Looking tājā ‘fresh’: skin whitening, and emergent masculinities in far-west Nepal

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Abstract

Throughout the Indian subcontinent there is a broad range of skin-whitening products (SWPs) widely advertised on TV, cinema on the streets etc … . In recent years, the multinational companies who produce these products have begun to focus on an untapped market – men and boys. Complementing feminist insights relating to the ways in which ‘body work’ is a form of control over women and constitutes a means of maintaining gender hierarchies, this paper considers the implications for men of a specific manifestation of ‘body work’, in this instance the use of SWPs. Based on the analysis of the ways that a group of young Nepali men talked about these products, this paper considers the evolving use of the Nepali word tājā (adj; fresh). Ultimately, this paper considers what are the consequences of the consumption of SWPs for local manifestations of embodied masculinities in far-west Nepal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-166
Number of pages24
JournalContemporary South Asia
Volume25-2017
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017

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