17 Apr 2012

A Vagina Darkly


For a few weeks now, the media has been in a tizzy over a product launched by an Indian company - the Clean and Dry Intimate Wash for women that promises to not only disinfect, but also 'brighten' one's vagina. The feminists and the nationalists and the easily-offended are all up in arms against the willful colonization of the dark-skinned vagina. Why, they ask, would Indians brighten their vagina(e)? What, they want to know, is wrong with brown, black or wheatish vaginae, completely ignoring the forces of demand and supply that likely dictated the company's market research. I'm undecided on the moral repercussions of the free market, but this piece is dedicated to the average Indian male who is now faced with the quandary of how to approach his woman with this wonder-drug without getting his head chewed off. Chances are, they're not all as receptive to  preferences as the lovely lady in the ad, below.  



Long before my first kiss, or my first girlfriend, I had learnt all there was to learn about women from my family. When your father is away for work during most of your boyhood, and you spend all of your time holed up at home with one angry mother, two scheming sisters, and a bevy of supporting roles played by women in various stages of life, ranging from Nubile Maid to Spinster Aunt, you tend to make observations and draw conclusions that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

I was surrounded by just about every female trope ever conceived in cinema (admittedly by male scriptwriters who haven't had a date in years): from manic pixie dream girl (Sis Junior who would only wear, eat from and sleep on polka-dotted material, and preferred roller skates to using her feet) to prom queen (I'll never forget the sight of the school football captain asleep in our guava tree, holding a poster he had made to express his love for Sis Senior) to Jane Austen heroine (sensible, well-read Sheila, loyal friend to Sis Senior and always the second-most beautiful girl in the room, who finally married an actual Prince- albeit of some unheard of tribe in the North East- whom she met in dental school in Shillong) to ball-busting career woman (I'm sorry, Mom.)  

As unique and different as we all like to think we are, the truth is women really are all the same. As are men. No woman recollects how scary and unreasonable she is during her monthly downtime. All men forget drunken episodes of public urination and shameless chasing of tail the next morning (if it even happened, pfft!) Women think mealtime should always be followed by cleaning-of-dishes. Men don't. Only men understand why watching-sport-on-TV is never complete without the commentary on full blast. Women think it's reasonable to hit mute, and natter on about babies, or Twilight. During a quarter-final!

Let's face it, the male-female twain shall never meet. The trick -as I learned early on- is simply to approach the fairer  other sex carefully, and with lowered expectations, from the very beginning, and to treat all women with the utmost respect at all times, like you would a vicious Doberman. I also find it useful to remember two oft-heard sentiments from my childhood. "Do unto others as you wish to be done unto you," said Spinster Aunt every time I requested she change the channel to a program not about God. Or as my mother always said: "come back when you've pushed three bawling brats out your end."

I naturally combined the spirit of their words into a sort of mantra on how to handle women. When you've been seeing each other a while for instance, and your girlfriend starts slacking off in the sexy underwear department (the elastic starts to sag, too many granny-pants days in a week, that furry, electrostatic collection of lint at the crotch), I make a trip to the nearest Agent Provocateur, pick up some edible thongs and a peek-a-boo bra, and simply slap them on yours truly, dim the lights and wait. (This is almost certainly more effective if your girlfriend walks in without her mother in tow.)

Sometimes, when dinner's not been fantastic a couple of nights in a row, I gallantly pick up my favorite sea food pizza on the way back from the pub. She may be allergic to shrimp, but at least now she knows her cooking's not been hitting the spot lately. We've just communicated. It's also good to use your imagination in these situations. Once when the ex was dragging her foot a little on the old body hair upkeep, not only did I do a little manscaping of my own but I also gave Pommy a buzzcut. Nothing says "wax that thing" like a bald Pomeranian.

Coming back to the issue at hand- vagina brightening- I can tell you that I have selflessly applied the above mantra to it with spectacular results. First of all, no woman should be told just what complexion her vagina should be. In fact, women should not be told how anything should be, period. They like to make their own (and your) decisions. However, if you happen to be in the kind of healthy, non-abusive relationship one hears about in love songs and Hallmark cards and stuff, your girlfriend may just be amenable to a little suggestion from you every now and again.

Still, you cannot just bring it up in conversation like you would with menreasonable adults. No, you've got to play the "as you wish to be done unto you" card: buy yourself a tube of Clean and Dry Intimate Wash, wet and towel-dry your face, and apply product carefully on your lips using your index finger. Proceed to regale your woman with that rarest of rituals in the Indian bedroom: cunnilingus. Not only does this increase levels of satisfaction all round, but it also keeps your lips from chaffing, and considerably lightens nicotine stains if you're a smoker. I hope this helps.

Last word: I strongly recommend that you consult with the lady in question before you fire up a cigarette while you're at her service.                   

  


35 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

"Bald Pomeraian", made me laugh, good guide and knowledge sir!

Bart said...

oh those muslims, always coming out with provocative shit. :D

meandmythinkingcap said...

I see posts about this ad everywhere. I am confused about this. I know this product existed in middle-east where people arent brown actually. Yet, the Sheikhs want bride as white as caucasian brides but in morality as pure white as milk ir hooris- virgins.

So, ladies who have to wear burqua have to make themselves look fair even down there to make them presentable for "one of their" 4 or 5 wives job.

And Mindy Kaling's article spot on. I loved that, bookmarking it. From my personal experience, I had trouble working with Indians, but with Americans I didnt have any.
I had attended and conducted meetings as the only brown, only woman and only Indian in a room full of white guys yet no uncomfortableness at all. I dont know what used to run inside their mind, but they behave professionally and they didnt let anything bother me at all.
I welcome that over nasty chuckles and eye rolls and dirty stares which may make you react to constant beep alarm of self-consciousness.
About this product, if it is all for hygiene I welcome that, as long as it doesn't talk about fairness down there, yet again looking at obsession for tanned skin,things to heighten woman's insecurity with their looks and skin color, it is everywhere.

Lori said...

I agree with you. Let a woman deal with her own vagina and all will be right with the world. Peace!

Revacious said...

Lol, that video is quite amusing. And a few comments too: "Most men would just be happy to see a vagina."
As for the feminism of it and all, I don't know. I've been desensitized to such things through years of exposure to fairness cream ads (ab mardon ke liye bhi!)
Btw, have you ever lived in a blacks-majority nation? I've always wanted to know if they have a whiteness-fixation there too..

icyHighs said...

Lurker - cheers buddy. (Not that I'm the expert!)

Bart- good one!

Lori - Amen.

Ygraine said...

Have to agree with Lori...best to leave it to the woman. We can be extremely sensitive about perceived criticism of our intimate regions.
I'm sure you want to avoid WW3!
Haha :D

icyHighs said...

MaMTC - Did you mean you had trouble working with Indian men or Indians generally?

I've only worked outside India, and never with Indians,so I can't really comment (except part-time in uni). I will say this though - Brits are oddly restrained ppl culturally; you never know what they're really like till you down a few pints together (not that they're nasty, just that they're not as transparent as some other cultures).

As for fairness cream, I can't decide. On the 1 hand, why can't ppl buy it if that's what they want? On the other, the whole world seems to be congregating towards one shape/size anyway, with cosmetic surgery and what not. Are we also going to all be the same colour? Bah, choice is probably overrated anyway.

icyHighs said...

Revacious - I think we're on the same page on the issue, more or less.

Interesting qstn - I haven't lived in a Blacks-majority country, but I do have a few Black friends from Africa and the USA who tell me it's common in most ethnic cultures to consider fairer skin as superior in all aspects.

There have also been studies in the USA that show fairer skin (in ppl of non-white race) increases their chances of economic prosperity - getting a job, interview etc- due to racist factors, which incidentally leads to a greater premium placed among Black ppl on lighter skin.

(I'm hardly surprised - same applies to India.)

icyHighs said...

Ygraine - seconded! I'm popping round in a bit to see if you've posted another of your poems.

The Beans said...

That poor, poor Pomeranian...

You couldn't even make it look like a Poodle? After all, trimming your dog's fur to fit a style its not is the doggy version of Clean and Dry. ;)

-Barb the French Bean

sm said...

is a product if want to use or use it or if dont like dont watch ad , dont by product its simple

A Beer for the Shower said...

This is the cleverest and funniest thing I've read all week in the blogosphere. And a shaved Pomeranian? Bravo sir.

icyHighs said...

Barb: *Snigger* you said "doggy"!

SM - Haha well thanks for putting things in perspective.

ABFTS - Appreciated, thanks for reading!

red dirt girl said...

Up to your old tricks again, I see. Like all, love love the bald Pommeranian ..... I'll stay 'mum' this time on the sexual politics. Why not celebrate vagina(e) diversity, I ask ?

xxx

icyHighs said...

Red! 'Tis the oldest trick in the book eh, the discourse about nether-nether-land?
I've missed your posts, get cracking on them poems of yours.

Workingdan said...

Oh lord! What will they come up with next?

I never knew giving a dog a buzzcut could send such a message!

Fine piece of writing, as always! Bravo!

icyHighs said...

Cheers buddy. Dogs are the new calling cards. There's a reason why Paris Hilton always has a chihuahua under her arm!

Sarge said...

Me thinks that you nasty boy and need to go back to Singapore for a dose of the rotan. Now, as to the female genitalia - It comes in all
colors and is the most expensive meat on the market - All center cut. Smells like stale cod too...
Pussy will make a man stupid. I know, been there, done that, many, many, times.
Over here there seems to be a thing with peircing. I am sorry, ain't nobody coming near my stuff with a needle. Now, I have seen some neat thing on the females-
a intersecting ring through the hood so she can be taken on a leash while naked. Shold have married that one....


Bests,


Sarge
Indianpolis, In

icyHighs said...

Haha Sarge I love how your comments keep spiraling into explicit drunken male banter territory.

What can I say, if she was up for the ol' slap and tickle, sounds like she could'vé been the one!

D.Nambiar said...

Gosh! products like this only set higher expectations, as if life isn't difficult already. :)

meandmythinkingcap said...

@icyhighs-
I expressed my experience with Indians, both Indian men and women. I dont work with Brits, my collegueas are Americans and Russians for the most part and some from other ethnic groups. Scots and Brits, only during important meetings and stuff.

About their private life,who cares? I am not interested in exploring that and I dont want them to care about mine either. As long as they behave professionally in workplace, that's all matters.
I have friends for that.

Shazaf said...

not being a tease. but managing to write a lot more! stay tuned!

icyHighs said...

Nambiar: Yup, especially with high profile advertising. Do you realize every adult male you've seen on TV in the last five years has a six pack? Talk about high expectations!

MaMTC - Heh you always go off on a tangent don't ya? I wonder what a real conversation with you might be like!
:)

Shazaf - I stand tuned, Madame.

meandmythinkingcap said...

@icyhighs
I dunno, maybe Mindy Kaling article you linked is the reason for my off tangent remark :)

Real conversion with me? I dont know, it depends on who you are meaning what you are to me, if you are my colleague maybe a smart woman, as a friend/neighbor as a simple suburban mommy (I sometimes need to play plain just to fit in [roll eyes here]), as a close friend maybe an angry woman with lot of opinions and out of the world logic and lot of energy. :)

goatman said...

A bright vagina is truly the objective. But I think the word is used in terms of clean and scenty rather than a color implication.
Who knows about advertising anyway?
Those people live in a different world chock full of wantings, needings and convincing.

goatman said...

Like a flower . . .

Saru Singhal said...

Indians have a problem with almost everything. You don't like it, it's fine but why make such a hue and cry. About the rest of the article, all I can say is it was a good read:)

icyHighs said...

MaMTC : We all play-act in some capacity. :)

Goatman: Yeah, the thing is India sells a massive amount of "fairness products" - its a big market, giving your skin a lighter complexion.

So "brightness" is just a euphemism for "fair skin" in this context - and the only reason they don't come out and say it is coz this is the first time they've come out with so much advertising for a product for the nether regions.

Having said that, don't really see what the fuss is about - where there's personal choice. Trouble is some dudes think they get to decide these things for their women. Icky, very icky territory.

Saru Singhal - Cheers. People will fuss about stuff that has a price on it; it's good there's some dialogue I think.

deeps said...

freedom of expression... thats what we have in India...
but every time one expresses it people are up in arms against their 'bruised' beliefs and public sentiments ...
and when it such 'private' talks, most feel it s inappropriate, but behind the curtain everyone wants to know everything...
pity

Animesh said...

Just give us the original my friend.I am very much interested about your blog.

icyHighs said...

Deeps - I'm all for freedom of expression, but its a 2 way street.

Cheers Animesh, good seeing you here.

Rose said...

*chuckles* Brilliant post - What would you call the same product for men I wonder? Oh, sorry, men are perfect and all the pressure is on the ladies for pink smoothies while men walk around with hairy backs and sacks and bo:D Can't help it - its built in! Love your writing!

icyHighs said...

You know they say Rose; if it ain't broke, don't fix it, haha!

SD said...

Interesting. Although that para about you *reminding* your exes makes me cringe.