Skin Deep

“Beauty and the Bleach” headlines a section of today’s Los Angeles Times. It’s about how women in the Asian community are shielding themselves from the sun, and seeking refuge in cosmetic procedures to appear “whiter”.

Just another visit at the topic of skin color from Richard’s previous entry “A Black Face”.

Dark isn’t cool in Thailand. And it’s not because the influence of the Western culture. You’ll read in the article here at they mentioned a Western ideal of beauty is to blame for Asian whitening craze. It’s not. It really has been based in the Asian culture. The light skin means you’re not toiling in the sun and therefore of higher class.

Yep. White = high society = beautiful. It comes down to that.

White schmite! I’m going with the color my karma dictated which goes from what L’Oreal makeup counter calls “Honey Beige” to a little lighter than cafe mocha.

Everyone is beautiful in whatever color they’re in.

10 responses to “Skin Deep

  1. I remember an ad in a foreign magazine for a tan lotion. There they show a foreigner and an dark Asian – i think Indian. And the headline was ‘ A shade more daring!’.

  2. Hmm, some, if not most, people always want the opposite of what they have and, in this case, people like Margaret Qiu want whiter skin whereas I usually see or hear Western women going for a very dark tan.

  3. Hi Oakmonster,

    What an article! Very telling when it comes to that sick trend that does effect the way people feel about themselves even back home in North America. I have a hot half-Indian friend back home who stays out of the sun like mad all summer and does whatever she can to prevent from unleashing her “dark side”.

    Quick description of a recent TV commercial that speaks volumes on this one (pardon me if I’m a bit fuzzy on this one, but the main points will be correct, was on about six months ago):

    A lightskinned middle aged Asian man is shown standing at a funeral weeping at a grave, and as he is walking away (I believe whilst eating a banana) the camera pans to the gravestone which has a picture of the deceased who is – a chimpanzee! Then a flash to the name of the skin whitening lotion being advertised.

    (If I didn’t draw a clear enough picture here the commercial portrayed the man as the son of an ape transformed through lotion).

    That ran for a long time and was shown regularly at the BTS station I used to take to work.

    Good on you Oakmonster for not giving a hoot or a holler about any of it.

  4. Right on! I agree with you 100% ..of course the fact that I find darker skinned Thais generally more attractive to me I’m sure doesn’t have anything to do with it 😉

    Hi So/Low So who cares …let’s go! You got to know, we all have to show, a light that shines to glow, eyes see only love grow and together stand fast over what wind will blow …..

    Burma Wit

  5. Good for you, Oakmonster, for going with your true color. I try to get Pon out in the sun, as I likes my womens a little on the burnt side. She ain’t havin’ it. Wants to be pale as a little ghost. Oh well, I’ll keep trying.

  6. The skin tone again!

    My fan, who will complain about the least bit of sun, was totally amazed and uncomprehinding when I tried to explain about tanning lotions and tanning beds here in America. She will complain about being “black” and when I say I like black, her retort “is to marry an African!”

    My favorite ad in a Thai magazine was for “nipple pinking cream”, I didn’t get a lot of points for finding that uproarouisly funny.

    I’m with Wit though, its the light that glows and shines from with in her beautiful dark eyes that gets me weak in the knees, light or dark.

  7. Yours in name here has certainly be no stranger to jokes on this subject.

    Don’t just have a laugh at the Asians though, look at us caucasians too!

    As soon as the sun is out we’re off with our tops and brassieres and heading for the beaches to get as darned crispy and dark as we can.

    This is also, a complete ego trip. Where i come from a tanned skin is not just a sign of beauty but also wealth, as it signifies that you got the cash to go for an exotic foreign vacation.

    Then, the biggest ego trip is for those who have the cash to visit places like south-east to get a tan during the European winter months. An upgrade on the tans sought during the European summer ie. “Hey man i got the cash to go to Thailand not your average Spain cheapy holiday!’

    Farangs’ egos can be so huge in this respect that they pay little concern to the likes of skin cancer etc..

  8. Following on from Steve’s comment, Tanning Studios are now big in the UK for that all-the-year round tan. There are major concerns over young girls using these places and permanently damaging their skin.

  9. Brissy_guy12

    I had lived in Thailand for nearly 15 years and I must say that Thais generally are very racist, especially to people of dark skin complexion, eg. south asians, blacks, etc. Now when I talk of racism, I dont mean the usual verbal abuse in the face but rather the superiority feeling they have over people of poorer countries. They seem to have the feeling that they are very aligned and needed by many western countries and so they the approval of leveling with caucasians, which in their perspective puts them on a different levels. However, I am sure they would have realised this from the economic crisis in 97…..but regardless of this, I doubt they have learnt any lesson. Thailand is unlike Malaysia or Singapore, which has embedded western cultures and ideologies of mixed race society into educating their people. Therefore, you will not be treated as different as you would in Thailand. Many thais who come over abroad do know how the west view them – and you can see how shocked they are to see their perspective turned 180 degrees. Thailand has a long way to go, maturing in its thinking and outlook as a nation.

  10. I remember speaking about this strange phenomenon of women wanting what they can’t have. We settled on the idea of “beauty” being what the rich could afford. In places like Thailand the poor toil in the fields, out in the hot sun all day and the rich laze about inside in the cool. In the west, like my country Australia the poor toil behind desks, in offices out of the sun while the rich take tropical holidays and laze about in the sun.
    Of course I am one of the toiling “poor” and also have an Irish background, so my skin is as white as skin ever gets. When I visited Thailand I was very surprised that the men were attracted to my white skin. I don’t think it’s right, this standard of beauty but it was a bit nice to be on the “beautiful” side of the skin tones as far as the majority’s opinion is concerned. Personally I like my skin the way it is so even if I had the time I wouldn’t lie out in the sun. It’s very bad for your skin to do that anyway. I wish that all women were so happy with themselves and not always looking to change to a standard that isn’t a universal beauty but merely a standard set by the silly and whimsical rich.