DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Vagina Whitening (That’s Right, You Heard Me)

April 13th, 2012 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

One year I vacationed in Mexico and spent the entire time in the water, body surfing and boogie boarding. My skin got really dark, which I don’t care about one way or another, though I am afraid of sun damage and skin cancer, in that order. I made one mistake that trip though, and it wasn’t forgetting sunscreen (always, always remember sunscreen). My mistake was going to see my grandmother right after. The first thing she said, once she got over the shock, was “How did you get so dark?!” For the rest of the visit, she introduced me to her friends as “My Granddaughter-Who’s-Normally-Not-This-Dark.”

Light skin is still prized in Asia for a number of reasons that have to do with longstanding notions of race, class, and gender. Good thing then, that there’s a booming market for skin whitening creams, many of them manufactured by Western companies! And good thing the companies who make these creams also make commercials, because quite a few of them–beyond their creepy, disturbing premise–are kinda hilarious.

1. Skin Whitening For Young Girls

There’s this commercial for SkinWhite Teens, produced by Filipino company Splash Corporation, a skin whitening product designed specifically for young girls:

Even creepier was the viral video contest SkinWhite introduced as part of its ad campaign, which asked girls to hold a bottle of SkinWhite Teens like a mic while singing “Brand New Me.” The winner was promised a spot on a TV show. Here’s a sample audition video:

MESSAGE: The song states it all too clearly–white is “right.”

2. Skin Whitening For (Almost) Curing Gayness

This commercial was also targeted to the Philippines, but the product’s made by Pond’s.

MESSAGE: White skin is so powerful it can even make The Gay straight.

3. Skin Whitening For All The Single Ladies

The next commercial is also from Pond’s and part of an ad campaign that sells skin whitening through a soap opera-like series of spots where Girl-Gets-Boy only after she “lightens up”:

MESSAGE: The only way to be loved is to have white skin.

4. Skin Whitening For Men

Men, as it turns out, are not exempt from the pressure of skin whitening. The Indian-owned Emami Group, which makes a product called “Fair and Handsome,” claims it’s manufacturing the only skin whitening cream for men:

“A fair complexion has always been associated with success and popularity. Men and women alike desire fairness, it is believed to be the key to a successful life. Well for women the market is loaded with fairness cream but for men there has not been a single fairness creams [sic].”

Fair and Handsome’s commercial below features Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan. Who knew you could light a match off of dark skin? Seems kinda handy, if you ask me:

MESSAGE: How can we get men to develop the same skin whitening-neuroses as women? We have products to sell.

5. Skin Whitening For Your Vagina

And last, but not least, there’s skin whitening for your lady bits!

MESSAGE: A dark-skinned vagina leads to a joyless, sexless existence.

Stay tuned for a dick whitening cream! I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

[HuffPo: How White My Valley: India's Skin-Whitening Obsession Reaches the Final Frontier]

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5 Responses to “DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Vagina Whitening (That’s Right, You Heard Me)”

  1. swifty says:

    yikes. i remember the last time i was in the philippines (6ish years ago).. everywhere i went, family friends and strangers would remark ‘wow you’re so white/pale’ and proceed to gush to my mom about how ‘beautiful’ i was, while i stood there awkwardly.

    back then i didn’t know about this issue.. i just thought everyone was weird or i was mistranslating. now i just get the willies whenever i think about it. ugh

  2. PBGirl says:

    Colorism is a bish.

  3. Nikkiloop says:

    My mouth is literally hanging open! I cannot believe there is a cream to lighten your vaginal area. Any OBGYN would tell you that the vaginal area is extremely sensitive. This obsession with whiteness is like a sickness to me. It really is. I’m trying to wrap my mind around all of this, and I just can’t… To see little girls auditioning for this is really heartbreaking. :-(

  4. Jessie says:

    Oh my! I remember when my mother in law first got satellite TV so she could watch Filipino programs. There was a lady host on a particular show who over a 4 month time span went from tan to almost as white as Nicole Kidman. It was strange to me and I kept on thinking if it was a different person or something. I kept asking if the show got a new host and she told me no each time. I then mentioned that the lady four months ago was not that pale and it just didn’t add up. Then my mother-in-law explained to me about the whitening creams in the Philippines. I did not think that a there was a creme to whiten privates. Wow. I don’t see the big deal in being pale white. In Brazil it’s the opposite they will make jokes about you being too white like your white skin will hurt their eyes or something. I heard this all my life from my family just because I was born with the recessive genes (green eyes, blondish hair, and a fair complexion. Ouch. Those whitening creams are probably pretty abrasive on sensitive skin could imagine putting something like that on the area down there. O_0

  5. Leonicka.com says:

    [...] this video from reading Jen Wang’s article on Disgrasian:  DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Vagina Whitening (That’s Right, You Heard Me)  (You might remember Jen  from Racebending’s WonderCon panel last [...]

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