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'You don’t need to be a shade lighter or a bit less freckled'

Shankar Prasad, Founder of Plum

With the rise of the self-love wave, a beauty brand aims to wash over superfluous worries of shape, size and colour and encourage healthy skin - no matter the 'box' you fit in

By Siddhi Jain

September 28, 2020 (IANSlife) Marketing strategies use as a springboard that which resonates with the users most. Unfortunately, nothing resonates as powerfully as our own deeply entrenched, limiting beliefs and the fear narratives they build, believes beauty entrepreneur and founder of vegan personal care brand Plum and Plum BodyLovin', Shankar Prasad.

He adds that our innate human feelings of being ‘not good enough’ become strings brands pull to seduce us into chasing an alternate version of ourselves.

Prasad, who has built BodyLovin', a whole range of bath and body products that campaign for body positivity and  go behind the tagline - 'Love that body. Every Inch' - believes in bringing "goodness" to the world of beauty. As per him, the brand encourages its customers to celebrate the skin they are born with and keep it healthy and beautiful in the most effective way by ensuring goodness in all that they use. "You don’t need to be a shade lighter, a bit less freckled or a smidge slimmer. There really isn’t any complicated neuropsychology here. And because you are beautiful, you deserve to feel the pampering delight of nature’s finest formulations on your body," he told IANSlife.

 

(Photo: plumgoodness/Instagram)
(Photo: plumgoodness/Instagram)

 

"We are quick to make choices which promise to help us survive and prosper. Brands understand this and use exploitative subliminal messaging, that heighten consumers’ insecurities, instantly cueing our brains to believe that a reward awaits if we buy the solution they have to offer. That is why body positivity conversations did not seem to make good business sense. Boxing consumers into the categories of - ‘desirable’ and ‘not desirable enough’ was a profitable marketing strategy to gaslight people, even if it was not in their best interest," says the beauty expert when asked about conversations around body positivity in the beauty space.
 
People of today are gravitating towards the concept of acceptance and compassion for self, as a collective, leading to conversations that are meaningful and engaging with brands in the same way too. Given the prevalence of social media trolling, creating dialogue about body positivity is more important than ever - to allay fears of body image in all genders.

What's the idea of 'beauty' and 'beautiful' for Plum? "You are beautiful. That’s what our idea of beauty and beautiful at Plum is."
 
Built around the premise of goodness, Prasad promises that their world of products is nasties-free, cruelty-free, and most importantly— judgement-free. "The message is to cultivate self-love and boost an individuals’ self-esteem by making available to them better options to choose from - focusing on a healthy skincare routine and staying away from products filled with harmful chemicals floating about in them is a great way to reaffirm our love for ourselves." 
 
What's the role good quality products, that anyone can use, have in spurring self-acceptance? 

"Feeling beautiful runs deep, it’s a state of mind. When you pick up a fairness cream for instance, you do two things — Firstly you slather a (possibly) harmful concoction on yourself. Secondly, you reinforce a self-deprecating belief of not being ‘enough’— in this case not being fair enough. This chasing of an alternate and touted as ‘better’ version of ourselves causes unrest to our state of mind.

"Conversely, when we choose from the non-judgmental side of the aisle, we find products filled with nature’s goodness and acceptance that help us become healthier, happier versions of ourselves. The underlying message is empowering, and in rhythm with the essence of nurturing oneself. Purchase choices have also become a means for consumers to show support and support lofty causes. Environmentally friendly choices also elicit positive emotions impacting how we see ourselves. Like it is said, good is as good does," shared Prasad.
 

 

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(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at siddhi.j@ians.in)