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minimalistpanda
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minimalistpanda

i don’t understand why it’s such a big thing in the philippines/japan/korea etc.

posted almost 10 years ago
thefieldsofelysium
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I suppose it ties back to cultural history and assumptions people made (whether they were true or not), the primary example being that if your skin was darker, it meant that you likely worked outside a lot as a laborer; conversely, if your skin was lighter (to the point of being white), it meant you spent a lot of time indoors (meaning you were rich, since you didn’t have to toil away in the sun). It’s definitely an oversimplification and isn’t as relevant today, but somehow white skin is – in many ways – still perpetuated by the Asian media (advertisements, tv shows, etc.) as a preferred, “cleaner” physical trait. It might be related to Westernization, as well. On the other hand, one could take a look at the U.S. and wonder why artificial tanning is so popular.

Also, here is a detailed article (from Public Radio International) on why skin whitening is a craze in Asia.

Personally, I am influenced and somewhat swayed by the idea that whitening the skin makes it look better. (Especially since my mother has been whitening her skin with a variety of creams for as long as I can remember. Although we are both rather pale to begin with, as far as Asians are concerned….) I buy one or two BB creams a year, but that’s the extent of it. I think obsession with whitening is an overall reflection of deep-seated fears/psychological negativity concerning status. But I do sympathize with Asian women who whiten up because it really would boost their chances at being promoted/offered a job, as white skin is generally seen as “ideal”/“attractive” — it’s not fair, but it’s like that all over the world. In most cases, a more attractive candidate would be hired over a less attractive (though equally qualified) candidate.

[Edit]: An interesting subject is the Ganguro girls — girls (mostly Japanese) who purposefully darken their skin an unnatural shade.

posted almost 10 years ago
 
thefieldsofelysium
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Addendum:

“In countries where food is cheap, thin is in.
In countries where food is expensive, fat is all that.
In countries where people work outside, white is right.
In countries where people work inside, tan is the plan.”

(I saw this posted in a forum, and thought it to be a fairly accurate trend/observation.)

posted almost 10 years ago
 
dnase
Style_council
dnase

They come with health risks, though: here

posted almost 10 years ago
 
raiscake
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raiscake

Tanning also comes with risks, so it goes both ways. thefieldsofelysium pretty much covered everything. :P

I admit to prefer being fair over tan. I’m naturally fair, and I try my best to stay that way. Not with any straight up whitening products, but I use sunblock religiously. I look better fair. I feel like it suits my style more. And unfortunately, I have experienced a bit of favoritism over my skin. I do get treated better as a customer in stores, and older people especially like me. That doesn’t mean I think it’s right, but it still happens.

I still say do what you like though. I know some Asian girls who look gorgeous with a tan. It’s all about what prefer, really.

posted almost 10 years ago
 
classykate
Style_council
classykate

quote from above: In countries where people work outside, white is right.

Pretty much it was a status thing back in the day. Workers worked outside and were tanner. So if you were pale skinned it meant you were of higher class. That just kinda stuck after that.

posted almost 10 years ago
 
PeachyPanda
Style_council
PeachyPanda

yup its all about status back then and now, in america everyone wants a gorgeous tan because that is our beauty norm. in asia, being light skinned is considered beautiful.

posted almost 10 years ago
 
anonymours
Style_council
anonymours

well, in western countries, it is all about being tan. so it makes sense the other side of the world wants to be lighter. everyone wants to have something they don’t already :/

posted almost 10 years ago
 
Speedbump
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Speedbump

What I want to know is, have any of you guys tried it? How well does it work? I’ve been thinking about doing it, though I am already a pretty light Asian, and I’m mainly just curious.

posted almost 10 years ago
 
MurasakiNeko
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MurasakiNeko

Slightly off-topic, but I’d be curious to know what happens if an already extremely pale Caucasian person uses whitening products designed for Asian skin. I’m currently working in Japan. Since I’m considered really white for a white person, I wouldn’t ever go out of my way to buy special whitening products, but even some basic face soaps I can find at the grocery store have small amounts of whitening agent— and since I’m not fluently literate in kanji yet I usually have no idea what contains what. What happens if I accidentally spend two years washing my face with whitening soap? Nothing— or do I turn translucent?

Tied in with the pale skin concern, I’ve noticed an interesting divide between beach wear between Japan the US since I’ve been here. Since I burn rather than tan I’m all about protecting my skin, too, but I protect myself with buttloads of SPF 30 or 50 sunscreen and a big pair of sunglasses. But most women here would rather wear a large hat rather than sunglasses, and at the beach all the girls are hanging around in pants and long shirts— even in the water. I feel really out of place in my bikini. Maybe I just live in a really conservative area, but I’m really amazed how different it is from what I’m used to back home.

posted almost 10 years ago
 
Dorcasm
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Dorcasm

funny thing is skin whitening products are also big in a lot of non-western countries, india, pakistan, a lot of african countries, i think its tied to all sorts of reasons, colonialization, darker skin being associated with being poor. in the uk, the alot of the indian magazines are full of very pale skinned asian girls….its sad.

@ murasakiNeko – lol i dnt think u’d turn translucent, maybe theres a point where ur skin cnt get any lighter, like a minimum melanin level or something.

whats funny is all these skin products ppl use to change their skin colour – whiteners, tanners – they’re not actually good for your skin in the long term. its ridiculous and sad…

posted almost 10 years ago
 
angiekje
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angiekje

it’s so funny since I often don’t even like my white/pinkish complexion :) (my Thai friends told me they love it over there…) I love their skins or olive skin tones better (always wanted to be a brunette)…

posted almost 9 years ago
 
gstyle
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gstyle

grass on the other side always seem greener…as there is the eternal obsession with tanning in the west, the east want it all white!

posted almost 9 years ago
 
MiuSan
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MiuSan

I was just watching a documentary on this!
Actually was telling that the whitening agents can be safe or not safe…
Some products include ingredients that actually are believed to cause cancer, like hydroquinone which messes with your skins normal production of melanin, and unstable(??) ingredients like kojic acid.
Many of the ingredients are banned in western countries or heavily regulated to only be used by doctors.

But hey, even big companies like Givenchy makes whitening stuff. Which actually was found to do absolutely nothing for your skin. It did have some basic sun screen in it though, so points for that. All about the money baby.

posted almost 9 years ago
 
Head2Heels
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Head2Heels

I so agree..

I’m Indian, and here whitening products are everything!!

Imagine watching an ad on tv showing a dark skinned girl failing to impress people, and not getting a job, and getting ‘nos’ from guys.. And then she uses product name and she becomes an air hostess or a model, and gets a line of guys behind her, etc.. So basically, fair is beautiful!!

I really hate this.

And to make matters worse, just couple of days ago, we got to know that we are styling/designing for the next ‘Fair and Lovely’ ad!!

Of course even I was brainwashed when I was younger, and I did use a whitening cream for a year or two.. But now I know better..

posted over 8 years ago
 
shootingstar
Style_council
shootingstar

There is a saying in Chinese that roughly translats to : a white(ness) covers three ugliness.

( here is the original chinese writing
see text )

it is a common belief in some of the asian country that paler skin can cover some of the other defects (although, i would have thought it ‘shows’) since people will first notice how white a girl’s skin is.
my own argument to that saying is that it ironically covers up all the inner-ugliness some girls have (we asian girls can be nasty sometimes ;) )

what i heard from my cousin is more scientific (probably already mentioned) is that asian people because of the pigment of their skin, gets darker easier; and it is not a smooth tan, but just gets dark. but, i suppose that does not justify the want to be as pale as possible.

true life experience. i once showed a picture to a friend i haven’t seen for a long time. of the first few comments he made is that my skin is a bit dark and would be better if paler. i did not take it as an insult, but rather just a mindset that has been ingraved in their minds.

from time to time, i do have the desire to lighten my skin, but i do not go crazy and try to find the secret formula for it

that’s all…

posted over 8 years ago
 
miki_girl
Style_council
miki_girl

I tan really easily and all my friends just tan and get back to their original skin colour in a few days time. That’s why most people at my school cannot understand why I go to school wearing a jumper and hat with loads of sunscreen on my face. (>_<)

I’d really rather my skin be pale but living in Australia, the UV rays as you all know are super strong so it’s hard not to get tanned even with all those things on at school. =P

posted over 8 years ago
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