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Culture Machine questions popular nursery rhyme’s concept of beauty

Culture Machine’s lifestyle channel Blush and Dove present #ChangeTheRhyme, an interesting take on ‘Chubby cheeks, rosy lips…’, reminding people that there is more than one kind of beautiful

Culture Machine questions popular nursery rhyme’s concept of beauty

Culture Machine’s lifestyle channel Blush and Dove present #ChangeTheRhyme, an interesting take on ‘Chubby cheeks, rosy lips…’, reminding people that there is more than one kind of beautiful

Akansha Mihir Mota | Mumbai | August 12, 2016

Click on the image to watch the film. Click on the image to watch the film.

Has anybody ever wondered that poems like ‘Chubby Cheeks, rosy lips…’, ‘Humpty Dumpty…had a great fall…’ and ‘Jack and Jill...Jack fell down’ have engrained in us a particular way of thinking? It’s time to rethink them now. Culture Machine’s lifestyle channel Blush, along with Dove, in their new campaign #ChangeTheRhyme attempts to question the rhyme ‘Chubby Cheeks, Rosy Lips…’ -- a poem that restricts beauty to just the fair skinned, blue-eyed and dimple-cheeked.

‘Chubby Cheeks…’ is a popular rhyme that all of us have read in our childhood years. But a close observation of the verses makes one wonder if this is the first seed of a ‘singular’ ideal beauty thought that young girls are exposed to. The video ‘Is that You?’ compels the audience to question this way of thinking.

Bringing this point to light, team Blush has taken the perfect example of sportswomen in India to break the rules of beauty. They stand as an inspiration to all the women of our country who aspire to go against all odds to pursue their dreams. These charismatic individuals have proved that hard work coupled with a vision is the only makeup a woman requires to stand tall with confidence.

Dove as a brand wants women and girls of all ages to see themselves as an individual with a unique beauty, i.e. a source of confidence. This was an opportunity to start a dialogue that questions how unwittingly a nursery rhyme became a prop to seed a narrow ideal beauty thought among young girls.

‘Is that you?’

In the powerful video, a group of kindergarten students can be heard reciting the same poem. The visuals accompanying show a montage of female athletes, all warming up to train in their respective sports. One athlete is shown stretching, another puts on her mouth guard and all of them begin training. Gradually the intensity of the training increases, and with that the echo of the kids reciting the poem. Towards the end, there's just one question – ‘is that you?’ The video ends with a strong ‘no’ from the athletes.

The poem is recited by junior kindergarten and senior kindergarten students of Children's Academy, Malad.

Culture Machine’s digital channel Blush released a statement, “Every woman is a hero who needs to unleash her inner fighter to win over the world. Through this video, we aspire to break up the monopoly that ‘light’ skin, ‘coloured’ eyes, ‘lustrous’ hair, etc., are supposed to be above our sense of value. In multiple cultures, dark skin, for instance, is considered as a beauty’s arch-nemesis, something that must be repressed. What’s disturbing is all of these adjectives have been ingrained in our minds since childhood with the nursery rhymes we are taught in schools. This video was created because it is high time our society realised their faults in defining a woman’s standards.”

One can definitely gauge the popularity of the video with the number of views. The video has managed to fetch more than five lakh views and is still growing.

Founded in 2013 by Sameer Pitalwalla and Venkat Prasad, Culture Machine is a digital media, research and marketing services company that creates entertainment for social media platforms the world over by combining cutting-edge technology with great content. Blush is a lifestyle digital platform, presents content for the modern, cosmopolitan, forward thinking and decision-making woman. From beauty to beautiful, woman to womanhood and lifestyle to life, discover a myriad of themes on everything that the modern Indian woman wants to know.

The creative world’s take on the film

Saurabh Dasgupta Saurabh Dasgupta

Saurabh Dasgupta, National Creative Director, Innocean Worldwide, adores the message of the film. Dasgupta said, “I think it’s breaking the stereotypes of how a woman should be. The message is very powerful, but I don’t think it is for the first time something like this is being done. I remember the JSW Steel-Geeta Phogat ad was on the similar lines, but this film coming from a beauty brand is bolder. I find it exceptionally honest. I can relate to it being a father of a daughter who is 12. The society needs this change. I give them full marks for initiating it. I liked the way the music reaches a crescendo towards the end and peaks to leave a residual impact. These stereotypes are so deep rooted that they need a lot of drilling and hammering.”

Divya Radhakrishnan Divya Radhakrishnan

Divya Radhakrishnan, MD, Helios Media, said, “It is the most amazing video I have seen in recent times. I personally find nursery rhymes to be very sexist. Nursery rhymes at the end of the day don’t do anything for the development of a child. Everything is negative. Somebody’s head is broken, somebody falls down and somebody is tumbling. I haven’t found any sense in the nursery rhymes. These are the things that we are inculcating in the child when they are too young. I think this film has beautifully presented their thought.”

Aarti-Samant-top Aarti Samant

Aarti Samant, Associate Director, Planning and Strategy, Digital L&K Saatchi & Saatchi, said, "I have always admired brands who have put up their point of view and stood by it, brands who have tried to challenge the norms, brands who have asked 'why not'. #ChangeTheRhyme does just that. The insight of questioning why these 'rhymes' and who made these rules is bang on. While I appreciate the concept and passion derived from sports, I think it would be interesting to see how the campaign can extend to other walks of life. Collective cause is the flavour of communication right now and more power to such thinking."

Dove’s smooth integration with the digital film

Content is the right way for the brands to participate in videos of these kinds and give their message through because the way of the regular commercial is slowly deteriorating; it’s not enough for the brands to just advertise in 30 seconds and get away. That kind of messaging, especially for the high-end audience, is not being digested at all. In this digital film, the brand’s integration is done beautifully. The film’s message is totally in line with the brand’s philosophy.

Dasgupta commented, “Dove has always wanted to go beyond outer beauty and appropriate beauty in thought and action too. It’s a strategic move from the brand’s end and is the correct thing for them to do. This step will benefit them in the long run.”

Radhakrishnan said, “Dove has always spoken about natural beauty and has done a lot of campaigns on how an ordinary woman is beautiful the way you are and it doesn’t believe in the way you look. This brand’s integration has got notches higher what a regular commercial would do.”

The digital film:



Producer: Culture Machine

Client: Dove

Director: Akanksha Seda

DOP: Vinod Chhabra

1st AD: Apurva Gabhe

2nd AD: Mudra Bhagat

Editor: Akanksha Seda

DI: Amit Anil Mishra

Sound Design: Ankur Shrivastava

Marketing and PR: Upkar Singh Khubber, Disha Anand, Roshni Raj, Shwetal Joshi, Akshay Gautam Haldipur

Design Team: Roshnee Desai, Jaydev Vaghela, Arun Rajan, David D'Souza, Harsh Padhya, Arun Rajan

Brands Team: Deepak Raj, Menka Asrani, Sana Lajporiya, Kaustubh Mishra

Sports persons:

Table Tennis- Aditi Sinha

Gymnastics- Rutuja Parkar

Coach- Suhas Lohar

Wrestling- Akshita Karkera, Sakshi Shetty

Coach- Alexander Fernandes

Archery- Mrudula Parande

Coach- Subhash Nair

Shot Put- Iccha Priti

Runner- Amruta Satre

Hockey Team: Mary Immaculate Girls' High School

Coach- Nadiya Shaikh



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