The Ad agency I was working for, wanted a young mother desperately, to model for a baby food. They urged me to find one soon as they had to complete the ad film for a finicky client.
I mentally went through a list of my husband’s young colleagues’ wives and rang up three of them – all had the same answer, “We’d love to, but we have to ask our husband first’. The husbands, when asked, refused to permit their wives to model. “what will my subordinates in the office say when they see my wife on the screen?” said one. “If she wants to parade herself on the screen let her do so. I don’t want her to come back to me though!” said another. “My mother will not like it. All her relatives will make fun of her,” said the third. I wrung my hands in despair and charged to a professional model who readily agreed and all was well.
But I could not get over what the husbands had said. Firstly, the women are to be blamed. Surely they can decide for themselves harmless things as modeling like a ‘respectable housewife’ for an ad! But no. they want to run to their husband for counsel. Fine. But why can’t the men think for themselves too? I can understand if their objection was based on reasons like it’s too time consuming or tiring or something like that. For that matter, they should let the wife make up her mind for herself. But to refuse on the grounds of “what will others say.” stamps of spinelessness.
It’s not the modeling that is under debate, but the men’s attitude towards certain things. Why can’t they appreciate the fact that the wife is endowed with attractive looks and is sought after, instead of looking at it as a “selling of one’s image?” In our country, men have not yet learnt the art of appreciating a woman’s physical attractions in a proper perspective and the behavior of women themselves. The not so fortunate women talk ill of their good looking counterparts and malign their character. The men begin to believe this and develop a negative attitude towards the physically attractive women.
By the same standards, they gauge the attitude of other men towards their own attractive wife and become possessive. It takes a very broad-minded man to encourage his wife to be proud of her assets without flaunting them for nefarious purposes. Of course, there are some cads who cash in on the wives looks but we are not talking of them.
Men should be taught to take a woman’s looks in their stride. Who but women can give them the coaching? But for that, women should take a second look at themselves. Are they large-hearted enough to forgive other women their looks? If we begin to have a wholesome attitude towards our sex, the opposite reaction will be so too. I think the husbands who refused, were more afraid of the snide remarks of wives of other men, rather than the men themselves.