We have always heard men being told to ‘be a man‘ or ‘man up!‘, but what does it mean to ‘be a man‘? Mainstream media and films, in general, have mostly shown men to be a certain way – macho and meant to be in control of their emotions. But lately, Bollywood actors like Ayushmann Khurrana have tried to defy these stereotypes and stand for real, hard-hitting portrayal of real people who you may meet around the corner.
Ayushmann and rap/hip-hop artist Naezy have teamed up with the deodorant brand, Axe, for a music video which is all about doing away with labels and not conforming to macho stereotypes that men have been conditioned to fit into. The track is titled Ab Teri Baari and is produced in collaboration with digital platforms- Arre, Mindshare and the media agency of Group M.
Ayushmann & Naezy are collaborating for the first time to create a catchy track composed by Clinton Cerejo. While Ayushmann sings the verses, Naezy does what he’s best at — rap. The video shares the personal story of four male influencers who defied traditional stereotypes of masculinity and still retained their individual selves. The video features Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri, dancer/choreographer Dharmesh Yelande, YouTuber BeYouNick and Made in Heaven actor Shashank Arora.
How impactful is that?
If you look at my career choices, I have always fought labelling. I have tried, in my own way, to create a path for myself. It was tough to create my own identity but today, looking back at my journey, it was necessary and definitely worth it. As soon as I heard the concept of Ab Teri Baari, I immediately wanted to collaborate because it appealed to me strongly. The song reflects how I have lived my life and my own career choices that challenged conformism.
Ab Teri Baari is a message directed towards Indian men to not get wound up in the boundaries that society creates and get sucked into the spiral that is “log kya kahenge“. It is built around Axe’s brand narrative of inspiring men to express their individuality and make their own rules which makes them attractive in their own way.
While Ayushmann & Naezy have given their voice, the music video features some of the top influencers who not only resonate with the brand but are real-life examples. Each of them have a unique story to tell which brings alive the brand’s narrative in a compelling manner. It’s a light-hearted piece of content which is fun, catchy yet inspiring.
Footballer Sunil Chettri has always been someone to embrace his emotions. In this video, he voices that it is okay for a man to share his emotions.
Youtuber ‘BeYouNick’ is a standing testament of the fact that it is okay for guys to follow their passion, make a career out of it and be successful at their job.
Choreographer Dharmesh Yelande has redefined the ideas of ‘dance like a man’ to prove that gender has no role to play in expressing yourself through dance.
Actor Shashank Arora is all about doing away with the ‘Men Must be Macho’ mantra and wins our hearts with his statement – 6 pack nahi lekin heart mera tiger.
There are many said & unsaid rules on how to ‘Be a Man’ – The way you look, the way you act & interact with your peers; even your career choices & hobbies are being judged through the lens of being ‘masculine enough.’ We want young guys to feel free from the pressures of these ‘rules’, discover what makes them unique and work on it. Axe believes that expressing your individuality is what makes a guy attractive, so go ahead ‘Make Your Own Rules’ and be the best version of yourself.
This video is a beacon of changing times and the message is surely hard-hitting. What are your thoughts on this?