This advertisement of men’s underwear, ‘VIP Frenchie’, came out in the 80’s in India, when I was in school. It was splashed across magazines and also was shown as a TV commercial.
Some thoughts & actions I had of the advertisement then :
1. Giggles with the female cousins. A powerful magnifying glass (belonging to a scientist Uncle) was filched to check out you-know-what.
2. I had taken to stealing my elder sister’s Mills & Boons books and reading them furtively ( they were forbidden, with my sister’s instructions that I could read them only after I finished school) with amazing speed. I gathered from the books that men were supposed to be ( a) tall, dark , handsome (b) have this over-protective streak bordering on the manic ( c) beat up other flirtatious males with controlled, feline, aggression and grace. When I pondered over the picture, I could only find the man and his actions totally ridiculous , disgustingly un-romantic and and an absolute turn-off 😀 The man looked like a manic clown ninja!
3. I found the girl very stylish and hep. She was wearing a red ( my favorite color) dress too. I couldn’t fathom why she would want to be with a guy who was so un-hip ? And also forgot to tie his robe ? Maybe he would forget to zip his fly too ? A very wise-for -her-age girl cousin of mine had declared then that ‘opposites attract’. I was appalled! Nightmarish images of the possible future beloved cropped up.Dominant amongst them was of a man parading around in un-exciting underwear!That led me to a lifetime of search for the guy who was like me.I did have quite a few hits & misses on this journey, but then, Hallelujah, found him 🙂
4. I always wondered what the story of this advertisement was ? Was the baddie a jilted lover ? A mere pickpocket ? Was he perhaps in need of underwear ? :D. Why was the woman fully dressed ? Were they planning to go on a drive ? If so, was it a secret fetish of her’s or possibly the man’s to conduct a public romance in undies ?
5. I hated the term ‘Frenchie”! I love France , have traveled extensively there since childhood, speak the language and above all have a soul connection with Paris. So, although ‘Frenchie’ has a number of other (sleazy) meanings too, I tended to see it as an insult to a beautiful country and culture. Need to tell you guys about an ‘Urban Dictionary’ comment: “I am a frenchy, and can therefore read. Also, while you can taste the difference between a Coors Light and a Bud light, i can tell the difference between a Burgundy and a Merlot. you wear plastic oakley’s, I wear turtle shell Persol sunglasses”.(http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Frenchie) A trifle arrogant ,peut-être ? But I like to live that way 🙂 So Christopher Hitchens says “Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.” ( ‘Letters To A Young Contrarian “)
Let me torture you all with the advertisement here 😀
Pssst….one of my conditions of life-long commitment & love was that my guy should never ever wear VIP underwear 😀