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Point: 18 till I die ?

The Indian sub-continent is probably the world-leader when it comes to sex-related nonsense. The “vagina-tightening” cream advertisement – which claims that older women would feel “young” and “rejuvenated” by using the product – is yet another proof of this stupidity. Our quirky new blogger, hamletgoesmad, rants about why virginity creams may be a bad idea for society in general.

And yet again, this “miraculous cream” is the idea and invention of men. Women are merely consumers. I would say this cream is actually for men and not for women. Also, the “virginity cream” has nothing to do with sex or sexual emancipation of the Indian women. The advertisement and the cream reinforce the centuries-old patriarchal idea of the “sanctity” and “purity” of a woman’s virginity. In other words, the ad conveys the message to Indian women that virgin women are superior and attractive: use the cream and you will be young and “pure” again.

The “18 Again” advertisement and the cream are the worst combination of oriental patriarchy and the capitalist commodification of sex. So what is so emancipatory about feeling like an eighteen-year-old girl again, and that too sexually, as some Indian liberals are trying to prove on social networking websites? Why is the Indian society so obsessed with women’s virginity, and that too in this age and time? If it is so sexually liberating then I wonder why people in the West are not concerned about “vagina tightening” creams. Or is India more sexually-liberated than the rest of the world?

Last but not least, some bloggers say that this advertisement is about freedom of speech, and that it encourages people to talk openly about sex in a sexually-conservative society. This is certainly not true. I agree that this ad, like many other media messages, does generate a discussion, a debate, but then we should not ignore the message of this advertisement. Mediatized messages should be taken seriously because they have the power to influence people and their thinking.

The woman in the ad, who is trying to seduce her husband by telling him that she feels like a virgin again, is not a liberated Indian woman who is challenging social taboos,  she is a slave, a woman who is trying to appease her husband. Well, Indian women have always been told to keep their ‘lords’ happy.


Hamletgoesmad is a freelance journalist who enjoys a hot discussion on all political, social, cultural and literary issues.


01.09.2012 | 12:20