- 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?