My sister recently posted this link on her Facebook wall, and I admit that I hurried off to read it, despite Simran being ready for a nap and fussing in my lap. I mean, how could you turn up checking out an article entitled, “Your Vagina Isn’t Just Too Big, Too Floppy, & Too Hairy–It’s Also Too Brown?” Any confusion I had about the title was immediately swept away when I realized it was speaking of a commercial for an Indian intimate wash product.
Now, I know we women do a lot of crazy things to our bodies here in the US – asshole bleaching, spray tanning, Brazilian bikini waxes, cosmetic vaginoplasty including labial reductions – but really, vagina lightening for that fair and lovely complexion down below? Really India? Are you men truly so concerned about the shade of their partner’s vaginas, or is this just a clever marketing ploy to round up an audience for a new product? I think the answer is probably the latter, and certainly hope it is.
Being married to an Indian, and having spent a the last 5 1/2 years or so in the constant company of Indian friends and family, I can safely say that yes, skin color is still a concern and measure of beauty for many Indians (especially when it comes to marriage and to the entertainment industry), and yes, there are still countless Indian men and women feeding into Fair and Lovely‘s quarterly sales, but I feel we have somehow reached a new low when any of us, Indian or American, are worried about bleaching our vaginas to you know, keep them “fresh,” “clean”, white and desirable!
I find it very hard to believe that your husband will turn away sex and find you unappealing, because your vagina is a bit on the dark side, or, hey, matches the rest of you (“you” as in that woman he fell in love with). Perhaps I’m naive, or just tired of hearing comments on how “nice and fair” my mixed race baby is (my apologies to friends and family who have said this already, but it really does pain me to hear those kinds of compliments). Either way, no one is getting that crap anywhere near my or my daughter’s vaginas, and I can only hope the whole line of products is boycotted from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu and all across the world.