Apparently a Vaseline Ad Campaign in India has "sparked international controversy." The ad encourages men to use this Vaseline product to lighten their face. Critics of the ad say that this promotes the "notion that only white skin is beautiful." As the article will tell you, face-whitening creams are not new to India and other countries. What other countries? Thailand, for one. Philippines, another. The article goes on to say that face-whitening products are also popular among African-American and Latino women. Is it safe to say that face-whitening products are nothing new to people who are already tan, just as tanning is nothing new to people who are lighter skinned.
Seriously, it's not a controversy. It's not racism. It's culture. India has Vaseline. The Philippines have Likas Papaya soap. Thailand...well I don't know their most popular skin-lightening product, but they've got an array of it, as I was made aware by Jessica Simpson's "The Price of Beauty."
Really, this is no different than tanning. White people want to be tan. Tan people want to be light. Just love your God-given skin already!
One thing the article points out though is that many woman have ruined their skin because the creams they've bought and used had mercury in them. In the Thailand episode of "The Price of Beauty," this issue was also brought up. A woman used many different kinds of lightening cream and it ruined her skin. Be careful of what you put on your skin.
You don't have to visit Thailand or the Philippines or some other country to find these products. Go to an Asian market, like the one I have in my neighborhood. You'll find skin/face lightening products. Or ask a Filipino about the Likas Papaya soap or tawas (alum) for your armpits. Just last Sunday my mom was telling me to use lemon or tawas on my own pits. She thought it was dark. Okay...it's summer. If I catch you checking out my pits, I'll be put out with you. I just shared this story to make this point: this skin-lightening mentality is alive and well. Just like the tanning mentality is alive and well. At least, Vaseline is a well known company and they've got more to lose if their products have harmful chemicals in them. Deducing that their products won't have harmful chemicals in them...hopefully.
Ending with a funny story...my worst sunburn/tan ever: a handprint!
My friends and I went to the beach to hang out and I thought I had spread that sunblock all over my shoulder and upper back. But on one side, I had just slapped my sunblock coated hand and did not rub and spread all over. I had the tan for...1.5 - 2 years. No, I didn't try to even it out. I freaked only because the burn hurt. In the end, I think it's hilarious! C'mon. A handprint!