Have you watched the new Maggi Star advert?
Ok, let me be serious for a while.
It opens with a woman wearing an apron and licking food off her palm and reaching for a jar of Maggi Star cubes.
Who am I?
I am a caregiver. She kisses her child, after obviously preparing him for school and he runs off.
I am a slayer. She looks at her impeccably made natural hairstyle (the Chimamanda hair) wearing a suit hugging her perfect figure.
A boss lady. She finishes a presentation that went very well while the boardroom members applaud.
A foodie. She sees a plate of rice on Maggi Star Instagram page and contemplates.
A chief quality inspector. In the daylight she is in the market selecting food stuff.
A chief organizer. She brings a boot load of groceries and points at the gateman(?) and husband to bring it all out. Notice the sun is still up. The husband has the audacity to sigh heavily before reaching for the bags.
I am a kitchen grandmaster. She cooks an impeccable plate of rice.
I am the chief enjoyment officer. Her perfect family consisting of a beard-gang husband, a beautiful girl and a handsome son admiring the dish she prepared.
And I’m the magnet that brings my family together.
After a hard day of doing everything, she proclaims
“I love what I do.” And she is still looking impeccable.
Everything ends happily ever after. Just like any other fairy tale.
What does her husband actually do? Fitness instructor/baby maker/wife chopper/and (or) foodisposal…?
I will tell you the funny thing about this advert. It missed out vital things like:
The woman is the doctor. A wife is the first to notice a fever, figures out what first aid to give and if the child requires a hospital visit, go to any hospital and you will see mostly women bringing the children in. If a child is on admission, chances are that the mother is right there sleeping with him.
The woman is the accountant. She is always mentally doing the mathematics of running the home, balancing cash and figuring out how to make magic happen from available finances, putting herself last so that the kids and husband can be comfortable.
The woman is the house cleaner/laundry person. The woman in the advert obviously does not have a house help. Or else that girl would have been in the kitchen beside her chopping onions and tomatoes and cleaning up. So I assume the woman does all the cleaning and washing up by herself.
The woman is the man satisfying machine. What Maggi will not show you is after this jam packed day she has had, she will have to keep the man warm at night or else…..
The woman is the tutor/lesson teacher. Those kids have homework and will need her attention. This is probably what she will face before entering the kitchen. If she had a nanny, the nanny will chop up all the things for her but since she hasn’t, she will work through annoying homework before cooking a gourmet dish.
The woman is the prayer warrior. She will settle all issues concerning hubby’s lack of participation in running the home to that colleague flirting with her (when she was looking at the Maggi Instagram page) and even just the strength to carry through day to day without breaking down.
She is a lawyer, judge, juror and prison officer. If she has children, she will settle cases every single day.
She is a motivational speaker. She must work on gingering the spirit of her husband and children every day. It will be her fault if they all don’t do well in life.
So the Maggi advert really just glossed over a woman’s life and glamorized the slavery called wife hood/motherhood.
So bloody unrealistic and real at the same time.
First off, she probably woke up 5am to prepare breakfast and school lunch for kids. She did not leave the house impeccably dressed. She probably did her make up in the car when she got to the office and wore her shoes before she walked in.
Remember the presentation she did. Well, the previous night after cooking which is always her responsibility and giving the kids a bath and settling them in their beds, she still had to wash up and make the house neat. Husband demanded his settlement and she worked on the finishing touches of that presentation till 1am. So she had 4 hours of sleep and even the makeup did not hide the bags under her eyes. Presentation went well. On her break time, she saw the Maggi food platter and thought, “I should try this for the family sometime.” She took a screenshot and saved it and promptly forgot about the meal.
She closed from work at 6pm (if she is lucky) and then, on her way home, she branched to the market. By then, there is no time to dilly dally and haggle over foodstuff. She thinks of the easiest thing she can make, most likely yam pottage.
She picks kids from after school care (she has no nanny, remember) and heads home. She sees her reflection in the side mirror. That hairstyle that was standing proudly when she checked on it in the morning is tired already. It is lopsided and her lipstick is all gone. Half of her slaying eyebrow was wiped away when she sweated in the market.
She comes home and it is almost 7pm. She quickly peels yam and dumps all ingredients in the pot. Quickly looks over homework and selects clothes for the washing machine. She is still wearing her work clothes and she has not seen the bedroom since she stepped in. 3 hours later, everything is done and she is very tired. But she remembers she needs to prep food for their lunch the next day. She peels potatoes and keeps in the fridge so that she can fry when she wakes up at 4:30 this time around.
Husband comes in and she dishes his food and serves him royally.
At the end of the day, women are not Maggi Women with a big smile sighing about how they “LOVE WHAT THEY DO” when a gruelling day comes to an end. They just want to catch enough sleep and trying not to worry about the flab on their stomachs and thighs.
It is a glossy minute that falsely depicts the expectations placed on women and correctly depicts why men are exempted from it all.
Do you know why she says she loves what she does at the end? This is to assuage the conscience of men. Men assume that women instinctively love to be ‘sufferheads’. That the ability to hold the family together is a natural gift from God. No, we do these things because they need to be done and society has said it is our work. And worse of all is now you are expected to slay through it all.
I don’t want to be the Maggi Woman.
I want to be the man who does nothing but come home to eat and have a good shag!