Tuesday, May 8, 2012

White UP White DOWN…

 So basically once again we got manipulated by ubiquitous commercials. But this time, it’s different!! We don’t want fairness creams (for females’ private parts).

I got to know about so called fairness cream after I read that there was a furor in Rajya Sabha (upper house in Indian Parliament) regarding it. According to them, the concerned commercial was debasing females. Well, the first thing I did after reading that article was signing in my you tube account( so that I could see the commercial even if it were X-rated). I had to see it as I wanted to know what it was that made it more attention-seeking and women debasing than various gang-rapes, eve-teasing, honour-killing of women, all of which never create such furor in Rajya Sabha, on print-media, digital media..
I saw it. I saw it once again and read the you-tube users’ comments on that commercial. And I started to figure out what exactly was wrong.

I was sure that one of the reasons for the uproar was that the product dealt with female private parts. Another reason was the story-line of the commercial, which according to me was confusing, like other commercials. It showed a husband/boyfriend ignoring his plastic doll-like-wife/girlfriend. The sad female is shown with the product, followed by a not-so-offensive-sketch of a female applying the product on the darkest area of the body. Meanwhile, the specifications were told which were mainly about keeping the concerned part dry, clean and also making the complexion lighter. And so in the end, the husband/boyfriend was happy. Yeae!!

And so, viewers focused on only one aspect of it and that was the fairness one, not the hygienic ones. Even the product’s name has got no word related to fairness. But still they took it as female-private-part-bleaching-cream.
Men thought that the next product might target their private parts’ skin. And so they felt offended in advance. Also they thought that the product was typecasting them as racists and narrow-minded.
They won’t say it openly, “ darling, if you don’t have 'it' fair,
                                             you may use the product there,
                                            at least you can have it considered
                                             I might even do it for a longer time, my dear.”,
                                         Ha! But that’s what many of them may say it loud and clear,   
                                             but only in their private minds’ corners……..
Women professed that the concept of the product was senseless. They don’t have to show 'it' to impress/attract men. And because showing *it* is not involved in the process, unlike what was shown in the advertisement, they don’t really require the product.

Now let me ask all these thoughtful critiques that why such uproar is not created when almost all the advertisements for men deodorant show skimpily-clad-females going wild after males using the advertised deodorant. That’s not debasing women? And will they use their moody logic towards such advertisement? Because going by the advertisement, I should transform into a sexually hyperactive female running crazily after some random guy using ‘the’ deodorant; also I’ll smell the scent even if I were a mile away. But no, they won’t use their logic over here.

I’m not judging the product or its usage. If you don’t like or want it, don’t use it. Why does anyone have to get the product banned? Do we take care of those body parts only which are to be shown in near future? We all go to beauty parlor and saloons and use shampoos and soaps and other ‘beauty’ products. Do we use them to attract the opposite sex? I personally like to keep myself groomed (at least at basic level) even when I don’t have to step out of my house.There are already facial fairness creams and fairness ‘body’ lotions for females. 
There are advertisements that show using certain toothpaste (once again) attracting female mindlessly towards a random guy using the product. Now do we all use tooth-paste for that? May be some do. And this is where the manipulation comes in. Read the specifications and advantages of a product. If you think some of those might help you in some way, then use it.

There is definitely something wrong with the ‘fairness addiction’ that Asians have. I already spread my views regarding it on an earlier blog-post(You may like to read Copper Maiden ).

But guys, grow up (pun intended). And women, we all are lovely and intelligent, but we don’t really have to sniff sense at everything(pun intended)!

image source: http://free-extras.com/images/black_and_white_daisies-1551.htm


  1. I can never understand the hype we Indians create about 'Fairness'. Men and women read from the same page on this issue.
    Boy, you need a girl for loving, not some doll made of POP..!!

    And whether it's an advertisement of deo, or fairness cream, it's not as important as the issues concerning the country. Rajyasabha is a place for discussing the topics concerning public welfare, not for watching porn or debating on such useless issues..!!

  2. Yup, You rightly got it!! this is what this blog post focused on, mainly on hype about fairness, narrow-mindedness, hypocrisy..

  3. Damn! I really must see this add! :P MEN! huh!

    nice satirical post by the way

  4. Whats the problem with ad? if it cleans there they cant cast it as cleaning somewhere else can they! I say the furore is for the furore's sake alone

  5. So you saw the commercial :P and that there's actually nothing wrong with the advertisement just that people took it in such a way so that they could create such furor..as you said, the furor is for the furor's sake!!
    and thank you:) I actually enjoyed writing the post!!

  6. You brought up some interesting points. Have nothing to add as much of what happens around in the terms of bans, restrictions, compulsory stuff doesn't make sense to me. People either have too low esteem or just enjoy making mountains of molehills. And turn a deaf ear to issues that really need their support. Maybe they feel too inadequate. Quite a pity.

  7. That's quite a way to transform one's feelings of anger and frustration to pity :P
    But seriously, i simply to fail understand these things. But when even highly educated people and those at coveted positions in society engage in such senseless things, it saddens me may be. we all engage in meaningless things in our daily lives but to a certain extent. Any way, I think, I can go on this one; I had to edit my blog post a lot!!And I'm glad you found some points interesting :)

  8. Nicely expressed, Sakshi.
    While I agree with your point that all the furore at the parliament is absolutely unnecessary, I'd also like to point out why a lot of people are up in arms.
    Couple of reasons:
    The product. While you pointed out that the product itself is not called a fairness cream, they couldn't possibly call it the vagina whitening cream (ala the 'underarm deos and sprays') can they? However at the same time, their ad does promote whitening.
    The ad begins with the lady serving her guy a cup. Pushing it to him instead of giving it in his hand. This is meant to signify that the lady is somehow aware that her private part is unclean/smelly/dark. I mean c'mon, barring porn stars every woman's and man's private part is dark/smelly/unclean at some part of the day. Are they saying that we are supposed to consciously isolate ourselves?
    Besides, there has been 'intimate washes' available for women in India for a few years now. (They are popular not because the women want to make those regions fair and those products never proclaim to do it either, but because those lotions actually correct any chemical imbalances that happen in a sensitive area like around a woman's vagina.)
    This advt could have targeted just the ph imbalance and not illustrated the whitening effect with a 'transition effect' and everyone would have been okay.
    What has rattled everyone's chains is the company has fed on our insecurity with dark skin to sell a product that is nothing but an 'intimate wash'

    About men wanting to have a product for their penises. Well, seeing how this world is male dominated, that aint going to happen.

    And I completely agree with you on the deo part. Only proves to remind women that they are only sharing this society with the men and not co-owning it. Most male deos are completely absurd and vulgar.

    Again, I didnt mean to bash your post up here, and I really appreciate it that you've expressed it so succinctly. Our parliamentarians probably saw the advt a dozen times, which reminded them of the 'dark patches' of all the women they slept with. I pity them.

  9. I was actually expecting someone to at least try to do the post-bashing-thing..You tried, not deliberately :P
    Any way,when i said that the name has got nothing to do with fairness, what I wanted to point out was that people focus on things that interest them and derive those meanings that they want to understand; at least advertisements make them do that! So basically they didn't focus on cleaning the vagina, but only on lightening the complexion, because that is what interests them, and still they showed such detest towards the product. So , i was not saying that name it as 'fair & lovely vagina', they any way didn't include the term 'vagina' in the product's name..i was not saying what they should name the product, but that inspite of what they named, what it was that people derived..

    The advertisement that you are talking about makes no sense to me and so i chose to ignore such advertisements like others that I mentioned(deos etc) and not create a havoc on streets, parliament and media. I agree with your version of 'what the concerned advertisement should have contained?', but again, I think you didn't get the point i was trying to make, that's why i said, "don't try to get logic out of such things" in the blog post!!

    I said the same thing regarding men's premature insecurity thing based on the forecasting by them about penis whiteners!! And seriously, you think people are concerned with what a company is actually selling under what name!! This is sheer narrow-mindedness. They want to use it, but not talk about it. Such products are already there, but this one was marketed (which didn't go really well, I suppose, publicity?!!)

    If the product for females become a success, I'm sure men will be waiting for their turn (irrespective of the so called male dominated society where male dominance is getting lightened :p day by day)!!

    And yes i appreciate that you expressed well(not so succinctly though)and I think parliamentarians didn't really get any useful out of the advt(they have other resources, 'party videos' may be!!)but the advt must have reminded them of the vagina (i wonder how you might have said 'dark patches', coz i sense condescension)
    And who are you pitying ; they who had to sleep with women with dark patches or women themselves? sorry, I didn't get the meaning and purpose of the last line..

    Thank you for the bashing because I enjoyed giving the reply :P
    Keep reading :)

    1. First, about the last line- I meant the politicians. I pity the politicians who actually make a living by making a mountain out of a molehill.
      And 'dark patches' was a pun, which I figure you didnt get, but that's ok.
      About the rest of the argument, I think we killed the topic already and you aren't getting the point I was trying to make.
      And just for the record, I was actually agreeing with you and you didn't get that either. I'll let that rest too.
      But if you are in the mood to read further, here's a post I wrote much before all the furore:

    2. C'mon, don't murder the topic like that!! You pity the politicians because they have to sleep with women with 'dark patches'(pun! seriously?). And even if you didn't mean that, you should have specified it( but that's my fault I didn't get that!)
      And I know where you were agreeing with me and where not; moreover when you say that you didn't mean to do the bashing, but did, and I clearly got that with all the other puns that I understood, it clearly states that you weren't agreeing with many things. And it was only at those junctures where our views didn't slightly meet, we entered the zone of bashing (sorry for the disturbance, as I didn't let it rest) :P
      Anyhow I want to make you understand that I'm always open to such comments(that's why there is no waiting for approval or so)..
      I'll be reading the post that you have mentioned, perhaps, there you would have stated your thoughts and arguments much more clearly..
      Thank you for sharing your insight here..And I'm looking forward to your comments :):)

    3. Love the spirit!
      Thank you. Truly honored!

  10. I have not seen the commercial (never have time to watch tv unfortunately) nor do I know of the Rajya Sabha furore--so thank you for writing about it, it gives me awareness at the very least.
    Now regarding why RS would be interested in this ad--well, I can speculate--the furore is possibly not so much about fairness as much as it is about stuff for women's private parts. Now, you see that is a male territory which is quite communalized--whether through circumcision or through what cream you can put where. Such ads intrude into the communal domain and empower women to "attract" their men--aren't men supposed to sniff out their mates and take them???
    Finally, why such a fuss on the ad when there are other issues? Well, for other issues you have to do a lot of good research to raise questions and debate. This one you can ride on ideology:):) Thanks for the post, Sakshi!

  11. Yup, you are absolutely right Bhavana, these are exactly the points I focused on in the post!! I too think that the whole issue was highlighted as it had to with the females' private parts. Their are various ways in which this ad could be seen; for you it was women empowerment, for RS and other people, it was supposedly women demeaning!!
    And of course why such a fuss on such relatively unimportant issues. I agree with you that for other 'insipid' 'dull' issues they would have had to do a good amount of research which requires hard work!!
    Thank you Bhavana for sharing your insight over here:):)

  12. I totally agree to what you've said here!
    I think now a days people just need another reason to outrage over :| I haven't seen the ad but heard a lot about it.
    Like you said, there are a million ads that show applying deo/scent would cause all females to go all mate-y on you, which is utter bullshit. Sigh.
    Kudos to this great post! :]

  13. I'm really glad that you liked the post and thank you for stopping by my blog :):)

  14. Thanks for sharing. During one of my visits to Bangkok I had seen such creams but never gave a thought to it. Commercialisation is taking to ridiculous heights.

  15. Btw, I have included your blog on blogroll on my blog. -


  16. Actually I love your thinking.

    1. woah..and I love the fact that this blog has made my thoughts lovable ;)
      I'm glad you liked the post..Thank You:)

  17. According to me, the offensive part of the advertisement is emphasis on fairness which depicts nothing but unnecessary madness for fair skin.. I had read an article in which it was jokingly mentioned that in sometime we'll have matrimonial adds like "Wanted a girl with fair skin and fair private parts".. But as very rightly pointed out by you, there are many such mindless adds and hence there shouldn't be a furore over this one.. Our MPs can spend hours over debating such unnecessary issues when there are bigger issues to be looked into..

    1. Yup..I completely agree with you. Actually, 'the offensive part' that hits us is something which is now ingrained in our fair-skin-obsessive society; and the ad depicted that and is of course helping propagate the 'attitude'. I think that both the society and such advertisements are fueling each other to keep
      'the offensive part' alive!!

  18. About our politicians..most have misplaced priorities.
    About the product....I doubt if anyone in their right senses would use the cream down there.
    It was the story line of the ad which was strange...Yes, we are obsessed with fairness.Now SRK is selling fairness cream for men...so it is not about women alone.

    1. Yup I completely agree with you about politicians and that both men and women are obsessed with fairness..and I don't know why one in his/her right senses can't use the cream down there, it totally depends on an individual..may be that's your point of view..

      and yes Thank You for stopping by :)

  19. The Axe Effect doesn't work - I'm living proof.

    But seriously, I did see this particular ad n was kinda shocked n somehow left me in bad taste then.. I'm actually a sucker fr great ads n methinks that great advertising can sell anything - in hindsight methinks this is just one of those ads tht is way too low on the creative side .. actually, the I'm a big fan of the first Axe ads.. they were very well thought out n witty n had a great story, which worked on the insight of human attraction n if u look at the first ads, they were actually very entertaining.. its only now that almost every deo plays the same premise n compete with each other, only it seems, on the sleaze factor with almost no humor or wit.. n even today, I still think Axe has still gt some level of creative thing (the 'even angels will fall' proposition is something we guys always can relate to).. but again no great creative thinking again.

    In this particular case, me thinks that well, they do hv a product tht they do need to sell it n fr tht, they need promotion - but I think they just used an ad thts way too low on the creative quotient n actually confusing (seriously, fairness cream fr private parts, really???)...

    in me opinion, this is a superbad case of advertising.

    1. It is super bad case of advertising (as people definitely have not got that the cream or whatever is not just for fairness but hygiene too and in India people are attracted towards the fairness quotient whereas hygiene remains a far-fetched thing for most of them..)

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  21. Nonsensical as it might be, the product is free to advertize itself as long as it doesn't perpetuate any harm to the society. The issue was in no way anything worthy of a parliamentary debate. We live in a mad mad country.

    By the by, thanks for your visit on my blog. Yours is pretty good too. :-) Ab se I am following... Cheers!

    1. Hi Abhyudaya, thanks for following the blog..I'm glad you liked it :) CHEERS!!

  22. liked it !
    conceptual post indeed ....the truth is we live in the country where people r more of artificial things than concentrating on their own natural beauty and never emphasize in zooming out the fact that how precious we are naturally ......

    1. Hi Jasmeet, you are absolutely right about 'those people'!! and I'm so glad you liked it:):)

  23. the commercial is the product of a creative mind and he/she sure deserves some respect. think about it, if such a cream was given to me, I have no idea how would I have made an ad for it!! i wonder why this ad had to grab so much of unwanted attention!!

  24. Some imagination which has really run wild in pursuit of fairness:) Decision makers are paranoid on most frivolous things! Nice post, Sakshi!

    1. Hi..Thank you..I'm glad you liked the post:)
      It is both funny and frustrating that decision makers actually spend this much time on the most ridiculous things!!

  25. nice post
    if you didn't like a product or tv show or commercial
    just ignore it
    you can't banned it only because some 500 people in Parliament didn't like them
    we also not like the work they are doing for country so we should banned them

    1. Thank you:) and yes you are absolutely right!

  26. Terrific analysis. Couldn't agree with you more. :)

    1. Hi..I'm glad you liked the analysis :)
      Keep visiting..

  27. Just wanted to know one thing, its about the pic you have used. Sorry, but I could not find any connection with matter you have written and the pic you have used. A nice blog, a worthy read...:)

  28. I had posted one long comment before I posted this comment, "Just wanted to know one thing, its about the pic you have used. Sorry, but I could not find any connection with matter you have written and the pic you have used. A nice blog, a worthy read...:)" but its not visible...I guess I need to post it again...:( Just check your spam if by chance it would have gone there.

    1. I had a hard time looking for a suitable and not-offensive pic and finally I had to zero in on the one I've used..It goes with the title..'White Up White DOWN' where I've used flowers to denote the parts, which people like to have fair complexion..
      But yes I agree with you that the pic could have been better only If I had found one!!

      And I'm glad you liked the post :)..also both your comments are visible!!

    2. Firstly, thanks for voting for my blog, "Facebook - The Real Mark Zuckerberg" appreciate it..:)

      I saw the Ad and I have no problem with the Ad except for one important thing, that is the use of the word fairness. If they had sticked on to the Hygiene thing then it would have been a good Ad along with a good product provided the product served its purpose of helping women to maintain the Hygiene.

      These Ad people use the fairness thing without any purpose and thinking that people especially women would buy a particular product because of the fairness thing. I guess women are smart enough to understand that. I feel there is no connection with the use of the word fairness and the product. A good Ad turned bad just because of one word, fairness.

      You have analyzed well and I completely agree with what you have said. I wonder why you didn't paste the link of the Ad...?? At the end of the day it's just an Ad. Please find below the link where you can find as to why people don't like the Ad....Happy Blogging...:)

    3. thank you Prashanth.. :)
      Will embed the ad in this blog post..your suggestions are always welcome!!

  29. I so copy your views Sakshi. You make so much sense. and I have always totally believed in the same as well. It just feels like we let our logic go elsewhere conveniently or not and suddenly spring back into action in a totally not-worth-all-this moment.
    I have been reading a bit of hooplah and it is refreshing to see someone sharing similar views :)

    1. "It just feels like we let our logic go elsewhere conveniently or not and suddenly spring back into action in a totally not-worth-all-this moment."
      You got this absolutely right..And yes, it feels great when you come across similar views!!
      Thank You so much:)

  30. Very well articulated thought. What debases any particular gender is a very very serious topic. Our politicians , I am not sure, have that kind of acumen. However as far as use of cosmetics goes any body should be free to use whatever she or he wants. Advertising is a must do for any new product. Companies will always advertise about the products that they develop after tons of research.

    It is a pitty that people are offended by such trivial issues.

    However the headline of your blog name brought me to your blog "Alittle of that in those commas,,,, ". Nice

    1. Yup..you got it absolutely right.. it is not just the issue but also the fact that it has become a habit of some to focus on such trivial issues that bothers me!!

      so you liked the blog name..you may read the explanation of the blog name @ http://wwwbloggercom-shiva.blogspot.in/2011/08/beautiful-world-little-of-that-in-those.html
      Thank you for visiting :):)
      keep reading..