Women already have their fair share of insecurities when it comes to body image, but now they can add another one to the list: the colour of the skin around their vagina.
The Indian advert for Clean & Dry Intimate Wash shows a young woman sitting in a beautiful apartment with an attractive husband, yet unable to raise a smile. Only when she hops in the shower do we realise the source of her unhappiness: the skin around her crotch is the wrong colour. An informative animation fills us in on the intimate details of the colouring process.
Next the couple are shown having the time of their lives, while the viewer is left rubbing their eyes in disbelief. If the frankly disturbing 25 second advert isn’t enough to convert us, the blurb promises that “life for a woman will now be fresher, cleaner and more importantly fairer and more intimate.”
Unsurprisingly, the advert has been criticised for conforming to a hierarchy of skin tone associated with India’s social caste system, where fairer skin is often associated with the upper castes. One twitter user described it as "the ultimate insult".
Blogger Rupa Subramanya described herself as "horrified" with the advert, but points out that "the premium on fair skin isn't unique to India and the developing world". Source