Pure as love.
A commercial made by a traditional wedding jewellery company in India is currently winning both the internet and the hearts of viewers.
The advert, starring 22-year-old transgender model Meera Singhania Rehani, is titled ‘Pure as Love’ and charts the story of Meera’s transition and her journey from awkward teenager to beautiful confident bride.
The company feared serious backlash over the video following last year’s controversy over an advertisement by popular jewellery brand called Tanishq, who ran a campaign featuring an interfaith couple. The advert had to be withdrawn after a right-wing backlash on social media.
There were concerns that it might offend some people in parts of the country where abuse and stigma towards transgender people is still rife.
However Meera’s video has been met with rave reviews for its touching portrayal and has been viewed more than 900,000 times on YouTube.
Speaking to the BBC, Meera explained her initial concerns when she first heard about the commercial:
“I didn’t want someone to appropriate my trans identity for commercial use. I was also nervous since the film involved transition and as a pre-transition person I’m shown as a man with a beard”, she said.
“But when I read the story and researched about the director, I said yes. And I’m glad I did. Doing this has also helped me become more comfortable with myself.”
Navya Rao, online marketing head at Bhima told the BBC that initially the campaign was met with “fears and apprehensions” from her colleagues. “Most of our stores are in rural parts of the state. We were not sure how much exposure people there would have had to these issues.”
Despite everyone’s concerns, the video has become a viral hit. Take a look below!