The fairest (vulva) of 'em all

I haven't waxed my arms in over 4 months. I usually shave my legs (haven't for weeks now) and I go with whatever is convenient for the underarms. The hair on my head is trimmed when the ends become ratty and for any other hair I might have -- nostrils for instance -- that's none of your bloody business.

Why exactly I'm talking hair, I'll get to in a bit.

First, what's been happening in the last week? Well mundane stuff really -- remember, me, housewife? Amidst all the routineness of things, the recurring theme would be sleeplessness. And constant fatigue. And constantly wanting to eat *something* but for the life of me, I don't know what that is.

"Mamma, Mia cook?"

Missy has been somewhat ill since last Monday with the usual cold-cough thing. Even though it's *just* cold-cough, I intensely dislike it. From a happy, playful child she becomes this cranky, tired, eyes weeping, nose running, miserable little bundle of once-there-was-happiness. Now that her vocabulary has increased -- and increasing daily -- there are frequent calls of, "Mamma nosj." Or yells about there being "chee-chee" (her only Hindi word so far) on her "fingees". 

Given her age, there's not much I can do to relieve her (I have the vaporiser on all day). It would be nice if I could cajole/force her to bed and feed her chicken soup ("shoop")... but that's really wishful thinking. As anyone with kids will tell you, there's no moderation. If she's feeling good, she's toddling about till she is back to being the withered little flower. I HATE colds. My poor baby.

With her being sick and it being cold and us being at home, I've baked some last week. I made some caramel slice off a Better Homes and Gardens issue and I tried a black forest recipe I've had in my inbox for ages. Much to my delight, the slices were finished by that nightfall and people had a fair go at the black forest as well.

What we ate on the weekend!
I really enjoyed this weekend. It was a very nice change from being cooped up in the house and Mia was much better, which was a relief as well. I also really enjoyed it because I saw what my daughter can get. 

I'm pretty convinced that I'm pretty shit at making and keeping friends. I'm not writing so looking for sympathy/pity etc or to be psychoanalysed. You can if you can be bothered, but frankly I've done enough of it on my own. Sometimes I can feel really lonely and I realise a whole lot of it is my own doing. But anyway... Perhaps I don't know how to make/keep friends because I've never been around the same people long enough; I haven't grown with them. As an army officer's daughter, I've moved cities frequently, moved friends frequently. It almost feels like I don't know what to do with people after the 2-3 year mark. Slow though it is, perhaps I am learning.

Partner is very different from me. He can make friends easily, he has many friends and some he's really close to. When I watch Partner with his friends, I see genuine affection for each other, an acceptance of what each one of them is, how they are. They've all been together either at school or uni, dated, fell in love, married and now many are having children... All together. There's camaraderie, comfort and shared history. Sometimes I am hugely jealous.

Mostly though I feel happy. For him. For Mia... She will most probably grow up in a permanent base, where she will go to school and make friends. Like her father; because she is like her father (thankgod) and makes friends easily. And hopefully they'll last for life and she'll make her own happy history. While her mother learns how to make friends and wonders if she'll make history.

Well, that's what I wanted to write about originally and then I was waiting for Partner to come back home and I started reading The Age and came across this article about an Indian fairness cream to whiten your vulva. Or mine, as the case might be (mind your own business!) It's strongly titled 'The Indian obsession with fairer skin sinks to a new low'. The author is presumably Indian or of Indian origin, based in Delhi.

There are many things that pissed me off about the article -- most of which have been inumerated by people in the comments. Mostly though I am pissed off that the journalist's opinions -- which should at best make a blog post -- are passed off as a news story. It was the second lead on The Age website when I read. I was also pissed off at the headline. It suggests the whole of  India has no other business but to get up every morning and slather fairness creams of their faces and nether regions. There are no figures in the article about the actual usage of this, this vulval-whitening cream (and not 'vaginal' as many readers have pointed out in the comments). Of what market research lead to its manufacture, any quotes from women who might have used it or won't use it; nothing. Just a general blah from Dhillon that goes from these-bloody-Indians to these-bloody-men to these-bloody-self-deprecating-women without getting a hold on any of the arguments.

In stark contrast was a documentary I saw on SBS last year perhaps. It was called The Perfect Vagina and it was everything Dhillon's article should have been. Firstly, Dhillon's article should not have sounded as if it's only complexed-about-their-complexion Indians who are thinking about genital beauty. One of the mums I know went in for a Brazilian a day before her delivery date because she didn't want to be hairy for the midwives. Why is there a need for a vulva-whitening cream? Who is telling (Indian) women their private parts are ugly? Do women feel pressurised to adhere to these views? Or to make their parts look a certain way? And most importantly, fuck anyone else, what does a woman want her privates to look like?

I could go on but it's 11pm and I am bloody sleepy and this post is already too long. And I need to clarify my thoughts on the issue of my genital wishful thinking. Because I know that I HATE Brazilians because they hurt like hell -- have tried two painkillers before getting one, didn't work -- and because I know that the Vagina documentart made me cry. You need to watch it.


Bikramjit said...

Well i hope the little one is doing ok now .. and is feeling much better.

Regarding making friends Well I am ver yquick in that I have seen ...

and regarding the AD well , what can i say .. its time people woke up


Clumsy Kangaroo said...

Not that my opinion is much important to you, but I wouldn't be that harsh to Dhillon. I mean she/he did what she/he could in a column of black and white vs. Lisa Rogers' 50-minute documentary.

And yes, I agree, Dhillon should have addressed post- and neo-colonialistic gobbledegook but as Rogers said, it's hard to make teenagers and young women really comprehend the complexities of not giving in to societal norms, peer-pressure, and media's influence.

Hopefully, meaningful communication with parents or people girls/women look up can be of help. Life experience is important but I hope it's not at the cost of the damage being already done.

Waiting for the day when most, if not all, Indian women will feel empowered, not just in Parliament or by wearing Jimmy Choos but in their heads. Amen!

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