An Indian feminine hygiene product is promising to "brighten" the skin around the vagina.

A 25-second TV advert for Clean & Dry Intimate Wash features an attractive trouser-clad Indian woman looking wistful as she sits down for a coffee with her partner, presumably fretting her parts are the wrong colour.

Cut to the shower where (mercifully) an animation sees the unsightly brown hue surrounding her crotch eradicated to a lighter flesh colour.

In the next scene the woman, now wearing shorts and a come-hither smile, is seen coquettishly snatching her lover’s car keys, cramming them into her pocket and inviting him to give chase.

He responds by lifting her into his arms and all is well with the world again. 

The product is on sale for Rs 90 (about £1) and can be bought online, where a blurb reads: “Life for women will now be fresher, cleaner and more importantly fairer and more intimate. 

"Women can use this unique wash during their bath to cleanse their parts. The special PH balance formula maintains the skin’s sensitive PH balance keeping it fresh and protected from infection all day. For the first time women can now also brighten the darkened skin in thar [sic] area making it many shades fairer.” 

The advert has been received as an uncomfortable nod to the hierarchy of skin tone in India’s social caste system. 

Dalits, formerly known as the Untouchables, are said to be the bottom of the social hierarchy and are often ostracised and forced into menial jobs. 

Brahmins are generally considered to be the highest caste group, although laws banning discrimination on these terms have failed to make much difference. 

The advert quickly became a hot topic on Twitter, with one user branding it: "the ultimate insult"

rupa subramanya
ok this is the ultimate insult. Skin whitening for your vagina. (H/T )

Dreamer Not Realist
Epic! RT@BhopalHouse Oh to be in the marketing meeting that ended with people deciding theres an Indian market for vagina-whitening cream
Blogger Rupa Subramanya described herself as "horrified", but points out "the premium on fair skin isn't unique to India and the developing world." 

Sarcastically hailing the advent of a product for “colour challenged vaginas everywhere”, columnist Laskhmi Chaudry wrote: “The fairer sex is now required to be literally so: fairer all over, all the time.” 

Jezebel dug out the thoughts of Alyque Padamsee, an Indian theatre personality and advert director. 

He writes in Open The Magazine: "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!

Genital fairness cream: "this is the ultimate insult. Skin whitening for your vagina"
"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.

"When you have experience like I have—about 50 years in advertising and more in theatre—then you realise that a lot of people don’t talk out of experience, they talk out of book knowledge. They say, 'Oh my God, fairness creams… are they saying that Indians are not as good as Europeans?' It’s nothing to do with that."

There is already a host of skin-lightening products on the market, and business is big in India, thanks to endorsements from Bollywood stars such as Shah Rukh Khan

What do you think?

Now i know that men are not only grossed out by our dark skinned face, but also our brown vagina. Thank God for whitening products!