Ummid Assistant

IDB scholarship forms available at Bhopal's Companion School

IGNOU's preparatory course for students desiring higher education

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Special Reports

V-empowerment! New marketing mantra sparks new debate

Saturday September 01, 2012 08:58:06 AM, IANS

New Delhi: So you think getting an education, a job and being self-reliant were steps towards women's empowerment? If you were to go by the ad of the latest vaginal gel, "true women empowerment" is all about tightening your V.

Close on the heels of a vaginal fairness cream that was launched earlier this year and was met with a huge furore comes this latest product that claims to make you feel "18 again". The full-page ads and TV spots promising to make women feel like a virgin again have led to outrage, prompting a furious debate among feminists and health professionals.

The obsession with looking good went to making a woman's privates fairer and now, well, tighter.

"Like it was not enough to obsess mindlessly over fair skin - with ads harping on how degrees of lighter skin can get you a dream job, or the perfect husband. Now you have a vaginal cream that promises to empower by tightening you and making you feel like a virgin! It's deplorable, to say the least," said Sulakshana Dey, a professor in Delhi University.

The vaginal tightening gel which claims to be the first of its kind "femininity restoring" cream, is said to be a product of years of research and, among other things, promises to rejuvenate you down there, tighten the muscles and make you less susceptible to infections.

It also has on board gynaecologist R.M. Saraogi, who says: "It is not only recommended but is also possibly the best gel for achieving vaginal tightening, strength and rejuvenation without surgical intervention."

Not all doctors agree.

"I don't think any cream can cause vaginal tightening... these gels and creams can only be used under strict medical supervision. Lowering of the estrogen level with age is a natural process and if you are supplementing it without a doctor's supervision, it may harm you as the excess estrogen can even cause cancer," Amrita Shah, gynaecologist at Columbia Asia hospital, told IANS.

Agreed Nikita Sobti, a gynaecologist at Max Hospital. "Such creams and gels must be validated before a doctor can prescribe them. Neither I nor my colleagues have heard about it. To buy such a product over the counter without a doctor's guidance is not safe."

Regardless of the scepticism expressed by experts, the 18 Again gel is selling fast.

At Rs.2,439, it doesn't come cheap either.

According to a spokesperson of the makers Ultratech, the tightening gel is available in "all leading medical stores and cosmetic shops" and can also be ordered online.

"This tightening gel is an Ayurvedic product and is completely safe. It was launched on Aug 7 and since then we have had many women ordering the product, some have even ordered for a second batch," the spokesperson told IANS.

The virtual world too is abuzz with furious comments - by women and men.

Law student Sunethra Choudhury wrote on Facebook: "Apart from being totally flabbergasted by the fairness and tightening products for a woman's private parts, the mere fact that manufacturers are going for such products means that there is a demand for it. After all, aren't fairness creams among the highest selling products?"

"Why do I have to feel like an 18-year-old to be happy and satisfied," asked Upasana Baruah, a homemaker. "I am 35, and I am now more knowledgeable, experienced and confident than ever before! If you cannot accept your age gracefully and are always trying to go back in time, you are simply living in denial."

Probably the most eloquent take was by 70-year-old Jamini Dey, who works in an NGO.

"My mother used to tell me, 'the lines that appear on your face will be signs of your experience, and you should be proud of each one of them'. I have lived by those words, and truly believe that I am both empowered and happy. So no thank you, to all the fancy empowering products," said the feisty septuagenarian.

Is it a losing battle?

Feminists and others spoke out with passion against the launch of fairness products in India but lost out to market forces. The fairness cream industry in India, according to one estimate, is worth Rs.1,500 crore and growing at a rate of 10-15 percent.

The one consolation: the advertising has been tempered. The ad for the vaginal whitening product has now been tailored to just show a doctor advising the use of the product to simply remain dry and fresh. The fairness bit has been snipped.

Another battle has just begun.

(Azera Parveen Rahman can be contacted at




Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS




More Headlines

Wisdom is matter of culture

Stringent mobile radiation norms from Saturday

Harvard probes dozens of students on cheating allegation

Karnataka: Terror suspects families cry foul over arrests

Gujarat riot victims hail life terms for accused

Return Rs.17,400 crore to investors, Surpeme Court tells Sahara

It's once in a blue moon

Searching for Peace in Assam

Arun Gawli, 11 others get life for corporator's murder

Delhi's Akbarabadi Mosque: Radar survey to confirm existence

BJP legislator, 31 others get life terms for Naroda Patiya carnage


Top Stories

BJP legislator, 31 others get life terms for Naroda Patiya carnage

A special Gujarat court Friday sentenced Bharatiya Janata Party legislator and former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani to 28 years in jail for her involvement in the 2002 post-Godhra riots 

Gujarat riot victims hail life terms for accused

Minister's involvement only with Modi's consent: Congress on Naroda

Bajrang Dal leader said he felt like Rana Pratap after Naroda killings


  Most Read

Third Front too jumps on coal scam bandwagon, parliament disrupted

Putting up a third front on the coal scam, the Left parties, along with Samajwadi Party (SP) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Friday staged a sit-in protest at the main gate of parliament 

Blackmail is bread and butter of BJP, says Sonia

Political crisis as BJP insists on PM's resignation

Delhi's Akbarabadi Mosque: Radar survey to confirm existence

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Friday told the Delhi High Court that the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur would carry out a survey to ascertain if there any Mughal-era mosque structure  

Don't turn mosque row into Babri Masjid-2


  News Pick

Karnataka: Terror suspects families cry foul over arrests

The families of 11 terror suspects apprehended in Karnataka Friday expressed shock and disbelief over their arrests on charges of links with banned terror outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islam (Huji) and 

Searching for Peace in Assam

The origin of the problem of illegal settlers in Assam owes to the creation of Bangladesh but there was no mechanism put in place to solve this problem. It would be nave to expect Bangladesh to take back the illegal settlers. Blaming them would also no 

Israelis attack Palestinian woman, tear her clothes off

A group of Israelis attacked a Palestinian woman in the village of Lebnan Al Sharq on Wednesday afternoon, tearing off her clothes in front of her husband and son who retaliated by attacking the colonists, injuring  

Sunita Williams completes spacewalk outside ISS

Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide completed almost a record long spacewalk outside 


Picture of the Day

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh with President of Iran Mehmoud Ahmadinejad, before a meeting, on the sidelines of the XVI Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, in Tehran, Iran on August 29, 2012.



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us




    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.