Monday, April 23, 2012

THE OBSESSION WITH FAIRNESS DESCENDS!


A couple of days ago a friend of mine had posted a video on face book about a product called “Clean and dry intimate”. Interesting title.. I wondered ( as you might be wondering now )what this product is all about. I  did a google search on it and found out more. It is a product for women to use on their private parts to help it become ( as the ad says) “fresher and fairer”!!

“What? You are kidding!” said my husband laughing.

 But friends, this is not a laughing matter. It is a matter of extreme shame that we as a race are unable to come to terms with the colour of our skin. First there was “Fair and lovely” and its various relatives and today, this obsession for fairness does not seem to be limited to the face alone. How many of us have watched advertisements about moisturizing lotions that promise to make the colour of the body as fair as the face? Apparently, it is now going beyond that!

This craze for fair skin is something that probably unites India and her neighbors across South Asia as a recent article written in THE HINDU says! I cannot understand why we hanker for this? And it is not just white skin, we would also like to have brown hair and blue eyes. There are contact lens makers and hair dye manufacturers who are making a killing out of this! And then there is of course the inability to accept curly or crinkly hair. We want it poker straight like the Nordic women!

But THIS product.. really takes the bakery along with the cake!  I never realized that someone would be conscious about the color of a part of one’s body which is not even visible to anyone except maybe to one’s sexual partner. And it is probably a very sick man who would be interested in a woman for the color of her “P---Y”!

It is said that there is no supply without a demand. So I wonder if our Indian men fantasize about sex with white women so that their sexual partner has to negate her racial heritage and bleach her privates? Or is it that this an attempt to create a demand for something weird? As women we are taught to keep our privates clean but this is the first time I  am hearing about  the need to maintain its “pH balance” and color!  Has anyone ever thought about the havoc this might play with her health? But then who cares? If a government family planning program can advocate for insertion of a metal ( copper T)  into a woman's womb to prevent conception then will the market be far behind?

What is wrong with the color black or brown or yellow? Is it only white that is synonymous with beauty, cleanliness and purity?  And about body proportions- this entire concept of the slim woman and the myth about big breasts!  How many women across the world undergo silicone treatment for breast enhancement! Why do we succumb to such pressures and put ourselves through these treatments?

Each race has its definition of beauty and sex appeal. But  the years of colonization and slavery have obviously created a hankering for something that   has resulted in this feeling of inferiority around the color of our skin.  Markets play upon these insecurities and try to create a need where it does not exist.

It is sad that despite all the education and the access to employment opportunities we women continue to fall for these tricks. It is about time we rose above such conditioned thought processes and find solace in our confidence. After all what is more attractive and sexy than a confident woman? And confidence my friends does not come from the color of your skin. Neither does it lie between your legs. It is between your ears in your minds. But it all depends on where you  believe it is located!

22 comments:

Gayu said...

Even I was shocked to see this video. Yes unfortunately skin colour does matter Meera, even today there are MIL's who wish for Fair DIL's. Educated people want their babies to be fair.

The fairness virus is spreading and every other day we can see some new product being launched. But this product is disgusting.

I guess education is ruining our souls..!!!

PS: Thanks a lot for the wishes...I conveyed them to my daughter.

Rahul Bhatia said...

The last sentences were the winner that what lies between the ears is more important than what is between the legs:)A nice eye opener Meera!

Meera Sundararajan said...

Yes Gayu - you have brought out a valid point about the marriage market guiding the cosmetic market in our country! Hope your daughter had a great birthday!

Thanks Rahul for your comments

anilkurup said...

The erroneous notion that "all is fair in white"!
Honestly the video is outrageous and the idea too.

This also tell the fact that the generation in vogue now can be carried away by very outlandish concepts.

PURN!MA said...

you know, when I saw this ad, the first thing that comes to my mind is "wow! that could make a thought provoking blog post!"

I was amused to see this ad and couldn't help wondering how low we could stoop.... As if the "fairer underarms" ad was any less a slap on our face, now this! I wonder where and to how many people do we display our so called embellished privates?? Sorry for being so brash, but that is the bottom line.

whoever comes up with such shameless ideas?

Rachna said...

I was outraged too. I have seen a lot of blogposts on this ad. It is thoroughly distasteful. This fairness mania knows no bounds. We also have sprays that give fairer underarms. I mean, the ideas can be seriously hilarious and dim-witted if they were not so sick. I loved your last lines.

http://rachnaparmar.com

Arooj said...

''goray rung ka zmna kubhi ho ga na purana.''.:-)

and then song came

''sanwali sloni si mhbooba''

so every shade has its own charm.creator knows how to handle with face cuts by keeping color brite,dark or more darker.

this obsession has been blocking the ways of to many.but i guess despite these commercials,people have started thinking with different frame of mind.

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Purnima, welcome back! How could I forget the under arm whitening cream..? BTW I seem to have embarrassed some men by writing this and posting it on face book!One of them sent me an email saying that it is "very bold" and he declines to comment :)

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Arooj, yes you are absolutely right- even songs perpetuate this along with movies. But as you say, every colour has beauty in it- we just need to be able to see it!

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Rachna I am glad you are equally outraged. As I replied to Purnima, I had completely forgotten about the need for "fair" underarms ( though again as Purnima says, to whom are we going to display it? To a prospective MIL who might decide to look under our arms ?)

Jack said...

Meera,

A post on similar lines was written by purba-ray.blogspot.in . It is a pity that we fall for such marketing tactics. My opinion is that personal hygiene and cleanliness is far more important than using such products. What you said in closing lines is true.

Take care

jkhona said...

hey, I landed today on your page coz you had commented on someone's page.. :) and what I get as a first-read on your page - an fairness quotient! it doesn't really outrage me but makes me sick thinking of how sick people could be? its all a matter of useless things... I had an silent outrage ever since they introduced that Quco Hair Perfume and later a whole range of Olay creams, that Parachute Advansed (check the spellings they use) Body Lotion, and then that UnderArms spray and this one now.. though I havent been through any Ads on TV for this product... I might not change channel on TV when they crack some cheap jokes on Comedy Circus but out of no choice, I have to change the TV channel when these ADs play... amidst all this, missed to promote ma page as well.. :P I might not be a good writer as you, but I like to be messedup writer... do visit http://jkhona.wordpress.com :)

simply mee said...

just don't know what to say!!! *shocked*

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Jack I understand that lots of bloggers are now putting up posts on this.I wonder if we are inadvertently giving this product more visibility than it deserves :(


@ Simply mee- You Speechless and Shocked! God..now that is something! :)

@jkhona thank you for visiting my blog- yes the ads for beauty products can be really sickening!

specs buffy said...

Meeta, we are all taken for a ride by the multitude of manufacturers vying with each other, so if one goes for the face, another goes for the underarms and the other for the remaining parts.
They are making a kill by our vulnerability and overt obsession for " white" but making money remains " black"

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Specs Buffy you are really funny - " obsession for white making a money in black"- very nice quote!

Emmy said...

Meera! This post made me giggle and upset LOL. Giggle at the way you explained it but it's sad too that women today feel that they need fair skin to be beautiful, I am proud to say I like my tanned skin very much thank you! How ever it's only us who are guilty, it's the 'white' women as well, they go out in the sun to get our color skin, and buy tanning sprays, lotions, beds. I guess the grass is greener on the other side.

anindita said...

Hi Meera, sorry for being so late with my comments on this interesting post. The obsession with colour, length of the hair, shape of the foot just seems to be never-ending. My daughter had this rhyme in her nursery book which mentioned…”Curly Hair, Very Fair, Teacher’s pet..is that you….”. When my parents were searching for prospective grooms for me, there came a call from a very ‘Well Educated’ gentleman for his ‘Well settled’ son. While my mother was all excited telling him about my job, he asked, “Meyer Chul lomba?” I got so very annoyed, I told my mothe; “Bolte paarte, hyan, chool lomba, khoob phorsha kintu shobhaabe kintu khoob jhogrute aar kharaap…cholbe toh?”

Prasoon said...

Our obsession with white skin is shamefull.

I remember an advertisement- fair and handsome. As per the ad a guy with dark skin lacks confidence but wn the same guy uses the cream, become fairer and gains confidence. That was such a stupid ad and now this ad about fairer female pvt part, itz SICK!!!!

You hit the bulls eye with this Meera ..

Rhapsody B. said...

Namaste.....
I would like to tell you that this shocks me but it doesnt, the quest for "whiteness" is long been embedded without societies. Skin whitening has been happening for many many years to the deatriment of those that fall under its spell, especially people with darker skin complexion. The skin bleach erodes the melanin and thins the skin to the point where it begins to break apart and cannot be repaired surgically because the skin is too thin to surcher. Its sad how so many from all culture, ethnicity buy into the false notion of white superiority, so much so that they are distroying their selves.

White vagina on a darker skinned toned person? That is so laughable and sad at the same time because women who to do not accept their God given skin color believe that they should resort to chemicalizing themsleves into whiteness i.e. acceptablity. It matters little to tell them that they are indangering their skin and their bodies, they won't believe you and they will say you are jealous.

There was a boxer of African decent that bleached his skin, hoping to erase his darkness, the result was that he began to fall apart, his skin would tear and when he got hit in the face it would spilt. He had bleached himself so much that his skin had thinned like that of a 90 year old and he had damaged all the melanin in his skin.

The biggest lesson we (the human race) are yet to learn is love ourselves as the creator made us and understand that we are enough as we are.

Stay blessed.
rhapsody
http://twitter.com/rhapsodyphoenix
https://plus.google.com/101099217204323189067
http://www.shelfari.com/rhapsodyphoenix

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Rhapsody,what you say is very true- the moment we start tampering with nature we are endangering ourselves- afterall the skin colour has something to do with the ecosystem within which our race is located!

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Anindita- it was really funny- your comment! But yes, I wonder if the marriage market is now going to demand white privates too ? The idea is so outrageous that it is almost laughable!

@ Prasoon, thanks for your comment and welcome to my blog. Hope to see you here more often.

@ Emmy dear welcome back! Missed you all these days. Yes, you can giggle away-I think that is the only way to keep our sanity when we see such products advertised!

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