“Is it that day of the month’’? Women in Indian Menstrual Hygiene Product Advertisements

The paper is an attempt to study how women’s questions on female hygiene products in India are represented in advertisements. Four advertisements of menstrual hygiene product Whisper released from 2015-2018 are studied using content analysis methodology. Theoretical perspectives of Berger Joseph’s Social Expectation Theory, Judit Butler’s Social Theory of Gender Relation, and Laura Mulvey’s Male Gaze are utilized in the analysis. The Whisper advertisements had incredible story telling format exhorting to break the myths and taboos associated with menstruation. The study concludes that the meta-narrative of women empowerment hides the power dynamics within and the ways in which capitalist economy and its marketing strategies appropriate feminist discourses. Women are invariably presented as protagonists in the advertisements, but the ultimate superhero is none other than the product i.e., Whisper.

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