Tuesday, December 28, 2010

is white better?

I'm in the Middle East right now and as I peruse the aisles at grocery stores, I realize that there are almost zero products that offer to whiten your skin. Even brands that are known for their skin whitening properties back in my home country aren't even claiming to whiten skin. So I did some research and realized that countries such as China, India and those in South East Asia are the biggest market for skin whitening products since most of the people who live here are obsessed with whiter, lighter skin much like the European countries are into tanning and getting that nice bronzed look. Ironic, is it not?

Commercials about skin-whitening products in these countries are also abundant. However, these commercials can sometimes border on being racist. Observe:

Notice how the girl's life in the first commercial was desolate and gray. She was depressed and was portrayed as some sort of outcast. She also spent her lonely days sitting on pier railings and aimlessly walking around. But as soon as she used the whitening cream advertised, her life exploded with color, she became happier, little kids started randomly giving her flowers, and creepy guys start grabbing her hand from behind then they get all touchy-feely on the pier.
As for the second commercial, need I say more? You will start dating in 2 weeks? You'll look good in anything you wear? So does that mean if you have a darker skin color, you don't look good in anything you wear and you don't date people? Heck, they even proclaim that life is better with whiter skin! And at the end: Defy Color. Really? REALLY?

Now these whitening products aren't even confined to women. Here's one aimed at men:

So there's this random guy running around exposing other men who are using some sort of second-rate sun block cream as they hide in bathroom stalls and under bridges wearing hoodies to cover their "ugly, dark skin". This guy who seems to be the whitest among all the men in the commercial throws away their old sun block creams and offers them Fair and Handsome. They all then dance on a basketball court and jump forward in slow motion (what?). Enter these three hot women and they sing in shrill voices: "HI HANDSOME HI HANDSOME HI HANDSOME" as they gather around the newly whitened young man in the background. Finally, our hero chuckles in the foreground for a job well done of making young men whiter and handsome after only 4 weeks.

Now, I'm a perfectly normal individual born with tan skin and I like myself that way. Even though my society sort of prefers whiter women over the darker ones because you are automatically pretty if you are white. Perhaps, this stems from the belief from long ago that people with darker skin are those who work in the sun for long hours and the ones with whiter skin are those that get to stay at home because they are well-off. European people are just as bad since they use these spray-on tans and tanning creams, tanning beds, and go to tanning salons. They, on the other hand, think that pasty white skin is appalling. These commercials are manipulating our minds into thinking that we should be whiter or darker to be pretty (depending on where you were born).

Why can't we be happy in our own skin, the one we were born with? We are all beautiful in our own ways and we don't need to change a thing. I just hope other people realize this and stop trying so hard to be something they are not.

Stay gorgeous,


  1. our society is really getting blinded of the definition of beautiful.. I'm gonna share you another video about it... wait...


    people are getting stuck of the true meaning of beauty... because of advertisement mostly.... or so i think

  2. Oh yes. I've seen that video before, too.

    Our society is so obsessed with this fictional definition of beauty that they employ extreme measures to attain it. Even if it means crushing the self-confidence and self-esteem of other perfectly normal people who are condemned as ugly or even fat by our society.

    Yes, you are right. Many advertisements (or media in general) manipulate us into believing a false image of beauty.

  3. i think fairness creams are a terrible idea. everyone should be happy and content with the way they are. instead, most of the countries, especially in south asia have this warped image that no one will like them if they have dark skin. i absolutely love tanned skin!
    there's also this other Ponds fairness cream ad with three major indian celebrities, it's terrible. its like, the guy leaves his girlfriend for a more famous person, and then that girl uses fairness cream and he leaves his famous gf and comes back to the old one because she's fairer. that's really really stupid!

  4. I wonder what cream Michael Jackson used

  5. @Furree Katt: i know. it's really sad. :( whether you have white, dark or any other kind of skin (green?) you're beautiful.

    @Edyy: Haha. Oh you. But here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/26/michael-jackson-had-dozen_n_515528.html


do you have anything to say about the sugar-fueled shizz i have hastily posted above? don't hesitate! comment now!

(i just realized how infomercial-y that sounded. but hey, don't let that stop you from commenting!)