WOMEN
06/21/2011 12:18 pm ET Updated Aug 21, 2011

Nivea Calls Whitening Deodorant "The Biggest Freedom Movement For Women"

Nivea and MTV have teamed up to bring the women of India "The Biggest Freedom Movement for Women," reports The Toronto Star.

The German skincare company and MTV India have launched "Shed Your Sleeves, the Biggest Freedom Movement for Women," an online campaign promoting Nivea's whitening deodorant.

Yes, lighter underarms, that's the "Biggest Freedom Movement for Women."

The Star reports the product has renewed debate in India over extremely popular skin lightening products that have been a staple in the country since the 1970s.

As if the product itself isn't already controversial, the campaign Nivea and MTV have launched to promote it is even more provocative.

The product's website invites its targeted 15-34 year-old audience to "make a statement" and "shed something you're not proud of." Users can post banners that read, "Shed your:" sleeves, guilt, fear, shyness, ignorance, anxiety, nervousness, and (ironically), insecurity on their own Facebook pages. Girls and women are encouraged to upload their favorite sleeveless photo on MTV India's Facebook page with a short description about why they love shedding their sleeves.

The campaign wants consumers to believe they are all about empowering women to be proud of themselves and their bodies, but rather blatantly plays to their insecurities. It's a not-so-clever attempt to make the product seem like it's not part of the real problem.

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