Launched in 2014, the American dating and social networking company ‘Bumble’ attempted to change the rules of the game of online romance, and of women’s courtship experience. With the marketing tagline “make the first move”, the Bumble app requires all interactions to be initiated by the woman.
Regarded as the fastest growing dating app in America, Bumble has now debuted in India with a hard-hitting hashtag #EqualNotLoose, aiming to destabilise stereotypical assumptions about women and men.
The sleek ad featuring the recently-married Priyanka Chopra Jonas, shows how sexual ‘respectability’ is articulated through a narrative that is embedded in the discourse of heterosexual desire, and upper middle-class womanhood.
In the 90 seconds ad, Priyanka Chopra, the paragon of a modern Indian woman who is, as the company website notes, “curious”, “confident” and “free” (and obviously “busy”, by extension) is seen in different capacities that challenge the gender order to some degree, and yet, doesn’t threaten it all together.
The opening scene of the ad has Chopra-Jonas as the boss-woman complimenting men for their hard work, followed by two quick scenes representing the free-woman incarnate where she is seen meeting up with a date at an upscale bar, and sweating it out in the gym (shedding both calories and the jacket) with a gal pal.
The ad concludes with the male partner volunteering to share cooking duties, while she lovingly casts her female gaze on her “equal” partner.
Watch the ad here