Five years ago, two sisters from Uttar Pradesh donned the role of hairdressers for men. In the absence of their father, Jyoti (18) and Neha (16) from Banwari Tola disguised as boys to run their father’s barber shop.
Now in 2019, their story has inspired an ad by grooming brand, Gillette.
According to a report in The Guardian, Jyoti and Neha’s father became ill and had to shut down his shop. And as it was their only source of income, the family faced financial constraints. These girls then took it upon them to run the business, but the customers were vary of letting two teen girls shave or cut their hair. So they did the only thing that could possibly reassure men. They dressed as boys, changing their identity to Deepak and Raju. Because apparently where two teen girls holding scissors can cause discomfort, two teen ‘boys’ do not.
After a local newspaper covered their story, the two were honoured by government officers, according to The Guardian report.
The Gillette’s advertisement, captioned as Shaving Stereotypes, shows the village through the eyes of a boy. It portrays how the woman is limited to household chores while men of the house inherit the family business. Until he enters a barbershop where the women are cutting hair and shaving the men instead. The confused child looks up to his father for an answer and he says that a razor can’t differentiate between boys and girls.
The ad has garnered a lot of attention on social media, and in less than a week has amassed 9 million views.