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Fresh and fair?

The latest advertisement which promotes a fairness cream for the private parts has sparked outrage. Some instances: In ‘TV ad for fair private parts is ridiculous: Women activists’ (Merinews, April 11, 2012), Neetu Banga reports on the responses of women’s activists as well as advertising professionals. 

In ‘An intimate wash that exposes our dirty psyche’ (Mumbai Boss, April 9, 2012), Deepanjana Pal remarks on the advertisement’s message to independent working women. 

In ‘Sisters under the (white) skin’ (The Hindu, April 21, 2012), Rafia Zakaria ponders on the common obsessions of countries in perpetual conflict 

Suchitra Govindarajan does a satirical take in Himal’s April 2012 issue with ‘Why fuss-fuss about mack-up creams?’ 

The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has called for immediate action against Midas Care and the sponsors of the advertisement for “Clean and Dry Intimate Wash”, a cosmetic product for women claiming to provide “freshness + fairness”. The ad shows graphic and intimate details of a woman’s body in a manner demeaning and derogatory to women, and also promotes racist stereotypes equating fairness with beauty. “The advertisement constitutes an offence under Clause S3 of the Indecent Representation of Women's Act, Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 along with the relevant rules and regulations,” AIDWA notes.