Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vaseline launches skin-whitening Facebook India app.

NEW DELHI — Skincare group Vaseline has introduced a skin-lightening application for Facebook in India, enabling users to make their skin whiter in their profile pictures.

The download is designed to promote Vaseline's range of skin-lightening creams for men, a huge and fast-growing market driven by fashion and a cultural preference for fairer skin.

The widget promises to "transform your face on Facebook with Vaseline Men" in a campaign fronted by Bollywood actor Shahid Kapur, who is depicted with his face divided into dark and fair halves.

"We started campaign advertising (for the application) from the second week of June and the response has been pretty phenomenal," Pankaj Parihar from global advertising firm Omnicom, which designed the campaign, told AFP.

In 2005, Indian cosmetics giant Emani launched the first skin-whitening cream for men, called "Fair and Handsome", 27 years after the first cream for women.

Since then a half dozen foreign brands have piled into the market for men, including Garnier, L'Oreal and Nivea, which promote the seemingly magical lightening qualities of their products in ubiquitous advertising.

In 2009, a poll of nearly 12,000 people by online dating site Shaadi.com, revealed that skin tone was considered the most important criteria when choosing a partner in three northern Indian states.

I'm not sure I'm in the position to comment, being that I'm not Indian. This whole "changing your skin color" thing is ridiculous to me. Both ways- wanting to be darker and wanting to be lighter. Maybe it's because I have "chocolate" skin and don't know what it is like to want to be tanner. I guess I semi-accept people wanting a tan, only because that can happen naturally through staying in the sun. But I'm hating all this "fair skin" propaganda happening in countries like India and China. It deeply saddens me and I honestly think that a lot of it has to do with Western influence. I like fair skin people as much as I do darker skinned people but I will say I LOVE MY INDIANS WITH BROWN SKIN :)

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