I saw this eyebrow raising advertisement today trying to sell fairness cream for vaginas or, so corrects my spellchecker, vaginae. What will these ingenious Indians think of next? Was going to blog about it but seems Indi has beat me to it. Also, the topic has caused some debate among the more figuratively enlightened as well, refer this hilarious post by Jezebel*.
Anyway, this led me down a train of thought that I’ve often climbed on before, but rarely sat inside until the last stop. Which was ‘Makeup and Fashion’. I heard somewhere that lipstick is mostly red because it mimics the color of a woman’s lips when she is feeling amorous. The same with mascara. And let’s not get started on that dusky affect your eye-shadow is supposed to produce. A lot of the fashion industry is aimed at beautifying a woman’s body, making it more appealing and sexually attractive to men/other women.
Seems to me that these things have accelerated the objectification of women, sexually or otherwise. If so, many women who champion freedom from objectification have failed to recognize their attachment to the very things that chain them. Is it plausible to expect general society to respect you for your intellect and personality when the first thing thrust at them are your aesthetic credentials? The mechanism should belie logic.
If you’re a militant feminist that walks around with no shirt and copious amounts of chest hair, you’re still not proving anything. Surely, a woman can preserve her dignity and grace while still refusing to be judged predominantly by her looks alone, and still progress independently in the world?
Because otherwise, we must all only be sexually charged animals. And fairness cream for ‘vaginae’ the next item in a long line of products (presumably originating in the sex industry) that seek to transform women into socially acceptable porn stars.
*if the link doesn’t work, you can access the cached page here