How silly would it be to rub shampoo over a hijab? That is the first thought that comes to mind when you see this short clip of what is being circulated on social media as a “Malaysian shampoo advertisement”. In the clip, a woman is seen putting shampoo on her hijab. It seems absurd and hilarious at the same time. An image apparently even found its way to 9gag and the video started going viral. For some, it soon turned into a chance to ridicule hijab and Muslims. And that is perhaps the reason why it has gone viral on social media. What is the real story behind this video? Read on.
The video started doing its rounds on social media with folks initially asking “Is she shampooing her hijab?”
Soon it turned into “Can it get any more stupid?”
“Retards”, said another twitter user.
Right-wing websites could not let go of this brilliant opportunity to display their prejudices and take a dig at Muslims and Islam. “Shampoo advt reveals deplorable condition of Muslim women!“, screamed the headline at 99Wiki. The article went on to say, “every Bigot Libtard will relentlessly advocate liberal modern Islam. They all stand exposed now, by something as simple as a shampoo advertisement”, followed by “what kind of a medieval religion is this?”
A website called Indian Voice went on to highlight “draconian Sharia law” and “second class status of women in the Muslim society”. It was also a chance to hit out at feminists who the article said “these days can be seen repeating, how ‘beautiful’ and ‘free’ Hizab is”.
A Malaysian scarf company called “Escarves” and its advertising agency decided to make a parody of an old Sunsilk shampoo advertisement to promote their scarves. It was meant to be a satirical take on the original Sunsilk advertisement. The video recreated the cliched love scene of the past that was used in the 2006 Sunsilk advertisement. The parody video was titled ‘Budak 90an Je Tahu Iklan-Iklan Macam Ni’ (Translation: Only ’90s Kids Will Understand This).
The original Sunsilk shampoo advertisement can be seen below.
The full Escarves video can be seen below. Much is lost in translation but as the Malaysian site explains, for Malaysians it was actually meant to be a funny video.
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Posted by Mr The All Shared Production on Monday, April 17, 2017
The founder of the Escarves, Eyda Sukiman, also stated on her Facebook profile that the video is just a parody video. We are posting a screenshot of her post in Malaysian with the Facebook provided translation.
A representative of the company told Cilicos, “Our headscarves are as comfy as how your hair would feel after shampooing. That was what we were trying to deliver in the video.”
When an extract from the video was shared without the full context, what was meant to be a funny video for Malaysians turned into a chance for the rest of the world to ridicule them. While for some it was nothing more than a good laugh at a seemingly absurd clip, for right-wing websites and right-wing social media users, it served their agenda of mocking at Muslims. These websites, which set out to expose their favourite targets, ie liberals, feminists and Muslims by writing articles based on this parody shampoo advertisement, will now find that it is their bigoted mindset that stands exposed. As we at Alt News always maintain, be careful before believing anything you see on the Internet.