PETALING JAYA: The Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) today slammed an advertisement featuring a domestic abuse survivor whose husband begs her to return after she uses a beauty product to make her thinner and fairer.
Calling the Slimme White ad “offensive, unhealthy and irresponsible”, WAO said such advertisements were also “incredibly damaging” as they implied that women who look a certain way deserve abuse, and that their husbands have a right to abuse them.
“Ads like this enable domestic violence.
“The video’s perverse logic is essentially: be pretty and your husband won’t hit you. What an insult to women,” it said in a statement.
The four-minute clip shows a woman whose husband throws her out of the house and tells her he intends to divorce her despite her many pleas.
The video alternates between flashbacks of conversations they had held before their marriage, in which he promises to love her even when she is old, and the present-day reality in which he abuses her both physically and verbally.
After she is thrown out of the house, she goes to stay with her sister, who comforts her and tells her to take a Slimme White beauty drink.
One month later, noticeably fairer and thinner, the woman is seen walking past her husband, who chases after her and apologises, telling her that he still loves her.
However, she asks him to move on, saying that she will pray for his happiness.
WAO said the advertisement failed to recognise that domestic violence was fundamentally about power and control.
“We don’t need a beauty product that promises us fair skin and a flat tummy – that in itself is a sexist beauty standard.
“What we need is respect and equality. We need men to respect women, and to recognise that it’s never okay to abuse another person,” it said.