Why Sidharth Malhotra Endorsing A Make Up Brand May Not Be *As* Woke As You Think

Missed opportunity right there, you guys.

First things first: We think it’s GREAT that any make up brand decides to go cruelty-free, but to get a male brand ambassador and then to not talk about how the use of cosmetics is not limited to one gender, is a missed opportunity if there ever was one.

In an era, when most brands seeking to be seen as woke – there couldn’t be a better headline than a male movie-star endorse cosmetic products. It’s a gender-neutral idea that’s sure to grab eyeballs in the society we live in.

But dig slightly deeper, and the picture isn’t as pretty as Sidharth Malhotra posing with kiss marks on his torso. The headline does hold – Sidharth Malhotra *is* the first Bollywood male actor to endorse a women’s cosmetic brand, for a good cause. The range of products including lipsticks, eyeliners and nail-polish are labelled ‘cruelty free’ – which means, unlike many of their competitors, MyGlamm doesn’t test its products on animals.

“We got rid of this practise (testing on animals) completely and ensured that our products are only tested in labs. The process differs from one lab to another, and yes, the way we go about making our product is very different from our competitors,”  Malaika Mahataney, CMO of MyGlamm told InUth in a telephonic conversation.

The press release shows pictures of Sidharth Malhotra with the hashtag, #TestedOnSid. There are glorious implications of an ad like this, where a heterosexual male Bollywood star champions the use of cosmetics. Some might even go as far to infer that Malhotra is taking notes from his Bollywood compadre, Ranveer Singh, who is the only mainstream actor to wear gender-neutral clothing often, and not just for magazine editorials. At first glance, it even seems like Malhotra is breaking the stereotype of men refusing anything to do with cosmetics.

sidharth Malhotra MyGlamm

Credit: MyGlamm

Alas, that isn’t the case here. In a press release, Malhotra plays his role of a macho man to perfection while saying – “I mean its one thing to be a metrosexual man, but makeup? Really? Then I saw the premise, which is #TestedOnSid, and signed up as a willing guinea pig because I’d any day sign up for a product that is not tested on animals.”

Mahataney categorically states that the aim of the campaign was purely to highlight the pressing issue of animal cruelty during the testing phase of various cosmetic products, “No, the campaign wasn’t meant to be gender inclusive. The premise of the campaign was to state why animal cruelty is so rampant in the makeup industry. The campaign is not advocating gender fluidity. We’re targeting the Gen V, who are more savvy and conscious about quality.”

Of course, this doesn’t take away from the important issue of animal cruelty in the cosmetic industry. But a cosmetic campaign that insists on using Sidharth Malhotra’s status as a ‘sex symbol’ but doesn’t want to be seen as gender inclusive is as odd as odd gets. A missed opportunity if there ever was one.