Founding partner of Small Screen and newslaundry, Abhinandan Sekhri was a researcher at Newstrack and went on to become a reporter, always managing to do the story that was dropped. He scripted the political satire shows The Great Indian Tamasha and Gustakhi Maaf on NDTV’s news channels between 2004 and 2009. So he thinks he’s funny. Thinks!
Of Beards & Ballots
The Times of India this morning, Page One, bottom right quarter, informed readers that 87% women dislike men with evening stubble.
Among other “relevant data” (shown above) the survey uncovered was the fact that “88% of young women feel special when the boyfriend shaves for them in the evening”. Shaves his own evening stubble for them we’re assuming. This is consistent with a survey we carried out in our office that the expectations of Indian women from Indian men are at an all-time low.
To reinforce the findings of the survey, Malaika Arora Khan and Neha Dhupia held up shaving razors to the camera (shown above). To add insult to injury to those with facial hair, Malaika Arora was quoted as having said – “I personally believe clean shaven men are more romantic”, than bearded men we’re assuming, because it could also be that clean shaven men are more romantic than bearded women, or just any woman, even a clean-shaven one. But compared to any of those subsets, clean-shaven men are more romantic to the celebrity quoted.
The statement attributed to film star, Neha Dhupia was – “If a man expects his woman to be well groomed, he should be willing to groom himself for her.” Newslaundry tried to contact both stars for a clarification. Neha Dhupia, to check if a man using shampoo, conditioner and combing his beard and moustache qualifies as grooming. Malaika Arora Khan, for her romantic experiences with those who have facial hair (male or female). As of now we have got no response.
The write-up with ADVT on the top right also informed readers that Neha Dhupia and Malaika Arora Khan “oppose evening stubble by serving an ultimatum to men, ‘Shave or Crave’”. The piece stated “This belief has brought them to the forefront”(italics added by author for emphasis) “of the ‘Shave or Crave’ movement”. The campaign we’re hoping will occupy headlines up there with the Janlokpal movement and the petition to Drop Charges Against Shaheen and Renu for their comments about Mumbai Shutdown (Facebook arrest). The statistics of women who prefer facial hair as opposed to those who don’t, was provided by a survey done by Nielsen across 10 cities, it has been claimed. The company conducts market surveys, opinion polls, election related survey etc.
This ADVT-article brought to the reader’s attention – WOES or Women Oppose Evening Stubble, a movement or campaign where women fight back. Steering clear of less important battles for Indian women in today’s Khap panchayat and Fatwa-issuing India, it’s the male stubble that has raised hackles (incidentally hackles are the erectile hair at the back of the neck. So raised hackles is a good time to use that razor because in a survey I carried out across 5 rooms in my office, raised hair down the nape of a lady’s neck is considered unsexy).
We are hoping Nielsen uses this important data to buttress the analysis of statistics they gather while carrying out exit polls and political surveys. Such as the voting trend among women, especially those women who may not be in the forefront but are nevertheless part of WOES (Women Oppose Evening Stubble). For example, does the UP assembly election disaster that busted the Rahul Gandhi-magic myth have anything to do with the fact that he did not shave during that campaign and grew stubble, thus hiding his dimples? Why does that demographic (WOES or Women Oppose Evening Stubble) not let the white beard in Gujarat influence their vote? Or does it, but they do not step out to vote because the alternatives too have beards. And do minority communities also have similar attitudes to facial hair even though thought-leaders of their community may be opposed to razors on religious grounds?
Does WOES (Women Oppose Evening Stubble) have a sizable representation from the state of Punjab? This could shed significant light on voting habits in the state. In which case, do they also want to be a part of Anna’s campaign of rejecting all candidates (none of the above option on EVMs) since the overwhelmingly large percentage of candidates across party lines in Punjab have not just evening stubble but stubble from decades of evenings or at least years.
Is that also why the BJP’s Prakash Javadekar’s press conferences are given less airtime as against a clean-shaven Manish Tiwari’s, who has interestingly been pushed up as a minister? The person who takes such calls in the party is in fact a woman who is young by standards set by Indian politicians (see above statistic of young women feeling special) who may or may not be part of the WOES campaign, but has her judgment influenced by that demographic nevertheless. Also Manu Singhvi who gets a suspiciously large amount of airtime and is even smoother than Tiwari and has way less hair. In fact, he has very little and gets way more airtime than BJP’s Prakash Javadekar, or is it that Javadekar is a terrible orator and often what he is saying makes little or no sense?
Another finding of our research was that Neha Dhupia and Malaika Arora Khan are promoting the razor blade for men. And they belong to the demographic – women. Standing by for Arjun Rampal for Stayfree.
Image by: Swarnabha Bannerjee