Fear and clothing: Well, well, wellness, what have we here?
A weekly reverie on the vagaries and charms of fashion
I see the CEO of PepsiCo is stepping down. I am not much of a Pepsi drinker but I was quite saddened by the news. Indra Nooyi was one of a handful of female CEOs of major multinationals. And instead of growing numbers of women in these sorts of positions, the numbers are shrinking.
I don’t know why. You would think that the more egalitarian our society became, more women would take up positions such as the head of PepsiCo.
Nooyi’s mother is in her 80s, though, and she said she needs more time with her. Although I have to say it, the mother sounds like quite a tricky fish. Apparently Indra came back from work (probably the 20-hour day she was famed for) and her mother said: “Where is the milk?” Indra dutifully took back to the road, hit the 24-hour convenience store, and when she got back and meekly handed the milk over, she told her mother about her big day at work. She had been appointed CEO. That was 10 years ago. Her mother’s immortal words to her were something to the effect of: “When you step through that door you are a mother, a daughter, a wife, a daughter-in-law, and we will have none of that big-headed showing off in this house.” So ja!Despite all that, Indra did really well for the last 10 years. In a highly competitive market which is also shrinking by the day, PepsiCo grew – a lot. There was that awkward moment with Kendall Jenner last year which struck everyone as a bit off-key. I mean drinking Pespi is not equivalent to staring down the forces of oppression, however much you equate the fat police with the real actual police stopping the #BlackLivesMatter protestors in their tracks with guns.Kendal Jenner is just too tall and model-thin to convince anyone she is being fat-oppressed. So that whole narrative didn’t really even begin to work. But you can’t think of everything now, can you? You are busy running the multinational and running down to the corner store at your mother’s behest every five minutes.The thing that Indra did pretty damn brilliantly, though, is that she introduced a whole wellness aspect to the sugary drink market – take that, fat police! You can have your Pepsi and your wellness too. And that clever intervention totally saved Pepsi’s proverbial arse. I think half their revenue now comes from wellness.
So anyway, now that there is an opening at PepsiCo I have some clever stuff up my sleeve too. I think we could call it WTR or something like that: healthy, sugar-free H20. We can really ride this wellness wave thing. Gwyneth can be our spokesperson. She glows, and everything she touches turns to kale. Which is green gold, people. Also, my mother is considerably younger than Indra’s and can get her own milk. So I am ready to step up. Pick me.