This week’s column is brought to you by Pale Face™ brand face bleach for men. Registered Trade Mark, Beware of Imitations, Patent Pending, Anyone found Infringing on Copyright Will Be Taken To the International Court of Arbitration Where the Product Will Be Tested on Them, Not Terribly Intellectual Property.
Now that we have those legal niceties out of the way, let me begin by saying that contrary to public perception, Nepal is making steady progress towards gender equity. The proof is that after decades in which only women could avail of fairness creams, multinationals have finally found that there is a market for lotions and potions among the malehood, too. Finally, those of us of the masculine persuasion will no longer be discriminated against on grounds of sex — we can also say we have a headache.
As our womenfolk become more empowered and self-reliant, and less dependent on various beauty products, it is up to us boys to take up the cudgels to preserve our craggy good looks and ruggedly handsome faces pock-marked with pimple craters. We need to protect them from the ravages of time and the Earth’s gravitational pull which is mass times the square of acceleration. (Editor’s Note: Make sure ‘cudgel’ isn’t a rude word and report back to me immediately.)
This Tij Season, after fulfilling the onerous duty of holding up the sky for most of human history, we men can now safely bequeath to the womenfolk the responsibility of holding up not just their half of the sky, but also our half. This will free us to engage in various pursuits that we previously never had time for, like: powdering our noses, threading eye-brows and plucking our armpit hair. And among the new activities will be the right to use White Man’s Burden™ skin lightening cream, which works by replacing melanin from the epidermis with talcum powder.
The manufacturers moved ahead when a recent market survey showed that 80% of men on the subcontinent snuck into their wives’ dressing tables to steal their fairness cream. (The other 20 percent dressed up as women and bought Crème de la Crème™ from their friendly neighbourhood drug store.)
However, since us men tend to be more thick-skinned and more hirsute in certain parts of the anatomy, creams like Whitewash™ meant for the fairer sex were just not effective enough, which is why a stronger oinkment like Albino™ containing titanium dioxide, zinc sulphate and used in weatherproof outdoor emulsion paint, was needed to turn men white.
He-men like us now have industrial-grade White Elephant™ brand skin bleacher and exfoliator, which works like magic. Directions for use: apply liberally on the affected dark areas twice a day, after meals. Within a week you won’t be dark and ugly anymore, you will be fair and handsome like Michael Jackson™.