Girl Power Through Purchasing?: The Urban, Young, Educated, Working, Indian Woman and Aspirational Images in Personal Care and Beauty Aid Advertisements
Abstract

Abstract:

This article explores the changing aspirations, economic positions, and social concepts of urban, young, educated, working women in India. This exploration focuses on how these Indian women are imagined and re-imagined in advertisements for personal care and beauty aid products, specifically those for Lakmé cosmetics. The article is based on the advertisements for Lakmé cosmetics, an Indian cosmetics brand, from the fall 2008 through the summer 2009 and six months of fieldwork in 2009 at the Mumbai-based advertising agency that created these advertisements. The advertisements are discussed within the broader context of the Indian economy, consumerism, and representation of women in the media. Furthermore, by focusing on the beliefs and experience of the female advertisers who helped to create Lakmé's advertisements, the article seeks to understand how working Indian women perceive themselves vis-à-vis these advertising images.