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Vaginas & Skin Whiteners: The Feminine Whitewash

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: Vaginas & Skin Whiteners: The Feminine Whitewash Reply with quote


Thailand's skin-whitening craze reaches woman's intimate areas

Critics say vaginal whitening wash is extreme example of how cosmetic industry has changed Thai definition of beauty

Kate Hodal in Bangkok
The Guardian, Sunday 23 September 2012 15.06 BST

One of the many legal skin lightening products on the market. Photograph: Kees Metselaar/Alamy

A new product said to make women's intimate areas "fairer within four weeks" has revived the beauty debate in colour-conscious Thailand, where fair skin is associated with opportunity, success and status, and caused critics to question when, if ever, the skin-whitening craze will end.

Products promising to lighten the face, body and armpits are already available across the country, with skin-whitening pills and diet supplements claiming to pick up where the cosmetics leave off. But this is the first time that a vaginal whitening wash has hit the Thai market.

In the adverts, which are available online, on TV and on radio, a fair-skinned woman in skinny jeans wanders into her closet to change clothes, describing how "everyone wants to look good but tight shorts can leave your skin darker". The camera then zooms in on her new outfit, which includes a pair of white shorts, to a voiceover claiming that Lactacyd White Intimate can make skin in that area become "bright and translucent".

The launch of a similar product in India this year was met with international disdain after a TV advert insinuated that having a fairer vagina would make women more attractive to men. In Thailand, however, the companies responsible say they have been successful. "Products [have] evolved from face-whitening to body and deodorant solutions to even out dark areas in the armpits," said Louis-Sebastien Ohl of Publicis Thailand, which created the adverts. "Now an intimate toiletry also offers a whitening benefit, because research evidenced that women [are] keen to have such a product."

In many countries across south-east Asia, fairer skin is equated with higher class as it suggests a life not spent toiling in rice paddies under the sun. The Thai language is peppered with expressions that denigrate dark skin, such as the insult dam mhuen e-ga "black like a crow". These days, rice farmers wear long sleeves, trousers, wide-brimmed hats and gloves. According to DRAFTFCB, the agency behind many of Nivea's skin-lightening ads in Thailand, such labourers make up much of of the Thai market for Nivea's face- and body-lightening products.

Using pale Korean and Japanese pop stars as illustrations, Thai women's magazines are full of fair-skinned Asians promoting products that promise to whiten, lighten and "boost" the complexion, with slogans such as "Show off your aura" and "Get to know the miracle of white skin". Fair-skinned actors and singers dominate the media nearly all over the Asia-Pacific region, where the skin-lightening industry is expected to reach $2bn this year , with the fastest growing markets in China and India.

But the trend has been associated with health risks as many products contain ingredients such as hydroquinone and mercury, which can lead to permanent skin discolouration or kidney damage. Some products are illegal. There is no suggestion that Lactacyd White Intimate or Nivea products are illegal or contain hydroquinone or mercury.

Critics of the whitening trend, such as Kultida Samabuddhi of the Bangkok Post, who wrote an opinion piece on the whitening feminine wash, say such products have changed the country's value system.

"As the definition of beauty has been changed by cosmetic industry, Thai women who fail to meet the beauty standards set by cosmetic producers and ad agencies have to struggle very hard to maintain their self-esteem," she told the Guardian.

But the skin-whitening craze looks set to continue. The male market is yet to be fully tapped, said Ohl, who added that future variants of Lactacyd White Intimate would be formulated to include anti-ageing properties, "so you can keep intimate parts fresh and young" as well.




Feminine 'white' wash goes too far

Published: 14/09/2012 at 02:13 AM

Newspaper section: News

'Every woman is concerned!" is the message on the website of a feminine wash product of pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Aventis.

"Whether or not you have problems _ irritation, itchiness, burning sensations, dryness or unpleasant odours _ and whatever your age, you need to use [the product]," says the manufacturer, which recently launched a product for Thai women: vagina-whitening wash.

I'm a woman, but I wasn't concerned about the product until I was bombarded with advertisements and marketing campaigns about the newly launched intimate cleansing liquid which is claimed to be able to whiten the user's vagina and areas between the thighs within four weeks.

When a feminine cleansing product was first introduced in Thailand several years ago, a debate took place on whether such a product was necessary.

Doctors concluded that it was not necessary and that mild soap, or even pure water, is enough to clean a woman's intimate parts.

However, manufacturers and advertising agencies have worked tirelessly to convince consumers that the intimate wash product is a must-have.

Sanofi Aventis (Thailand) recently revealed that the value of the feminine wash product market in Thailand is growing by around 10-15% a year, and will reach 500 million baht this year.

The France-based manufacturer now has taken a step further by introducing the cleansing liquid with the slogan "fairer within four weeks".

The firm has invested 80 million baht on TV and radio commercials and marketing campaigns to convince Thai women that their intimate areas should be glowing white and they can achieve that by using this magic product.

There are two points I'd like to make about this vaginal whitening trend. First is about the white-skin frenzy among Thai women (and men), and second is about the issue of consumer protection.

The skin whitening fad is not a new issue here.

Doctors and social critics have raised concerns about it for years.

From whitening lotions to chemical skin peelers; from whitening drinks to glutathione injections, Thai girls have tried them all and oftentimes paid good money for these products.

The white-skin obsession among Thai consumers is a healthy source of income not only for skin product manufacturers, but also for advertising agencies, which seem to come up with endless ideas to lure consumers into buying the products.

One of the most controversial ads was the "Reserved for white-skinned people only" stickers which were posted on BTS Skytrain seats last year.

Considering the large number of products, both legal and illegal, selling in the market, one might have thought that the whitening product industry has reached its peak, but it has not.

After achieving a white face, white body, extra-white teeth, and white armpits, Thai woman's new mission is to have white private parts. (Who cares about white lies?)

I would like this white skin obsession to come to an end so Thai women can spend their money on something that is more useful.

We can live a happy life without having to care so much about looks and complexion.

But how can we bring this white skin craze to an end? This question brings us to my second point.

Something must be done to protect consumers from these products and advertisements.

The Food and Drug Administration's duty should not be limited only to testing products to see if they contain hazardous substances, but also to educate the public about the wise use of cosmetic products.

While the FDA cannot ban the sale of any products if their manufacturers follow legal requirements, the agency should counter pharmaceutical firms' aggressive marketing strategies by educating consumers about the right way to take care of their bodies without having to pay dearly for cosmetic products.

The FDA should also strictly enforce the Drug Act, which prohibits exaggerated claims about a drug's quality.

For this vaginal whitening product, a basic question which the FDA should ask is: Is it true that the feminine wash can make a woman's private parts fairer within four weeks?

But in the end, consumers need strong media literacy so we are not easily lured by exaggerated advertising claims and we can make sensible decisions for ourselves.

We should not let cosmetics firms define for us what is "beautiful".

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Joined: 16 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:10 am    Post subject: skin whitening Reply with quote

Cosmetic industry invents a lots of products. Many types of skin whitening products are available in market. But only few products result good. It all depends upon the skin. I consult with Dr herschthal. He is best in skin treatments. All types of skin problems like skin allergies, dark spots, burn out skin etc. T know more information you can check this link:
Boca Raton Dermatologist
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