Skin-Lightener for Women’s Private Parts Sparks Controversy
April 18, 2012
By Alexandra Sifferlin
“As if people don’t have enough to be self conscious about, the company behind ‘Intimate Wash’ are pretty much telling telling women they aren’t perfect enough. Not to mention the health dangerous of using this stuff.” –KTRN
A TV commercial for the skin-lightening product, Clean and Dry “Intimate Wash,” promises Indian women protection, “fairness” and freshness down there.
The ad depicts an unsatisfied young wife concerned that her husband is more interested in his daily paper than in her, presumably — as the ad would have you believe — because her vagina is too dark. But after a quick wash with the pH-balanced skin-lightening cleanser, the couple is frolicking on the furniture with renewed lust.
Not surprisingly, the ad and the product have started a media storm both in India and in the U.S. Jezebel deemed the product “insane” and Mumbai Boss writer Deepanjana Pal noted:
It’s interesting that according to the ads we see on TV, whitening is a problem that is increasingly faced by women who are modern and independent.
Nowadays, the person who needs fair skin is the woman who wants a job, the athlete who wins a tournament, the consummate professional that stands on her own two feet. The woman in a sari, on the other hand, appears in the advertisement for a moisturiser that promises softer skin. It’s almost as though we’re so uncomfortable with the idea of a liberated, independent woman that we feel the need to slip a few insecurities into her psyche. Preferably something that reminds a woman that no matter how short her shorts are or how good she is at her job, she is ultimately an object, something that men and other women see and judge.