Featured: GAP Ad With Waris Ahluwalia and Quentin Jones
Bridging the GAP or widening the Gulf?
My son messaged me this photo (below) he took of a GAP ad featuring Waris Ahluwalia that he discovered downtown at our local mall. I found it interesting and thought," Cool the Sikh turban is on its way to becoming main stream," To tell the truth I sort of forgot about it, but apparently the ad has stirred controversy in the Sikh community. This is mainly due to the efforts of one who will not be named. Nope, not to protect him, but because he is out to make a name for himself as a trouble maker with a vendetta to widen the gulf by causing divisions amongst Sikhs primarily with a holier than thou focus on American converts (which he himself happens also to be). His conjecture is that the photo is a disgrace because the female model is touching the turban disrespectfully, but truthfully, he's just looking to put somebody (in particular) down. But enough about he who will not be named.
All of us tend to make up stories based on bits of information, and that story also tells a good deal about where the mind is at which made it up. So here's my story, and the way I see things when I look at this ad.
Photo © [Sat Simran]
The story I see is a candid moment of a sister helping out a brother, tucking in that stray bit of turban, buttoning up that jacket, before he goes out, because you know, guys just aren't good at that. Yup, in just one more minute she will be tying up her kes (hair) and donning her own dastar and heading out with him to their local GAP store where maybe, just maybe, if they are lucky enough, they will be to able to find jeans that actually fit, because we all know how challenging that is.
When I look at this ad beyond the story, I see someone here who cares enough to wear a turban and keep his beard intact no matter what he's doing, where he's going, who he's with, or how famous he becomes. So I say, "Thank you Waris for keeping up."
OK now that you know my story, I'm curious about yours. What do you see? What do you think? Does this ad serve to bridge the gap of acceptance and broaden understanding in our communities, or does it widen the gulf of misunderstanding?