Facebook Compels Indians to be…Whiter?
Facebook has seemingly taken over the world. Millions upon millions of individuals and companies have accounts nowadays, with some serving as a primary means of marketing. Vaseline seems to know this better than anyone, as they have recently unveiled a new tool aimed at lightening the skin of its Indian users.
Targeting Facebook users located in India, the brand, owned by Unilever and known primarily for it’s petroleum jelly, has unleashed to the world a program designed for use with Facebook that takes your photos and presumably lightens your skin color. Why are they doing this?
Well, marketing of course. The product in question is “Vaseline Men” cream, a cream that lightens the skin with the promise of reducing the severity of five types of face spots. The Facebook group for the product currently has over 500 fans, and offers grooming tips that are slightly…odd: “Don’t shave for a day or two and let the stubble grow in rakishly.” They’re clearly using the the more modern definition of rakish, which means “streamlined,” as opposed to the original meaning, “dissolute,” which was often applied to womanizers. Am I the only one confused by this?
Having lighter skin is an asset sought after by many Indians and encompasses a billion dollar industry. Indian entertainment puts emphasis on lighter skin, and thus many consistently seek out methods through which to lighten their own. Despite all of this, many consider this to be slightly racist, encouraging proud Indian men to abandon their heritage.
Either way it’s just another step toward Facebook becoming sentient and destroying us all.