I noticed a huge billboard advertising a Nivea product – a deodorant, in Kundannoor, Kochi. It said “Go Sleeveless, Kochi“. Mind you, it is not an ordinary deodorant!! It is a whitening deodorant. The first thought that came into my mind was, ” Dear Nivea, You will need something more than a deodorant to make Kochi sleeveless.” It is not due to lack of fair under arms that we refrain from wearing sleeveless tops. It is because of propriety.
You see, I don’t think Nivea has a clear picture about Kochi’s (or rather whole of Kerala’s, I must say) sense of propriety. This is a place where men label a woman a wanton because she did not cover her arms enough. A woman wearing a sari showing off half of her belly,chest and backside is a traditional woman with great values, though.
I find this very funny because, fifty or sixty years back women in this very same state had to go to court in order to gain the right to cover their upper body with a blouse. You know what is even more funny? This very same society labels certain religions as barbaric because the women in these religions are required to cover themselves up. You’ve got a pretty messed up society, here Nivea. They have lost their priorities and do not seem to know what is appropriate and what is not appropriate anymore.
I repeat: It would take something more than a deodorant to make Kochi go sleeveless.