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Skin whitening is huge in India with products like Fair and Lovely consistently growing in popularity since the 1970s. Cosmetic giants such as Revlon, L’Oréal and Garnier have also entered the Indian market selling sun protection and skin lightening products. However, Clean and Dry have taken the concept of skin whitening to even more worrying extremes, by creating a vaginal wash that claims to give women fairer looking private parts.
The Clean and Dry TV commercial shows a woman looking unhappy as her husband is seemingly more interested in the newspaper than her. After using the wash, the woman is then seen wearing shorts, embraced by her husband, both smiling. The strap-line reads “Life for women will now be fresher, cleaner and more importantly fairer and more intimate.” Needless to say, that the dangerous messages relayed to women through such a powerful ad campaign are numerous.
The social media sphere lit up with fury over the ad campaign in India. Rupa Subramanya, a popular tweeter, stated that the advert was “the ultimate insult” to Indian women. Critics say that the campaign gives a “distorted” view on beauty being related to skin-tone. However, Female Report! is more concerned that the focus of criticism is placed more on the commercial, than the product itself. Let us instead question the understandings of beauty that play into the hands of companies like “Clean and Dry”.
For the full story: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/07/20127108213972410.html
For the advert: