Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Skin Lightening - Western Beauty Ideals

An example of this is a advertisement (January 2016) for skin-whitening pills with the slogan "white makes you win". In the ad Thai model Cris Horwang was seen with gradually darkening skin, as she states: "If I stop taking care of myself, everything I have worked for, the whiteness I have invested in, may be lost." The message was loud and clear: ‘lighter skin is desirable, attainable (via skin lightening products) and brings success’.

The ability to alter physical characteristics via cosmetic surgery, procedures or products in pursuit of looking more Western or ‘white’ is extremely controversial. Recently Ana Kasparian the co-hosts of YouTube channel ‘The Young Turks’, discussed skin lightening, beauty pressures and why she had cosmetic surgery to change her ‘Albanian nose’ with host Cenk Uygur.

Ana Kasparian:

"The underlying issue is pressure to look a certain way, have lighter skin and to appeal to the notion that European looking individuals are more attractive.

“If you are considered too pale and white you are pressured to tan. If you are considered too dark there is pressure to lighten your skin, to stay out of the sun (you don’t want to get darker). However, there is more pressure on those with darker skin than those with lighter skin, but it’s a disaster either way….”

Host Cenk Uygur then commented that historically South East Asian cultures admired pale skin, because it symbolised that you were wealthy and did not have to work outside in the fields and be tanned by the sun. The desire to be white or very light, lead to Japanese women covering their face in white makeup. Likewise, Turkish women were considered beautiful if their complexion was so light that you could see a dark grape go down her throat. Then there is the Western media that is so dominant in our culture, that when people around the world view it they think; ‘I want to look like that’, because all the people who are glamorised and in the movies are Western.

“I know why it happens”, Uygur added “but it still breaks my heart’.

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Posted by admin at 3:12:21 PM in Beauty (80) | Comments (0)


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