Growing up as someone with a dusky complexion in a brown household can be a bit tough sometimes. From all the nagging that aunties do at gatherings, to your mother mixing weird things from the kitchen and applying them on your face, this is what your life somewhat gets reduced to. Not to forget the lovely shade cards fairness creams come with to compare my face as if I am a wall or something.
It took me years to unlearn and get over my body image issues realising how these fairness creams take advantage of the colorist society we live in. These not only promote unrealistic beauty standards but are also selling mothers the dream of making their daughters fair in 07 days. (rolls eyes)
Sorry to disappoint but your ‘gora chitta mukhda’ and your ‘chittiyan kalaiyan’ are not enough to meet society's expectations. Apparently, we need to have perfect vaginas as well.
Recently I came across companies that are selling creams to change the color of our vaginas from a gulab jamun to a rasgulla in a matter of days. Not just that, these creams claim to whiten any dark area of the body- from knees, elbows to underarms and ‘Nipples’. Reading about those creams on the internet made me nauseous.
All I could think was about the countless people buying these products. They don't realize what they are actually selling is the idea that their bodies are 'imperfect'.
And wait, it gets better. There are vaginal tightening products such as creams and oral pills that have well established shelves in the market as well. But why do these vaginal tightening and whitening products exist in the first place? The answer is pretty simple- “To fit in the unrealistic beauty standards and to produce the Indian Virgin Barbie at every nook and corner they can find”. SMH.
Even pornography has a significant role behind this mindset, setting unrealistic standards for everyone. Well News Flash folks: “PORN IS NOT REAL”.
The pink vaginas with a clean white vulva and pubic hair at the most perfect places do not exist in real life. Even those vaginas are made up with the help of editing, makeup and sometimes surgeries.
Seriously people, how hard is it to understand that these vaginal tightening products are crap sold by capitalists who are feeding off the insecurities instilled by the patriarchal mindset. There is no way an ‘oral pill’ can somehow tighten the vagina. The problem does not end here, these products are even marketed with tag-lines such as “feel like a virgin again”. Seriously what??
Folks, let me remind you that our vaginas are amazing organs. They can snap back to their original shape even after giving birth to a child. Having repetitive penetrative sex or using a sex toy won’t make your vaginas ‘loose’ or ‘stretched out’.
Also, it is normal to have the vulva, labia and clitoris darker than the rest of your body. This happens because of the hormonal changes our body undergoes during puberty. Not to mention these whitening creams and laser treatments can disrupt the natural ecosystem of the vagina causing irritation, inflammation and infections.
If there are so many risks and problems involved, then who are you feeding yourself this garbage for? How your coochie looks is none of your aunty’s business. Wondering what your partner will think about your “imperfect” vagina? Well, give it a thought; do we really need someone who expects us to fit into these unrealistic standards of beauty?
Our vaginas are perfect the way they are. Neither it needs these stupid products nor your pados wali aunty ki DIY home remedies.
As long as people keep feeding each other insecurities around the vagina and its anatomy, products like vaginal tightening and whitening creams will be available in the markets.
What we actually need is to normalize the conversation around it, a bit of research, some (un)learning & a lot of acceptance and self love. This will gradually help you to keep these body image issues that we have been fed for ages, far away.