Thailand’s skin-whitening craze hit new levels of craziness recently with the introduction of a product that promises to whiten your lady parts within four weeks. Total WTF!
Skin lightening has been a big thing in Thailand and several other parts of Asia for quite some time, lighter skin is seen to represent success, opportunity and higher status in the community. A lot of this is due to the fact that many of the poorer people in the nation work in farming, spending all day in the sun in rice fields and therefore having a more tanned, weather-beaten look.
The cosmetics industry were not slow to exploit this cultural trend and for years, products have been available that whiten the face, body and areas like the armpits – there are also pills and diet supplements that claim to do the same.
Now a feminine wash product has arrived promising to whiten the vagina within a few weeks. Not surprisingly it has received a lot of criticism from people opposed to the whole skin-whitening trend in general.
A similar product was launched in India not so long ago, with a rather crude advertising campaign, product makers implied that having a whiter vagina would make women more attractive to men. The Thai products advert is not quite so crude, but that has not prevented it receiving a substantial amount of criticism. However pharmaceutical giant, Sanofi Aventis, the makers of the vagina whitening Lactacyd White Intimate claim it has been successful and high sales of the product suggest that it is something that the women of the nation desire.
One of the most outspoken critics of the whitening trend is the Bangkok Post’s Kultida Samabuddhi who was quoted in the Guardian saying:
“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 said that the cosmetics industry and the FDA need to take a bigger responsibility when it comes to products such as these. She also said that they need to go further to see if their claims are actually true to stop consumers being the victims of false advertising .