I saw this ad at the most inappropriate of times. On the Cartoon channel. While the spawn of my womb was distracted thankfully, as he usually is when the ads come on, and he gets back to playing with his action figures until the whiny voices of the Hindi dubbed Japanese cartoons begin again.
It was good that he was distracted in retrospect because he didn’t notice me do a double take. Polish my eyeballs. Clean out my ear wax. And try to figure out if what I had heard and seen was actually what it meant. An intimate wash for women, now I have issues with that even being advertised on this channel, and never mind your fancy target audience brand fit channel fit Mr Media Planner, this just isn’t appropriate on a children’s channel to begin with.
The storyboard of the commercial goes something like this. Disinterested husband obviously put off by wifey’s, errm, implied darker labia (Of course they’re not showing the actuals on national television, you pervs), reaches in disinterested manner for the morning coffee ignoring distraught wifey. The previous night, one assumes, hasn’t made the earth move. Or perhaps the man just didn’t have a proper bowel movement, but this the woman is not taking into consideration. She, like most of us women, is self flagellating and thinking as to what she can do to get the man all sparkly again short of dunking a spoonful of the white powder through his nose. She then gets miracle product, which according to blurb, “offers protection, fairness and freshness. To be used while showering, its special pH-balanced formula cleans and protects the affected area, and even makes the skin fairer. Life for women will now be fresher, cleaner, fairer!” She then cleans nether region with said miracle product and viola, has him dancing to her tune. That should put the rest of the fairness creams out of business, shouldn’t it. I mean, just concentrate on the one area of the body which needs whitening, instead of slathering on these fairness creams across every inch of our skin hoping to morph into albinos.
If it wasn’t bad enough being worried about our underarms and using deos with underarm whitening agents to stop men from looking down our cleavages and into our fascinating underarms (as per the television commercial of a brand that hawks said product) we now have to worry about the fairness quotient of our, errm, vajajays.
I’ve been stewing in this for a while, while better people with better words to express their outrage have written about this. Me, I still get pissed off that my maid, her skin a lovely tawny brown, saves the rupees from her monthly take home to buy a tube of the country’s leading fairness cream every single month in the vain hope that it is going make her fairer and ergo more attractive.
And for chrissakes, we women could do without them marketing people in white coats putting in any more insecurities into our heads. We’re already getting told we need a body that’s a Barbie, lips that are Angelina Jolie, cheekbones that are Kareena Kapoor, eyebrows that are god knows who and pert butts that are J Lo. And now this added pressure to have fairer vajajays. We might just collapse under all that pressure and then who would the marketing guys make suckers out of.
Seriously though, the ad, and the product premise is appalling. But I’m sure the product will be a hot seller. I’m waiting though for that ad, when the wife is disinterested because of implied dark skinned you know what and the husband goes into the shower with a bottle of product Jo Rang Nikharey and emerges, all bleached and ready to be lusted after. You know.
Better people have expressed what I feel in stronger terms here: