- By Jennifer T. Parker Jennifer Parker is a researcher at Foreign Policy.
Want to have a lighter complexion in your Facebook profile picture? Now, there’s an app for that, too! Vaseline India has recently launched a new Facebook application which allows users to digitally lighten their "online" skin. Recent reports have stated that the app is only available in India — but anyone with a Facebook account can use it! Score.
And, the Vaseline Men Facebook page also offers helpful advice like this:
"Style Tip: Don’t shave for a day or two and let the stubble grow in rakishly. Combine this with sunglasses to look utterly mysterious, rakish and thoroughly attractive."
Jokes aside, skin-lightening — an unfortunate vestige of colonialism — is a worldwide trend. The industry for whitening creams and lotions is booming in Kenya, Nigeria, the Caribbean, and particularly in India where the market expands nearly 18 percent a year and the politics of skin color are especially troubling.
A spokesman for Vaseline in India claimed the app is a "culturally relevant and engaging way for Indian men to interact with this product." Ethics, anyone?
McCain Meets Modi in New Delhi; Pakistani Parliament Approves Antiterror Bill; Refugees Flood Into AfghanistanNeeli ShahNeeli Shah is a South Asia Research Fellow at the New America Foundation. She writes, edits, and publishes content on Foreign Policy’s South Asia Channel. She is also a graduate student at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, D.C., where she serves as the President of the Energy and Environment Club. Prior to the New America Foundation, Neeli worked as a corporate lawyer. She earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Franklin & Marshall College, and a J.D. from the University Of Maine School Of Law. | The South Asia Channel |
Uri Friedman is deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. Before joining FP, he reported for the Christian Science Monitor, worked on corporate strategy for Atlantic Media, helped launch the Atlantic Wire, and covered international affairs for the site. A proud native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he studied European history at the University of Pennsylvania and has lived in Barcelona, Spain and Geneva, Switzerland.| Passport |