Naturally whiter.

vaseline Vaseline and the pitfalls of a borderless digital world

Vaseline Men

Sometimes Facebook ads make me recoil.

It’s not the wittiest ad that pokes the button bubble-wrapped as ‘insecurity’. Adverts typically aren’t that magnificent to create that kind of inception (movie’s great, by the way).

What the best ads do do is pull and prod, intricate sychronised steps leading the way to a desired outcome. They suggest, and the story is yours to discover.

Like this one, fronted by man of the mo’ (in Bollywood) Shahid Kapoor: a dream where you could be better. Not ‘you could have been better, born whiter into another life’. Or, ‘look at someone else, being better’. It says, in this life, you can impress better, look better, be better. Doesn’t matter why it means being whiter.

Cue cute copy and friendly stare of model.

Audacious ads, trying to be great, tend to take the politically incorrect and make it normal and usual. Like Heidi Montag selling her talents.

Putting together the unPC and some ancient cultural (or personal) inferiority (or guilt)–those zing straight to your heart.

Even while something deep within you writhes in sluggish confusion at a vague unease.

Bonus points if it takes the traditionally unattainable dream and plonks in right in your front yard. Or online equivalent- Facebook page (try on new face here).



In the past, advertisers had to create unrealistic images to make people feel bad about themselves and buy shit. But now, Facebook users can create their own. It’s crowdsourced insecurity, with an added bonus of racism. If this is the future — one of user-generated prejudice and do-it-yourself-loathing — I almost miss good old airbrushing.



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