Vaseline launches skin-whitening Facebook app for India

whitey I really couldn’t top that headline. I’m not sure what’s more appalling the fact that Vaseline is doing this or the fact that they’re responding to an actual demand in the market place.

Skincare group Vaseline has introduced a skin-lightening application for Facebook in India, enabling users to make their faces whiter in their profile pictures. The download is designed to promote Vaseline’s range of skin-lightening creams for men, a huge and fast-growing market driven by fashion and a cultural preference for fairer skin.

So let me see if I got this right: Indian men want to look like Michael Jackson? Creeeeeepy.

Do they sell Barbie in India? They must. I wonder which skin color of Barbie sells more? Like I have to ask.

4 thoughts on “Vaseline launches skin-whitening Facebook app for India

  1. Unfortunately, having light skin is a huge deal in India, especially for women (although, as mentioned in the Vaseline description, the male market is growing really fast too).

    In marriages, a bride with whiter skin is preferred over dark skin, even if the woman with dark skin has better features or whatever (if we are only taking physical attributes into consideration, even though that is incredibly unfair as well).

    All over Indian television more than half of the ads are about skin whitening lotions and creams. All these ads revolve around how the person is not getting ahead in their career or not attractive to anyone because of their dark skin. And then they use the skin whitening lotion and BAM! They are successful, the opposite sex is swarming around them…bla bla bla.

    Vaseline even released a full body skin whitening lotion, because your face should not be whiter than the rest of your dark body (seriously, they heavily implied this in the ad, in the form of a depressed tennis player, because her body looking dark in the mini tennis outfit was destroying her career).

    I am not sure if this is racism or not though. Some people ague that because of the British rule over India and their racist ideals (we have the right to rule over you, because of our skin), this idea of fair skin being better was stamped into the Indian culture. Others say that Northern Indians, who are more mixed with other groups of people who invaded India from the North (and have fairer skin) are seen as more desirable.

    Personally, I think it goes back to the thing about the gap between the rich and the poor. Fair skin is still associated with being richer and being able to take care of yourself. Whereas dark skin is thought to be for the poor people, who have to work hard all day. It was not that long ago when this mentality existed in the West too. I think it is this mentality which still prevails in India.

    That and the fact the the media is completely bombarded with American television shows and ads featuring a Western ideal of beauty. So this builds up an even bigger desire to look Western and fair skinned. It also doesn’t help that almost all Indian actresses bleach their skin to look whiter. Take Aishwarya Rai for example – in her L’Oreal ads her skin looks like it is almost made from florescent light bulbs.

    So I do not think that it is a racist thing, because it is the idea of wanting to achieve a certain look which will make people believe that they belong to another, more glamorous world. It is not very different to many youths in the West preferring to tan their skin. Would we say that they want tanned skin because they are racist against themselves? Or that companies which provide tanning products are promoting racism against oneself?

    The companies are just trying to fill up the market, and the people are aiming for a certain look which they think will make them look better or take them to a glamorous world (but that is pretty much only a state of mind. As getting a tan or getting whiter skin will not suddenly make you famous or lift your career).

    Oh, by the way, I just came across your website, and I’m really enjoying reading it. I stumbled on it when I was looking for photos of ‘credit crunch candy’. Yeh, I forgot WHY I was looking for that…

    Sorry for the extremely long essay, when I get into full commenting mood, I go all the way.

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