Outrage Over Clean and Dry Intimate Wash

by Sharell शारेल on April 12, 2012

in Culture Shock in India

Oh my! The above TV commercial is currently showing in India. It promotes an intimate wash for the female private parts (ie. the vagina). Surely, a good thing right? After all, proper hygiene should be maintained down there.

Well, maybe not. The response has been less than positive. Actually, the commercial has prompted widespread outrage (you can read just some of it here, here, and here).

The reason why? It mentions that the intimate wash will bring “freshness and fairness” to the area, and brighten it. Uh oh. That dreaded word. Fairness. It’s common knowledge that India has a fairness obsession, and that manufacturers play on it by promoting fairness creams for the face. However, it seems they’ve gone one step too far this time.

No doubt this latest product will heighten women’s insecurities about their colour.

But what do men think of it? My husband’s response has left me quite baffled. I asked him to take a look at the commercial and share his reaction. “Yeah, I’ve seen that on TV a few times. India is becoming progressive, isn’t it?” he replied nonchalantly.

How many women will actually buy the product, I wonder.

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© Copyright 2012 Sharell शारेल, Diary of a White Indian Housewife 2008-2014. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

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{ 139 comments… read them below or add one }

TS May 1, 2012 at 6:25 am

Those two have been “whitewashed” already.

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chumee May 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Big outrage in my city too (not to mention in national magazines). I found it hilarious! (Little ticked off that they’re promoting the idea that women’s privates should be fair too, apart from everything else!!!) But I guess when you’re watching it on TV with your little ones, in between family programming, and they constantly ask you what it’s about, it’s an ‘outrage’. :D

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Vinny May 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Time to dump your husband….”progressive”? More like low-class, backward-ish… eek!

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Sharell शारेल May 5, 2012 at 7:54 pm

What a retarded thing to say. Grow up.

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Chanakya May 6, 2012 at 1:04 am

I think Vinny was trying to support you. ;)

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Sharell शारेल May 6, 2012 at 1:20 am

Ha! Can you imagine if I did take his advice, it might even be laughable enough to end up in the newspaper like that recent divorcing couple I wrote about. Can you imagine the headline? “Gori dumps Indian husband for saying India has become progressive over intimate wash to make Indian vaginas whiter!!” :-P

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miriny July 23, 2012 at 8:28 am

OMG!!!!!!!my sides are hurting over this…hehaha!

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desiBoy June 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm

It is progressive in the sense that Indians are ready to discuss “female private parts” on national television. I don’t think Indian men will get the issue/insecurity bit till a women or a blog explains it to them and shows them the ad a second time.

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Sharell शारेल June 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I think you could be right about all that!

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Brian June 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Only “fairness” I (and anyone else should) care about is the dictionary term that denotes the honesty and trustworthiness of a person.

I’ll be blunt: I don’t give a flying rodent’s backside about a person’s skin color. What grates my cheese are the media created, peer approved stereotypes that are running around causing division and problems.

I live in the US. A lot of the lower class hispanics and some blacks act like I am going to rape, rob and mutilate them based on my skin color. (no, I’m not kidding). I am perceived as a “white devil”. Not my personality, intelligence, talent- ALL of these things are eclipsed by people’s perception of skin color and genetics.
What does it mean?

I don’t mean to sound like I have a tin foil hat that’s a size too small- but isn’t it odd that the media and corporations are causing division based on race and skin color globally? And a lot of it is targeted at the poor and ‘underclass’ people, who believe it wholesale? I notice the educated and compassionate have no problems about worrying over their skin color and race- until they meet some of these types of people who are brainwashed by this tripe.

I think there’s something going on a lot more sinister than some crappy bleaching paste and the rest of the etc. going on.

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Sharell शारेल June 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm

It sounds a bit like how many Indians are ready to assume I must be racist and have a superiority complex because I’m white. And yes, the media definitely has a role to play in creating that perception.

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priya June 23, 2012 at 2:07 am

I agree that the word “fairness” shouldn’t have been used for a product which is used for keeping female parts clean.But the fact is majority of the Indian women have never used any of these products for our vee-vees but just a normal soap sometimes or only water because of which the skin is bound to be darker then the other parts.
Here the manufacturer is just trying to say that this would help the skin”down there” to come back to its original colour which had darkened because of the negligence all these years..

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Jena July 9, 2012 at 3:19 am

Are you delusional? Who ever heard of anyone’s vagina being dark because of neglect? Do you know how you would smell if you didn’t take care to clean yourself properly, until it caused you to change colors? You are only supposed to use soap, and water down there. Women are naturally different shades in that area. Some light, and some darker. It is not caused by neglect, it is caused by nature, and of course Indian woman have never used this kind of product before because it is just coming on the market. These people are selling a bleaching product to lighten the skin of the vulva. That is not only sick, and twisted, it is unsafe!

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sdc July 9, 2012 at 9:12 am

a ph balanced wash is a must for all women as well as little girls as regular soaps irritate the area and are perfumed which may result in allergic reactions. Fairness or whatever should not have been the concern. I have been using a international brand for the last few years that costs around Rs. 300. this is much cheaper at Rs.100. Would surely like to try it. What priya has said is true this it will surely help the “skin down there” as it is special and it is not to be treated like any other body part. For your face you need a face wash – for your privates you need a hygine wash.

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miriny July 23, 2012 at 8:32 am

skin color is genetic…not due to negligence….certain skin tends to have more pigmentation.. thats just the way it is..I dont understand the obsession with “fair” skin..I think brown skin is beautiful too..a persons heart makes them beautiful not their skin…

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Kirsten July 20, 2012 at 8:55 pm

sdc, you’re so wrong. Plain water, or ordinary soap and water is entirely adequate for most women. There is absolutely no need to spend any money on special washes for the genitals. And there’s definitely no need for a bleaching solution.

PS Some of you need to revise the difference between vagina and vulva.

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TWR Robyn July 22, 2012 at 7:28 am

No need for special genital soap or washes for genitals. Whatever you use for the rest of your body is fine for there too. I use a soap free, fragrance free sorbeline body wash, because I have sensitive skin. It’s not a big name brand either. I use it for ALL parts of my body. I hope not too many women will be convinced by the false belief they need to spend their hard earned cash on these unnecessary products.

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Brittany July 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Though this advertisement doesn’t necessarily represent the wash in the correct manner, the trend of skin lightening in the intimate areas (including the vagina, anus and even scrotum for men) has become extremely popular over the decade or so. There also are treatments and solutions to skin lightening available that do NOT contain harmful cancer causing ingredients like Hydroquinone. These products not only advertise the lightening of intimate areas but also other areas of the skin like underarms, elbows and knees which as you age can darken due to excessive shaving and waxing. These products (such as Intilight and Brighten) can also be used (safely and effectively) on age spots on the face to help reduce the signs of aging! These such products are completely safe to use, containing all-natural ingredients and provide effective results without putting your own health at risk.

The advertisement for Clean and Dry Intimate wash does not depict all the uses for these sorts of products appropriately, making it seem as though this trend has come about only in a sexist manner. The trend should not be so dismissed, as many people pride themselves in attaining a lighter and brighter complexion all over their body, while using safe and effective products.

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I don't mind May 25, 2014 at 9:13 pm

I agree. Shaving is also seems to be a source of skin discoloration.

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mikcey September 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm

when we can all see a porn star sunny leone on big boss with all family members we should defintely sonider ourselves fairly modern so why this hue and cry about intmate wash .sounds hypocritical isn’t it.

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Me September 22, 2012 at 8:03 am

You need to check this out, Indians want white, tight, vagina :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFoSvw0mqxw&feature=youtu.be and this ad

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFX3n-B6G-E

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Sharell शारेल September 22, 2012 at 10:20 am

Crazy stuff!

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Clean private parts October 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Lots of TV commercials add shows of Face fairness and beauty care but now this time we see TV commercial add for Intimate wash for the female private parts. It’s really good step taken by some companies, because as we know skin need proper care and cleanness as well as private parts of women also.I think Vwash is best options for clean private parts.

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I don't mind May 25, 2014 at 9:06 pm

I love to look hot. My husband is faithful so I want to reward him. I think discoloration is due to sex (if your partner is darker) and chafing while wearing clothing every day. I remember being much lighter and he doesn’t know the cause and thinks I have stopped washing myself! :O Many people might think this sounds artificial but we both want to stay healthy for each other. :) Just try your best to be your prettiest for your man. Isn’t that what you were doing before you ‘caught’ him?? I don’t want to loose our romance. I don’t want our relationship to ‘change after we got married’. We have enough money to keep ourselves up even if we need cosmetic surgery (but we will try to prevent it with exercise!) If money is hard, you should still think about your body as an investment to each other. What is the point of struggling in life together if you end up divorcing at the end?

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