I grew up in a very liberal household. My parents were never religious or traditional. They were open-minded individuals. However, they both came from a different generation – one that treated boys differently compared to girls.
Recruited at a young age to be my mum’s little assistant, I was always expected to help out around the house. Wash dishes. Fold clothes. Make meals. Soon enough, I began to see that the rules were different for my brother and I. Even when it came to our social life and education, he was always put on some imaginary pedestal, which made his needs and wants more important than mine.
Now, I’m not whining or complaining. Our parents loved us both as much as each other. Nothing was intentional. It’s just that they were brought up to believe that this was normal, that it was right. That little girls should do certain things and behave in a certain way, and in doing so, these little girls – like myself grow up to accept this belief.
Joining advertising was probably the best thing for me. It’s an industry that celebrates opinions and the fact that ideas can come from anyone – it doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or boy, short or tall, quiet or outspoken. However this early pre-conditioning did have an affect on me, and I only have just come to realize why.
Working on a recent project, we collaborated with The Body Shop Malaysia. They wanted to help promote positive female role models in conjunction with Woman’s Day 2014. For this, we developed the campaign ‘Be More Than Beautiful’.
The campaign was extended to online videos and my Creative Director gave me the opportunity to work on a spot. I drew from my own personal experiences and created a script heartfelt enough to save it from the cutting board.
‘Good Girl’ follows the narration of Sophie, aged 4½. Charming yet thought provoking, it’s aimed to make society realize that everything we do, say and project can have an impact on those around us. The spot joins ‘Unnatural Beauty’ and ‘Speak Up’ to tackle different issues to advocate the creation and celebration of women of substance.
To watch our online videos, do visit http://goo.gl/PZsC0P
Please do share them with your friends and family, and help spread our message: to encourage society to think beyond the current norms of beauty and encourage women to ‘Be More Than Beautiful’.
Nadia Jasmin McDonald