ONTD Political

New "Beauty Product" Marketed In India Allows Women To Bleach Their Vag... WTF?

9:48 pm - 04/16/2012

Your Vagina Isn’t Just Too Big, Too Floppy, and Too
Hairy—It’s Also Too Brown

By Lindy WestApr 11, 2012 12:40 PM

Good news, ladies! Society has discovered another new thing that's wrong with you, which means another opportunity for you to make yourself more attractive for your man. Score! Turns out, the color of your vagina is gross and everyone hates it. So bleach that motherfucker. Bleach it right now!

In this commercial for an Indian product called Clean and Dry Intimate Wash, a (very light-skinned) couple sits down for what would have been a peaceful cup of morning coffee—if the woman's disgusting brown vagina hadn't ruined everything! The dude can't even bring himself look at her. He can't look at his coffee either, because it only reminds him of his wife's dripping, coffee-brown hole! Fortunately, the quick-thinking woman takes a shower, scrubbing her swarthy snatch with Clean and Dry Intimate Wash ("Freshness + Fairness"). And poof! Her vadge comes out blinding white like a downy baby lamb (and NOT THE GROSS BLACK KIND) and her husband—whose penis, I can only assume, is literally a light saber—is all, "Hey, lady! Cancel them divorce papers and LET'S BONE."

(video link)

Needless to say, certain citizens are troubled by this product—which, in addition to just being fucking insane, brings up painful issues about the hierarchy of skin tone within the Indian community. As if it isn't bad enough that darker-skinned people are encouraged to stay out of the sun and invest in skin-bleaching products like Fair & Lovely, and that white actresses are being imported to play Indian people in Bollywood movies, now everyone has to be insecure about the fact that their vaginas happen to be the color that vaginas are??? Splendid! God, I was just saying the other day that my misogyny didn't have enough racism in it. So what are the pro-vadge-bleaching people thinking? Here's a hilarious explanation from a male ad exec:

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 only reason I can offer for why people like fairness, is this: if you have two beautiful girls, one of them fair and the other dark, you see the fair girl's features more clearly. This is because her complexion reflects more light. I found this amazing difference when I directed Kabir Bedi, who is very fair and had to wear dark makeup for Othello, the Black hero of the play. I found I had to have a special spotlight following Kabir around the stage because otherwise the audience could not see his expressions.

See? It makes perfect sense. We just want our vaginas to reflect more light—is that so wrong? I mean, WHAT IF MY CAR BREAKS DOWN AT NIGHT AND I DON'T HAVE A REFLECTIVE ENOUGH VAGINA? Really, the ultimate one-vagina-to-rule-them-all would glow in the dark like one of those deep-sea fishes. I need my vagina to attract more krill so my husband will fuck me again! (My husband is a whale.)

Basically the idea is to get as far away as possible from any color that vaginas actually come in. Because that's what's at the heart of this type of thinking—the perfect vagina would be something that's not a vagina at all.
Article is satirical, but the subject matter it is commenting on is very real. This is not a "The Onion" style made-up piece.
zombieroadtrip Re: TW: fatphobia17th-Apr-2012 11:27 am (UTC)
Uh, no. I'm not sure how you got that I thought people wouldn't 'get' that it was humor.

The genital shaming, though obviously sarcastic, is crass and directed at the reader.

It's obvious that it's humor. I think it's humor in poor taste, and that direct attacks on the reader with something that a lot of people struggle with was an incredibly poor choice of the author, and has the potential to trigger people.
fatpie42 Re: TW: fatphobia17th-Apr-2012 11:45 am (UTC)
The sarcasm means that it's not directed at the reader. That's how sarcasm works.

The term "hipster" that you used generally seems to mean "people I don't like". I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy the article, but that's your own personal taste.

If the major issue here was possible triggering I think you would have mentioned that rather earlier than waiting til your fourth comment into this thread. Your initial description of the article as "sarcastic shit" that you didn't want on your f-list makes it pretty clear that the main problem you have is that this upset your personal tastes. Thanks for letting me know.
poetic_pixie_13 17th-Apr-2012 04:58 pm (UTC)
.... that's not how triggers work. Some people can't comment on something that's triggered them right away because, y'know, they've been triggered and need time to deal. A trigger isn't an issue of personal taste. Just because you logically know someone's being sarcastic doesn't mean that you won't be reminded of all the gross shit society tells us everyday.

Someone told you this could possibly be triggering. Just put it under a cut and move on. It's not actually that difficult a it's the decent thing to do.
fm_gatekeeper 17th-Apr-2012 07:09 pm (UTC)

Okay, they're a plus-sized feminist author, good for them. As people have already established, this is, in large part, a race issue that people may be triggered by and the language, while sarcastic, is still very harsh. If I saw this and it was about one of my personal issues, I think I would be very upset and would wish I had had a chance to opt out, and that's a fairly mild reaction. Put it under a fucking cut if you're asked to and stfu.

edited to clarify

Edited at 2012-04-17 07:11 pm (UTC)
zombieroadtrip Re: TW: fatphobia17th-Apr-2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
All right at this point it seems like you're being deliberately obtuse to antagonize me, and it's really not working, it's just tiring. I'd appreciate if you addressed my points rather than dance around them.

Since you returned to what you said earlier, let me do the same myself:

Upthread I said [TW for fatphobia]It's like approaching an article on how silly fad diets are by directing a big heap of "Who knew we were all such gross, worthless tubs of lard that needed to diet so often?" at your audience. I bolded the "it's like" portion because your next comment seemed to indicate you thought I was accusing the author of fatphobia. I wasn't. Her being plus-size is not relevant. Rather, I was making the point that if she, or any other author, began an article critiquing fatphobic culture by directing a barrage of personal attacks on the reader, it would be in just as poor taste, and just as irresponsible.

Here's another comparison you can ignore: [TW for eating disorders]If an article on the dangers of anorexia and bulimia began with, "Guess what? You're a fat sack of shit and you should immediately run to the nearest bathroom and purge because you're worthless if you're not skinny!" I have a feeling a lot of people would rightly say the author was being irresponsible, and reckless, and crass. In fact, had I not scrolled up to see this was written by a woman, I would have honestly figured the wording and ridiculously irresponsible personal attacks (however sarcastic) was from a neckbeard author on Reddit or Cracked.

The sarcasm means that it's not directed at the reader. That's how sarcasm works.

So it was directed at whom, exactly? Because I see this:

[TW for body/genital shaming]- Turns out, the color of your vagina is gross and everyone hates it.
- if the woman's disgusting brown vagina hadn't ruined everything! The dude can't even bring himself look at her. He can't look at his coffee either, because it only reminds him of his wife's dripping, coffee-brown hole!

That's a lot of "you" and "your" for something that's not directed at the reader, isn't it? Or is it because it's an obvious joke that you think somehow anyone with body issues would be able to laugh it off? I can think of any number of crass, ridiculous jokes that this comm would consider in poor taste.

Here's another moment where I wonder if you're purposely ignoring what I'm saying to piss me off. Never did I call the writer a "hipster" I said it reminded me of hipster racism. That's another indication that I was making a comparison to something. If you didn't know what hipster racism was, you could have just asked and I would have provided you with a link. Google gives this handy definition:

What is hipster racism?

Hipster racism involves making derogatory comments with a racial basis in an attempt to seem witty and above it all. Specifically, the idea is to sound ironic, as in “I’m allowed to say this because of course I’m not racist, so it’s funny.” It’s an aspect of a larger part of the hipster culture, which wants to seem jaded and urbane and oh-so-witty. Using language which is viewed as inflammatory or not appropriate is supposed to push the boundaries and make someone look edgy, but it only really comes across that way to people who buy into that system. To everyone else, it’s just racist.

Edited at 2012-04-17 10:36 pm (UTC)
zombieroadtrip Re: TW: fatphobia17th-Apr-2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
And now I don't have a valid point because I didn't make it quickly enough for you? Hilarious. How about addressing the fact that this could easily trigger someone rather than spending your time assessing just how quickly I was able to give you my thoughts, which I thought I was being quite generous in doing.

I (apparently wrongly) assumed my problem with the article's writing was obvious. When you asked for an explanation, I gave it.

I don't have to justify my reactions to you, or explain in detail whatever anxiety this article may or may not have caused me. Nothing is "pretty clear" about my reaction, actually. My personal tastes are the least of my numerous problems with this article. But that paragraph above on hipster racism explains it pretty well. Namely: Beginning an article critiquing the harm of body issues with sarcastic shit because you think it's obvious that it's all in good fun is irresponsible and thoughtless. And the fact that you're using this opportunity to demean my response rather than actually look into preventing anyone from being triggered by this says it all.
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