I’ve heard of women bleaching parts of their genitalia, but the only context I was aware of this happening was with women who were involved in the porn industry. However, a new product demonstrates this company’s willingness to capitalize on a woman’s obsession about her vagina and has found a new problem for us to worry about.
A 25-second TV commercial for Clean ‘n’ Dry Intimate Wash is being advertised on prime time television, in India, which shows a woman using the product to lighten her sexual organs to please her man.
The product has attracted condemnation on Twitter and blogging sites, with one (male) user branding it ‘the ultimate insult’ and others bemoaning the extent of discrimination against darker skin tones.
The advertising tagline for the product is: “Life for women will now be fresher, cleaner and more importantly fairer and more intimate.”
Described as ‘unique’, the product is apparently designed to keep the skin ‘fresh and protected from infections all day’ with the added bonus that it will ‘brighten darkened skin in that area…making it many shades fairer.’
Here is the commercial for the product, which is made by a company based in India:
So, let me get this shit straight. Not only are women’s vaginal lips too uneven, too big, pubic mons are too hairy and vaginal canals too lose, now our pubic area is too dark (in my case, which means it’s a deep, dark brown)?! While I wish this was some cruel joke designed to get women riled up over nothing, this sadly isn’t the case.
These type of products are solely being marketed to people of color as these companies are well aware of how far whiteness and white beauty’s tentacles extend into our psyche. These companies are understand how clever the worship of whiteness has on compelling us to buy these products–as well as confirming our own self-hatred.
People of color are assaulted by images of whiteness day in, day out. We are bombarded by subliminal messages that say our dark skin, our thick lips, our brown eyes and hair are inherently inferior to the blond, fair, blue-eyed statue of beauty whiteness has built st the expense of our self-esteem and pride.
We are presented with images that are designed to question our own beauty, our own self-worth. We are on the one hand ostracized by whiteness for our differences, but are used as a path to the exotic by whiteness whenever they are feeling frisky and want to explore The Others.
What makes this latest product interesting is how is juxtaposes the woman’s sexual desirability to how much she conforms to white beauty as possible. The message in the commercial is ominous. The light-skinned man and woman, who I’m assuming are a couple, appear to be at an impasse as the woman realizes her man is uninterested in her because of her dirty, smelling va-jay-jay. After using the product, the woman is once again refreshed, reminiscent of the western version of white women in commercials who use feminine hygiene products to cleanse their God-awful nasty vaginas: youthful, fun, outgoing, sexy and relentlessly attractive to men around her
In other words, your dirty smelling, brown-hued vagina will most likely turn your man off as, in the heat of the moment, he discovers your vagina does not live up to the expectations he’s gathered from watching pornography. Once used, this product make you a sex goddess with a fairer vagina to prove it.
This is just too much nonsense to write about on a Monday morning…
This company’s product is indicative of its understanding of the stronghold whiteness has over the minds and opinions of many people of color. It understands that no matter how much public preaching and online activism by POC bloggers like myself to accept and love one’s brown, yellow, black and red skin, whiteness’ hypnosis over The Others is impenetrable as it has the advantage of 300 years of oppression and self-hatred it’s inflicted upon us. Also, it takes advantage of women’s existing, latent fears of how our vaginas look to the men and women we love and packages that uneasiness as yet another one of our female deformities that can be cured by the corporate pushers of that white female beauty myth whiteness will do anything to shove down our throats.