Feminine Hygiene wash that "Whitens"

A TV advert featuring an Indian hygiene product promises to make the skin around a woman’s private parts fairer has gone viral, leaving controversy in its wake. Read more to see the advert and find out more about the story.

The Advert

The video features a forlorn Indian woman drinking tea with her partner, all the time gazing wistfully around her.

The clip flashes to the next scene where she applies the wash onto her womanly parts in the shower, and the process is shown in an animated scene where a dark brown shading around her private parts immediately peels away under the effect of the wash.

Cut to the last scene and the lady is in fine spirits after her whitening. She scampers onto the sofa and refuses to give her husband his keys. She drops them into her pants as he takes her in his arms and swings her joyfully. Thus ends the commercial.

The product

Clean & Dry Intimate Wash is on sale for RS90 (about $2 SGD) and can be bought online. The blurb reads: “Life for women will now be fresher, cleaner and more importantly fairer and more intimate.”

“Women can use this unique wash during their bath to cleanse their parts. The special PH balance formula maintains the skin’s sensitive PH balance keeping it fresh and protected from infection all day. For the first time women can now also brighten the darkened skin in thar [sic] area making it many shades fairer.”

The advert became a trending topic on Twitter with one of the users calling it “the ultimate insult”. Columnist Laskhmi Chaudry also sarcastically hailed the product for “colour challenged vaginas everywhere”. Chaudry added that “the fairer sex is now required to be literally so: fairer all over, all the time.”

However, Alyque Padamsee, an Indian theatre personality and advert director saw little wrong with the product. He said that “it is hard to deny that fairness creams often get social commentators and activists all worked up. What they should do is take a deep breath and think again. Lipstick is used to make your lips redder, fairness cream is used to make you fairer—so what’s the problem? I don’t think any Youngistani today thinks the British Raj/White man is superior to us Brown folk. That’s all 1947 thinking!”

The verdict

Whether it is necessary for a lady’s private parts to be fair is up for discussion. What do our readers think? Does a product like this have a place in India and the rest of the world?

http://youtu.be/LlNsO9yPwwU