Bhima Jewellery Advertisement: In a country where attempts to portray transgender people tend to be overtly transphobic (for example Laxmii and Pati Patni Aur Panga), it’s always refreshing to see a portrayal of a trans person where they are not the butt of a joke or villainous.
The Bhima Jewellery advertisement showcased the journey of a trans woman, along with the familial and self-acceptance she receives. The protagonist is played by trans woman Meera Singhania, instantly making it better than most representation as an actual transgender woman was cast to play a transgender woman.
The advertisement starts with the protagonist forlornly sitting at the beach, and the music softly swells as she opens a jewellery box given by her parents. The montage shows Meera Singhania’s character’s transition is not just physical, as we see her become more confident and self-possessed over time. Since it is an advertisement for jewellery, the transformation is seen through her relationship with jewellery. The ad follows her from the jewellery gifted to her by her parents to the jewellery that adorns her the day of her marriage.
The Bhima Jewellery advertisement may not have any dialogue, but it effortlessly managed to convey the love and acceptance Singhania’s character received. Simple shots of the father gifting his daughter anklets and the mother waiting while her daughter gets her ears pierced displayed the acceptance. In one scene, the cross-generational acceptance is shown as the grandmother braids her hair and gifts her jewellery.
The Bhima Jewellery advertisement did not preach to the audience at any point. While it was an idealistic portrayal of a life of a trans person, it tugged at the audience’s heartstrings. Transgender people should be able to see trans characters receive familial love and acceptance on screen. While transphobia is still prevalent in our society and needs to be addressed, it is also imperative that trans people are represented as people living their lives.
The Bhima jewellery advertisement did an incredible job of portraying the transgender woman as a person, instead of a series of stereotypes. While casting a transgender woman to play the role of a transgender woman may be the bare minimum, the truth remains that even that small step is rarely taken. Instead, we get Akshay Kumar playing the role of a man possessed by the spirit of a murderous transgender woman in Laxmii. And Adah Sharma, a cisgender woman who described playing the role of a transgender woman in Pati Patni Aur Panga as playing the role of a man.