Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Eve's Life

So I’m officially at a loss of words. For once. First, they convince all women to baste themselves in fairness creams as fair skin will bring them success, a great career, many suited proposals and a happy married life. Then, they bring out some vaginal fairness cream that is supposed to brighten up your lady areas and make your husband want to have sex with you again. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we now have the vaginal tightening gel being introduced in this country that will again, make your husband want to have sex with you, and not pick a virgin over you. Welcome to India.
Now that I'm fair, I'll be a successful career woman!

Sick. It makes me sick that such ideologies exist in today’s world. I’m a dusky woman and for the largest  
part of growing up in North India, I was called ‘Kaali’ everyday. It used to hurt me then, but now, I love my skin tone and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not all women think so though. Dusky women want to be fair, fair women want to be fairer (no, it’s not like the US, where they want to get tanned). Girls are not allowed to play sports after they turn 14 as they will get tanned. Matrimonial ads begin with ‘Looking for fair, slim girl’. It’s sick, it simply is.

As if escaping the sad looks of all my orthodox aunts on my skin colour wasn’t bad enough, some genius company has to introduce vaginal fairness wash. I mean, what the hell is that all about when? The TVC is even more disturbing. The dutiful wife brings out a steaming hot cup of coffee for her husband, who seems completely disinterested in her (I’m assuming the dark coffee denotes the dark skin tones of her vagina). She then showers herself and uses the vaginal wash, and lo and behold – her husband is in love with her again! Kissing her, cuddling her, adoring her. Awww. All because her vagina is now fair. Yay!
A fair vagina is a confident vagina!

And if things just couldn’t get any worse for us women out there, they now had to introduce the vaginal tightening gel. If you use it, your vagina gets nice and tight so that your husband will have sex with you again. The TVC of this ad is simply weird. There is a married couple doing hot dance moves in presence of the entire family. I’m not sure if I’m entirely against the product than I am to what the woman is crooning to in the ad. She keeps singing ‘I feel like a virgin.’ Seriously? I mean, seriously? What is the message here again? Use this gel, tighten up your vagina, and your husband will feel like he’s having sex with a virgin again and you will feel loved again with your tighter vagina. Woohoo!

As you may have guessed by now, I’m a feminist. I don’t see a reason not to be, but more on that later. But there are distinct male-dominated themes in what I’ve discussed here so far. Fairness creams were made for women as men preferred faired women as spouses for the longest time (this has changed slightly now, though not entirely). Mothers-in-law would never want a dusky daughter-in-law, worse, a dark child. Dusky women were never the favourites in the country.

My husband won't have sex with me because I have a brown vagina. Waaahhh! :'(
And this country that worships fair skin took it so far so as to create a vaginal fairness wash. And the ad theme is clear as well, make it fair so as to your distance, loveless marriage will be revived as your husband will want to have sex with you again because of your now fair tone of your vagina. Even the tightening gel focuses on how your husband will have sex with you now since you apparently ‘feel like a virgin’.

If that vaginal wash had a message that said it was to be used for more hygienic purposes than to make you fair, it would have made sense. If ‘I feel like a virgin’, wasn’t repeatedly crooned to in that ad, I may have tolerated it. If Fair & Lovely ads simply promised fairness and not success, happy marriages and fame associated with it, it would have been ok. But I have a problem with these associated messages, connotations, pleasing your husband techniques and fair skin worshipping.

No, I’m not asking for them to introduce a product to brighten up a man’s privates, but I’m simply tired of new things and products that are being dished out to lower a woman’s morale. Now that these creams and gels have come out, in addition to all the waxing, tweezing, facials, office trouble, tending to kids at home, women now have to worry about if they can give a ‘virgin-like’ sexual experience to their partners again. That to me is just depressing.

Most women are insecure about their bodies and perfect images of how women are supposed to be that are portrayed in the media don’t help at all. I know some incredibly beautiful women that have perfect bodies, yet they find themselves ugly. It’s a disheartening thing to see some amazing women lose out on their morale as they find themselves never physically competent enough.

I didn’t want to make this another blog post on how society is shaping crazy demands off women, but I guess this has simply become so. And I fear women will continue being pawns this way unless the societal mindset in this country will change. Which I don’t see happening for a long, long time.

Here’s a link to the vaginal tightening gel ad. *barfs*
I hope you despise it as much as I do.


Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you, the implications that are associated with fairness is, want for a better word, unfair, and does nothing to stop the fair skin worship in India.
Oh, and like your writing style :)

Agratha Dinakaran said...

Sad, but true.
And, thank you, Soumya :)

Anonymous said...

I was casually reading your post and honestly I could connect to some of the above mentioned points. However when I watched the Ad thingy. Jesus I hate this stuff .

If this is what is expected from a women, at times we are bantering about equality and similar big words. Trust me this world is coming to an end

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