Huh? while I was scrolling through channels last night looking for Eurovision I saw an advert for whitening deodorant. It whitens your underarms. Makes them fairer. It’s aimed at the Pakistani/Indian market - the video I’m posting is not the one I saw but it gives you an idea of the product’s aims. The subcontinent has a huge appetite for fairness and lightening treatments. Now I know these creams and lotions have been around for years and I know that skin shade counts but it’s not something I agree with or choose to take up. But your underarms? Really? I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Someone on the same sofa immediately pointed out that women in the subcontinent can buy a skin lightener for their more intimate areas. The video is priceless.
Earlier during my Islamabad stay I had visited a spa that offered foot, leg and hand bleaching with prices starting from Rs. 150. My friend - who has lived in Pakistan for several years - asked what the purpose of the treatment was. The spa receptionist replied it was to make those areas fairer. Like, duh. What was the cream made of? Bleach. What sort of bleach, surely not the kind used for cleaning? Oh yes, replied the receptionist. Fast forward to sitting in front of the telly on Saturday night and reeling from the existence of lightening products for things I didn’t think needed lightening, someone on Twitter said there was a shampoo for covered hair. Again - huh? The Jewish Journal says the marketeers claim it deals with the “excess production of oils and build-up of scalp dirt” that can come with wearing hijab.
Blimey. You don’t need a special shampoo for your hijabi hair anymore than you need a roll-on to give you whitish underarms or fairer ladybits. I don’t know what’s more disheartening, the companies churning this stuff out or the women who are buying it.