reputation and distance myself form the discriminatory and derogatory views of the ever famous Zubaida aapa.