Everyday Sexism: Zivame Calls Its Bras “Approved By The Boss”

Richa Kar Picture By: Life Beyond Numbers.com

The lingerie company, Zivame, has rolled out an advertisement on social media, for one of its latest lingerie collections. The tagline of this advertisement is “Approved by the boss”. Coming from a company that liberated Indian women from their inhibition of going into brick and mortar shops to buy innerwear, this came as quite a surprise.

The decision to choose a particular kind of innerwear is one that needs no approval from anyone, except the woman who will be wearing it.  As soon as the advertisement came out on Saturday, April 8, it caught the attention of the twitterati who called out Zivame on sexism. Monica Jasuja, a resident of Mumbai, termed the advertisement a “fail” at reaching out to women. Along with the picture, she tweeted, “Boss approved bras for anyone? #fail #zivame”.

Jasuja told SheThePeople.TV, “Sexism is to advertising what controversy is to political reporting in mainstream media. Anything that ignites outrage is good for the brand and free publicity, but is it going too far with an ill-conceived message in Zivame’s initiate appeal to women for “boss-approved bras”? For one, no one’s approval is needed for a necessity based on biological factors. Second, the underlining sentiment to get approval and validation for one’s decisions undermines women’s self-esteem and their ability to make decisions for themselves, a right denied to them in a patriarchal society with rampant oppression. Third, an eye-catching headline may get the “engagement” KPIs up, but does it win the hearts of women who want to shop feeling understood and needs taken care of by a brand they trust with their most intimate of all decisions? You be the judge.”

The ad is part of a series of pictures having different tags like “recommended by the scholar”, “fit for the queen”, “loved by the supermom”, “chosen by the fashionista”.

This may not come across as sexism. But it does, however, show a stereotypical pattern which says women are restricted to these categories of queen, scholar, supermom, fashionista, while today women are crossing boundaries at work and encroaching various male-dominated industries like the steel industry or the manufacturing industry.

What were the intentions? Is this their way of suggesting the woman on the chair herself is the boss? Or is this approved by Richa Kar, the boss of Zivame? Even if we give them the benefit of doubt, it’s definitely worth saying the ad could be better thought through?

SheThePeople.TV has reached out to Richa Kar, founder of Zivame, about the confusion created by this apparently misogynistic ad. However, Kar is yet to respond.

Picture credit- Life Beyond Numbers