What I find so interesting about this Indian ad is how perfectly well it matches advertising aimed at women in the U.S. In the U.S. (allow me to generalize), we conflate women doing masculine things (like sportscasting) with women’s liberation. We imagine a woman doing what men do to be a sassy chick, unrestrained by gendered expectations, ambitious, etc. It is cool and admirable. However, women can’t JUST do what men do; they need to look good while doing it (according to normative standards of beauty). See, for example, the nerd girls and this recent clip about Palin.
I have no unique insight into Indian cultural logics. I am interested in whether the logic I described above is as strong in India as it appears to be from the message of this commercial. The only difference I see between this ad and one that might run in the U.S. is the purpose of the product (skin lightening vs. other beauty products) (though that might be wishful thinking). Is this an example of the exportation of second wave U.S./”western” feminism as a part of the larger phenomena of cultural imperialism? Thoughts?