Gender-based restriction in the traditional roles of men and women in society often keeps them from opening up to new possibilities. Meet Jyoti and Neha, two brave sisters from a small village called Banwari Tola, near Kushinagar, UP who refused to bottle up their aspirations in gender stereotype and stepped into space traditionally dominated by men- The Barbar Shop! The two young women, defying conventions of the society, owned up to the profession of their father who was a Barber after he suffered from a crippling paralytic stroke. The Bravehearts turned the tides when instead of mourning about the circumstances, they decided to steer past their own fate by becoming the #BarbarShopGirls.
Crusading against the tide is not as easy as it may seem. Running their father Dhruv Narayana’s makeshift salon as girls came with its own challenges. The journey of the two sisters quite often loomed in apprehension that their customers might turn away if their identities as women are revealed. Therefore, initially, the sisters had to disguise themselves as men to do their job. In rural areas where women are usually closeted into household chores or at the max to cottage industries, running a male salon was astonishing for all. But surprisingly, the two received overwhelming support from the men of the village. The encouragement from men of the village who regularly showed up at their salon for grooming sessions not just helped the girls to financially support their family but also save enough for their father’s treatment.
Two girls from a small Indian village challenged destiny and took on everything that came with doing so. But in their fight for survival, little did they know that their actions would have a far-reaching and profound impact.
Meet the Barbershop Girls of India and the village of Banwari Tola who are together inspiring the next generation of men by breaking stereotypes, one shave at a time. #BarbershopGirls #GilletteIndia Gillette
Gillette is actively involved towards shaping their future at http://www.safaltaapnimutthimein.org
Posted by Gillette India on Monday, April 29, 2019
Gillette India, in their latest campaign video inspired by the true story of Jyoti and Neha, celebrates the spirit of the two sisters who is an inspiration to many men and women across the country. Not only this, Gillette, as part of their ongoing programme, #SafaltaApniMutthiMe has decided to reward the girls for their exemplary courage by helping them get equipped with the skill set that would help them soar upon the wings of success. As part of this initiative, Gillette is helping the girls to get high-end professional training in styling and grooming from the top salon academics in the country.
Talking about the initiative, Sita Lakshmi Narayan Swamy, Brand and consumer expert told ‘afaqs!’, “It is a beautifully made ad with amazing execution and is worlds apart from Gillette’s previous ads with the macho, go-getter male. But the question is about the brand’s commitment to the cause. It’s the brand’s shift from ‘the best a man get’ to ‘the best men can be’ and that’s a big difference. My only concern is that it’s a very quick and radical shift. It would be unfortunate if the brand just rides the wave and fails to live up to it.”
Gillette’s initiative to bridge the gender gap through this touching video has also touched the hearts of many influencers who turned to their social media handles to share the inspiring story with the world. Celebs like Sachin Tendulkar and Farhan Akhtar took a shave from the girls and shed their heartwarming experience.
A First for me! You may not know this, but I have never gotten a shave from someone else before. That record has been shattered today. Such an honour to meet the #BarbershopGirls and present them the @GilletteIndia Scholarship.#ShavingStereotypes#DreamsDontDiscriminate pic.twitter.com/DNmA8iRYsb
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) May 3, 2019
Got a shave today from India's very own Barber Girls! Neha & Jyoti, the honour was mine. Today only further cements my belief that we, as men, play an equal part in #ShavingStereotypes #BarberShopgirls Thanks for inviting me @gilletteindia @DoItTalent pic.twitter.com/F6xxaggmpS
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) May 3, 2019
Gillette under this very thoughtful programme #SafaltaApniMutthiMe has reached out to over 5000 colleges and 4 million students to help them to acquire soft skills and grooming guidance/training so that they are prepared for their future endeavors.
It’s true that no job is gender specific but usually professional spaces so far have been gender wise assigned categorically. The Logical Indian appreciates the initiative by Gillette for not just bringing visibility to the incredible tale of #BarberShopGirls but also stepping up to bring sustainability to their careers. The story of the two sisters that defies the rules of the society by #ShavingStereotype continues to emerge as role models for the new generation to come.