Just another WordPress.com site

Posts tagged “the gel does not promise any readily visible cosmetic improvement and that somewhat reduces the power of this argument. It has been argued that the product is designed exclusively for male satisfactio




Whatever writes in English will not harm to writers – But if it is in regional language like Tamil and others it will be a sin to the writers- an open statement and excerpts from an interesting subject.


In a society where self-worth is increasingly equated with sexual attractiveness, there are plenty of products that target both men and women. So why whine about the 18 Again ad?


A hilarious sketch of a woman on a beach with a strip of cloth coyly covering her nose instead of her ‘vitals’ it was funny but it was also a commentary on how society lays down certain norms and demands a certain set of reactions from its members.  And it might explain why the reactions against recent advertisements for a vagina tightening gel called 18 Again have been so severe.


Significantly, it’s not as if vagina tightening creams and gels are radically new. They have been out there in dozens long before 18 Again. In fact, I would be surprised if our ancient healers have not been peddling some herbal version of it for centuries now.  The only difference is that this gel is being hyped openly on TV in the bold, new India.


Why the Outrage?

  Is it because the vagina is central to female sexuality that the gel has evoked such wrath even as  nose jobs, breast implants, or waistline reductions have cosily been accepted as an excessive but acceptable norm?  We might write in derisive tones of a starlet who plumps her lips or fits in a silicone implant but we don’t go ballistic claiming feminist outrage.


The anti-gel criticisms have a familiar ring, sounding similar to those against other purely cosmetic surgeries and products, as practices demanded and encouraged by the male gaze.  However, the gel does not promise any readily visible cosmetic improvement and that somewhat reduces the power of this argument.  It has been argued that the product is designed exclusively for male satisfaction but pelvic strength addresses female sexual satisfaction as much.


A strong criticism is that the product targets female sexual performance and makes her feel inadequate.  But why should we claim that a product that addresses a feminine sexual performance parameter is any worse or more deplorable than the innumerable products that address the male?  The gel is of a piece with the innumerable penis enlargement creams, the male deodorants that promise to make effete wimps into objects of desire, and the performance enhancement products that guarantee to keep male libido at 18 till they die.


In the Viagra generation, male performance anxiety is being preyed on relentlessly by marketers and with the same ruthlessness with which female insecurities are being exploited.  In both cases, the insecurities are often created and magnified by the marketers themselves.

If we must object, it must be to the culture we have created and inhabit today.  We live in a world where physical perfection and attractiveness (physical and sexual) have never been more saleable commodities.  And that bolds true for both genders.  Economist Daniel Hamermesh finds that a handsome man can make at least 250,000 dollars more than a less attractive colleague.  One study in the U.S found that taller men earned around 600 dollar per inch more than their shorter counterparts.  A Newsweek 2010 survey reported that good looks ranked third, just after confidence and experience, on a list of most crucial employee attributes. 


Most important, this grail of physical flawlessness is no longer the sole pursuit of the rich.  Everything from mole removal to straighter teeth to thinner thighs is just a middle-class price-tag away.   Unfortunately, therefore, when every magazine cover is graced by that perfect body, nobody is asking how much it was air-brushed; they are busy asking how cheaply they can get the skateboard abs.


And it’s not just about a beauty-obsessed society demanding impossible busts and six-packs.  It’s also about an increasingly sexualized society setting impossible erotic standards and flourishing in the casual and thoughtless mainstreaming of pornography.  A steady stream of easily accessible images is pushing men and women to aspire to impossible levels of physical perfection and performance in a bizarre race towards a TV-Internet-porn film inspired ideal.


The vaginal tightening gel is just another box on the ever-expanding shelf of this hyper-sexualised society.  People today have been primed to buy anything that promises to make them thinner, taller, sexier.


“Your self-worth is dependent on the amount of sexual attractiveness you have to the outside world”.


A complex conspiracy of cultural forces, rapid scientific advances, and economic prosperity is putting an ever-impossible sexual and aesthetic image just within tantalizing reach.  A sagging chin lifted, a wart zapped away, a penis perfected. And a pelvic muscle tightened.


Is this inexorable drive towards perfection desirable?  Of course not.  But it cannot be wished away either.  Not in an age that’s busy working on blemish-free bananas and designer babies.  That’s why it’s difficult to understand rants about one product singled out from a gamut of products that are morally and ethically on a similar ambiguous plane.


IDEALISTIC EXPECTATION: The objectors seem to hope that somehow manufacturers and marketers will show restraint and self-regulation when it comes to perpetuating these perfection myths.  But as otherwise happy participants in an eminently consumption- driven economy, it’s foolishly idealistic to expect that marketers will place responsibility over profits.  Which means it’s up to buyers to display good, old-fashioned common sense to filter those marketing messages.  Caveat emptor, remember?

So by all means let’s question the efficacy of the gel. Just as a cream cannot melt away tummy fat (it needs hours of annoying exercise to do it), can any gel do for pelvic muscles what good old Kegel exercises can? Let’s ask if a tummy tuck poses a health hazard.  It makes more sense to see if the products promising miracles are guilty of misrepresentation and culpable under the MRTP Act than to whine about their political correctness.


We could, of course, question the incredible tackiness of the TV ad that, flogs this new gel and its total absence of good taste and aesthetics, But that would be another column altogether.


Source : THE HINDU- Aug-26 Sunday  Talking point

              Report from: vaishna Roy

             Dedicated by : kavignar Thanigai