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#59 Pale Skin

Posted April 15th, 2008 by Peter · 197 Comments
84,404 views

“The paler the skin, the higher the class. That is why most Asian women will bust their ass.” -Anonymous

For the longest time, women, in general, have attempted to whiten their facial skin. In fact, most cultures considered women with the whitest skin the most beautiful, bringing forth the need for cosmetics. That was the case 3000 years ago, when Greek and Roman women smeared lead paint and chalk on their faces to “fake” having whiter skin (and cancer, unfortunately). However, the obsession with white skin has greatly evolved, shifting from beauty to a sign of social class.

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Especially in Asia, whiter skin is the equivalent of a monocle on a French aristocrat. White skin is a sign of high class because one had enough money to stay indoors while most asians had to toil in the sun. Pale skin is also valued because it is a western feature. For these reasons, asian women, especially in Korea, have taken a liking to this– White Tanning? Yes. White Tanning. They simply aren’t that excited about golden skin, partly due to the fact that most people in Asia have tanned skin from the sunny asian climate and toiling in the rice paddies. It is also due to some genetic aspects…

According to sunlesstanning.ws, there are a couple asian dermatological differences to take into account:

1. Hyperpigmentation (dark spots) has an earlier onset than wrinkles and laxity (loss of firmness) on Asian skin (compared to Caucasians).

2. The Japanese have the lightest skin tone; thus, Japanese women have low melanin and skin redness. The Indians have the darkest skin tone, and therefore high melanin content and skin redness.

3. Asian skin has a better behavior during cooler months; because of reduced sun exposure, Asian women’s skin has better biomechanical properties such as elasticity and structures (collagen).

4. Skin becomes yellowish with age and this is more visible in Chinese and Korean skin than other racial groups.

5. Japanese skin has the best condition (least deterioration with age), while Indian skin has the worst.









Due to these factors, Asians have viewed whiter skin with significance for centuries. In that time, pale skin has represented sophistication, innocence, femininity, and higher social stature. Consequently, In search of that whiter skin, Asian women will do just about anything:

They’ll cover their faces in 102 Degree Weather.

They’ll live in darkness like mole people until their eyes are more keen than a cat’s.

They’ll even walk down the streets of China Town in broad daylight with with umbrellas.

So I present these questions: Have you ever wondered why Geishas paint their faces white… Why chinese opera performers have white masks… or why your mom never goes out in the daytime? (no, she’s not a vampire.. well.. maybe when she nags…) The fact of the matter is that Asian cultures view whiter skin as more effervescent, childlike, erotic, or pure. That is why today, Asian women strive for that Pale Skin.

It also helps that the beauty products are much safer than their predecessors (lead paint and pearl grindings). By the way, here’s an article about an Asian Lady that’s afraid of the sun.

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Tags: Activities · Beauty · Chores · Culture · Customs · Environment · Habits · History · Medicine · People · Products · Superstition · Work

197 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Justin // Apr 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    my mom and family calls my sister ugly whenever she gets a tan…and when she studies a lot, stays in doors, they family treats her like gold, a princess…not kiddin!

  • 2 Justin // Apr 15, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    another thing: i visited Seoul and saw ladies with umbrellas and mask when it’s perfect weather ?!?!

  • 3 Lana // Apr 15, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    No, it’s not about dermatological matters, and yes, a long time ago, white skin was looked upon as ‘princess like’, but the reason for the salivating for white skin NOWADAYS is because of the pressing need to look like white people. Ooops, I mean, ‘western’…yeah that’s the word. The same reason for the double eyelid surgery and shaving the cheekbones to have the less rounded face and the nose job to have a ridiculously long narrow nose: to look white, oops I mean ‘western’.

    The self-hate is ASTOUNDING! I’ll be glad when the day comes when people are comfortable in their own skin, whatever color it may be.

  • 4 Porfirio // Apr 16, 2008 at 3:08 am

    Lana…you RAWK!!! However, you forgot the ones who wear colored contacts…ooops, only gay asians do that.

  • 5 Anonymous // Apr 16, 2008 at 4:08 am

    I AGREEEEE completely

  • 6 YASPY Chick // Apr 16, 2008 at 7:59 am

    If light skin has been seen as upper class and “lady-like” for thousands of years, I don’t see how Hollywood and European colonization has anything to do with it. Light skin was considered “upper class” by westerners until the 1920s (remember Nellie Olsen from Little House and how she’d refuse to go outside for recess? Ditto with Southern Belles, who yes, carried parasols) when Coco Chanel came back with a tan. Then everyone was like “Coco’s soooooo kewel! She’s tanned and has the money to go on vacay.”

    As for the masks….it’s more a pollution thing than a skin thing. Hats and long sleeves and pants at the golf course, on the other hand….that’s the sun thing.

    My grandmother hates my tanning habits.

  • 7 fm // Apr 16, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    racism. pure and clear. i can understand the origins of this desire, but we know the uninteded consequences. and for the sake of a better society, get some self respect and accept yourself, your kids, and ultimately your friends for what they are, not how the look like.

  • 8 avon // Apr 16, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    all i know is that i look sick (as if i have the flu) when my skin is pale. i’d look like i was dead if my skin was whitened.

  • 9 Justin // Apr 16, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    my aunts do the mask thing to stay white versus pollution…but majority people use it for pollution

  • 10 Justin // Apr 16, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    1. question i’ve always been curious about: do you think asian movie stars purposefully try to stay white or they are naturally pale?

    2. also, asian girls – were you ever tempted to become paler just to be accepted by the adults/relatives?

    3. haha…other stuff i want to know: anyone heard of those weird creams they sell all around asia? they’re soo bad for your skin…and all those whitening salons when i’ve been there grosses me out – it’s not good for your skin at all, trying to remove natural pigment ack! why do you have to go through all that and end up looking unhealthy, pale, weak and sickly?

    4. guys: what do you prefer the healthy look or the vulnerable, i need you to be my hero, pale look in asian dramas?

    i go for natural!

  • 11 Big Chan // Apr 16, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Man I wish I had Pale skin but I’m way to dark.

  • 12 Amy // Apr 16, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    haha, i was wondering when this post would appear.
    Welllll, pale skin. I agree with YASPY Chick on this:
    “If light skin has been seen as upper class and ‘lady-like” for thousands of years, I don’t see how Hollywood and European colonization has anything to do with it.”

    And i don’t see Asian women, AND some men, going to give up on their quest to paler skin any time soon. It’s exactly the same as the western obsession with tanned skin. Skin whitening & skin tanning products? Different purposes, same evil.

    Another point to add is that your sense of beauty is influenced by your surroundings. If you live in Asia, it’s most likely that you’re bound to think whiter skin is prettier. Although you may or may not feel obliged to bleach your own skin, depending on your self-confidence level.
    If you’re an Asian living in a western country where the rave is all about tanned skin, then you can’t help but getting a bit smug when your white friends go “What a beautiful tan you’ve got!” when you never have to waste a cent on fake tan. (haha admit it! ;)

    People will always vie for what they don’t have. That’s pretty much what it is, be it pale skin, big eyes, tall nose, long eyelashes, hair colours different than black (for the Asians), or tanned skin, narrower eyes, high cheekbones (for the Caucasians), and etc. etc.

    Oh, and did you know, our Indian / South Asian friends also love to have paler skin. My friends from Kathmandu (and other highland regions in Nepal & North India) who have paler skin than people from the Southern parts of India or Sri Lanka, are considered extremely pretty.

  • 13 Amy // Apr 16, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    geez, look how i can babble! that bit deserved its own postcode didn’t it? hehe

  • 14 sy88 // Apr 17, 2008 at 2:08 am

    This is interesting. My youngest sister is for some reason or the other darker than me or my other siblings. We like saying she’s adopted because of it…yeah it’s cruel isn’t it?

    Eh, it’s all much ado about nothing IMO…

  • 15 stuffgirlslike // Apr 17, 2008 at 10:42 am

    It could be that it is a colonial legacy, you know that eurasians were better treated and in colonial times, everyone wanted a better position.

    Kimora is dark skinned maybe in the future darker skins will take precedent as you have more Blasians.

  • 16 Lana // Apr 18, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Yes and India has been colonized by the Europeans who ruled that country for decades to believe that white was better and to this day, that caste system is in place.

    That colonialized ‘white is power because they were/are in power’ mentality is prevalent in non-colonized European colonized nations, as well.

    It can be sugar-coated all day long, but that’s the real reason. Whites directly or indirectly colonized and/or controlled this world. What do you see as the worldwide standard of beauty? Whites with long noses, long flowing (preferably blond) hair, etc. Anything else might be looked at as pretty, but not as good as the standard that has been set as ‘gold’. People see that, and see how they’re treated and want to be it so they can be treated that way, and enjoy the same level of power plain and simple. A lot of Asians feel that ‘white is right’ and ‘black is ugly/wrong, because it’s simply not white. How coincidental is it that ‘whiteface’ comes with those racist thoughts? Not at all, because it was born out of a racist mentality.

    You can be ‘infected’ with ‘whiteface’, sure. Look like a ‘The Ring/Grudge’ extra, if you want. You can make your eyes rounder, shave your face down all you want, but you can bet your plastic enhanced face that for all of you efforts, will still be/look ASIAN, because that’s what you ARE.

    (This goes for anyone, regardless of race. you can try to be any other race than your own if you want. Not only will you NOT fool yourself, you won’t fool anyone else, either)

    Love who you are the way that you are and stop trying to be something that you will NEVER be, people.

    And yes, it is very cruel and racist to say that your sister is adopted because of the color of her skin. I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t have low self-esteem and didn’t like you all much for that saying that. Was she treated differently by those in your family as well?

    I remember reading a certain board about this drama titled ‘Hello, Miss/My Lady!’ The younger sister in the drama was tannish. You wouldn’t believe (or maybe you would) the negative comments that surrounded her ‘darkness’. I was taken aback, because if I were to denigrate the other characters because of their eyes or roundness of face, I’d quickly be called a racist and admonished to accept differences…but because she was ‘dark’, this attitude was okay. I’ve since come to see that attitude a lot, esp. towards tanner Asians and Blacks.

    Yes, writers, let’s do a post on the racism that rums RAMPANT in the Asian community. Let’s talk about the crying of racism when it’s committed against Asians, but think it’s perfectly alright and don’t see how it’s wrong to apply those same mindsets/attitudes towards ‘others’ (esp. those of darker hue)….the same mindsets/attitudes that were so ‘wrong’ or ‘not the same thing’ when they were applied towards you.

    Let’s get into that….

  • 17 Lana // Apr 18, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Ooops….I meant to put some Asians in my post. Not all feel that way…

  • 18 sy88 // Apr 18, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    “And yes, it is very cruel and racist to say that your sister is adopted because of the color of her skin. I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t have low self-esteem and didn’t like you all much for that saying that. Was she treated differently by those in your family as well?”

    It was all in good fun, trust me, it was less insulting than it sounds just there. Hey, her skin colour gives her that permanent tanned look, it’s quite a nice look actually. She knows we’re all kidding anyway, so it’s all good…

  • 19 sy88 // Apr 18, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    And before anyone accuses me of racism, let it be known that I’m probably the most racially sensitive person I know. Heck, I’m scared to refer to ‘African-American’ people as ‘black’ sometimes. What if they’re not American, there’s a pickle there, do you just refer to them as African? It’s just the relationship me and my siblings have with my sister, that we’re comfortable with those sort of topics. We were just discussing whether the correct term for us ‘Westernized Asians’ is ‘ABC’ or ‘banana’.

    Again, I’ll say, much ado about nothing…

  • 20 CoolDustin82 // Apr 19, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    I thought it was weird for my aunt to walk around in the sun with an umbrella, but it’s not uncommon to see black women here in New Orleans do the same thing. So I’ve only seen Asian and black women do it, but I know parasols used to be used in Europe.

  • 21 solong // Apr 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Koreans definitely do a lot to get paler skin xD But I always thought that the masks were just for pollution. They became a trend after net idols (ulzzangs) started decorating the masks during the whole SARs epidemic, I think.

    I just learned about how Asian people want pale skin so bad after I got into K-Pop 2 years ago. I seriously thought everyone wanted to be tan because Americans are always tanning xD

  • 22 halfie // Apr 20, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    my family always told me that the pale skin was a sign of social status because the rich didn’t women didn’t have to work in the fields/rice paddies all day, therefore they didn’t get all the sun exposure
    has anyone else been told this?

  • 23 Justin // Apr 20, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    i’ve heard this as well =)

  • 24 M3 // Apr 20, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Lana you sound like you were made fun of because of your dark skin. Hopefully that rant provided an emotional outlet for you.

    The pale skin is related to upper class social status because if you have it, it means you didn’t have to work in the fields like all the other commoners (ie. Lana). An example of this can be seen in Japanese women. Why do you think Geishas (the pinnacle of Japanese beauty) have always had “white” colored faces. It was originally a white lead mask, then it became rice powder. And please don’t give me that crap about how white people influenced it, because it has always been the tradition. The same thing can be seen in chinese and korean culture.

    So in conclusion, this pale phenomenon is nothing new and the crap about how it is racist is coming from (ironically) white washed asians.

  • 25 Twinkie Girl // Apr 20, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Halfie – Yes, I’ve heard the same story as well. I guess I believed them because I haven’t sunbathed since I was 20 & wear long-sleeves & big hats when I hike (and believe me, in Arizona you definitely get weird looks for the long-sleeves!). I’ll probably be pulling out my old parasol from the box it shares with all my old kimonos. Somewhere in the next life, my grandmother is laughing hysterically.

  • 26 nanheyangrouchuan // Apr 22, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Would it surprise any of you to know that white dudes consider darker skinned girls to be more exotic? They grew up with white chicks their whole lives (and white girl mentalities).

    Also, pale skin on a white person is equated with either severe sickness, a mental case/shut in or the terminally lazy.

  • 27 YASPY Chick // Apr 23, 2008 at 7:24 am

    But Nanheyagrouchuan, pale skin on white people was historically a beauty trait. Why else did southern belles hide under parasols?

  • 28 Anonymous // Apr 25, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    This is pretty funny. I went to Japan and in their purikura booths they have options as to how light you want your skin to appear. You can get it reaaallly ghostly white it’s not funny.
    But conversely you can get your skin really dark in those purikura too.
    Really it depends. I saw girls in Japan walking around with a really heavy tan as well as girls with white skin.

  • 29 Stephanie // Apr 26, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Umm Southern belles hide under parasols? Last time I went to the south, everyone was tan and didn’t give a crap about hiding under shade. This whole wanting to be as pale as possible is such bs.

  • 30 Natural // May 1, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    There’s this trend of bleaching your skin with soap and stuff and its everywhere….I really see it a lot in southeast asian countries because its probably the fact that they are darker than their east asian counterparts and have the same biased tendencies of thinking about the whole rice paddy thing and the richer you are the less likely you’ll e outside doing god knows what. Iknow this because whenever I go back to the Philippines I see almost all the products on tv and magazines are on how to acheive paler skin. I personally think trying to be ‘paler/fairer’ is one of the stupidest things ever.

  • 31 Lana // May 6, 2008 at 1:37 am

    M3, no I was never made fun of because of the color of my dark beautiful skin, (believe it or not) I just really hate racism, because you’re hating a person over something that notihng can be done about. And it really burns me up when I see self hatred. And this ‘whiteface’ is as self-hating as you can get.

    And, yes I can bring you that crap about white colonization, because whites have influenced how Asians in general look at the world in the 21st century. Now that stuff ya’ll talking about with parasols, rice fields and such, yeah that was THEN. Now it’s a whole new ball game. You see your star/idols looking totally ridiculous with pastly white faces and tan necks and arms, then you wanna look like ‘oppa’ or ‘unni’ or whoever. Well, where do you think they get it from? From the White stars who come over with their media onslaught of commericals subliminally telling the masses that white looks better than everybody. ‘Be white like us!’ A lot of Asians have tied status, money, education all into the ‘precious’ white skin. That’s what it’s about NOW, in this century. And what’s really interesting in the quest for whiteness is the ‘Jim Crow’ attitude that comes along with it. For people that weren’t under direct Jim Crow rule, a lot of ya’ll sure do have that mentality down PAT! The almost worship of the white man, his language, his status, and his color is really…disturbing.

    Yeah, let’s talk about THIS CENTURY, modern times, please, not way back when, because the things that influenced ‘whiteface’ are not the same as the were, oh, back in 1940-1980.

    People, just learn to love the skin you’re in. Don’t look like some of these nuts out here with pastly faces, tan bodies, trying to act, look, speak like they think they’re beloved white person would. Goshdarnit! BE YOU! BE YOU! BE THE BEST YOU YOU CAN BE!

  • 32 yoon // May 8, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    I’m so happy some people appreciate pale skin. here in the states, everyone makes fun of me for my paleness. I love thou, so I dont give a shit what they think. and since my husband is from south korea, he loves it also.

  • 33 Annie Get Your Fun // May 15, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Um, so. I think these posts are supposed to be slightly irreverent, yes? So the whole thing about the Japanese skin being the palest and most likely to hold up? That’s… a **** JOKE, right?

    I’m white, and I had an interesting time living in Asia, where people were extremely jealous of my pale skin (Tibetans were especially prone to poking me in the arm and then patting my cheeks to see if I was real). I found the whole obsession rather nauseating, as well as perplexing, because I get teased here in the US for being white enough to glow in the dark.

    That said, I’d like to remind everyone that the idea of pale skin as “beautiful” was not purely a Western concept. Being pale used to be a sign of being welathy- if you were tanned, you were likely out toiling in the fields all day, so pale people were the ones who could afford to sit around inside and read books while their servants toiled outside. This was the case in Europe as well as Asia – Chinese culture valued pale skin long before Westerners arrived. Just read some old Chinese literature or Indian love tomes. Anything praising a woman’s beauty is likely to refer to her “fair” skin.

    In Western nations, the image of a wealthy person with oodles of leisure time has shifted from being pale and plump to being tanned and thin. Being tanned means that you have time and money to jet off to tropical locations during the winter. If I’m not mistaken, Jackie Kennedy ushered in this new era of thinking when she married Onassis and spent her days sped boating around the Mediterranean or wherever the hell she was.

    This is currently the case in most industrialized cultures (tanned = rich enough to travel). This isn’t the case in China or India yet, because they aren’t yet First World countries. You will see tanning as more widely accepted in Japan, and less so in Korea (for reasons I can’t quite explain).

    It’s not that I don’t think that racism plays a role in the obsession with white skin – I have many an Indian friend who can’t marry well because of their “wheatish” complexions. I find it aggravating and insulting. But originally, the whole “pale” versus “dark” issue stemmed more from economic differences (pale = wealthy) than from purely racial ones.

    On a side note, if we’re going to get all divide-y up-y about race, people from the Indian subcontinent are largely considered Aryan.

  • 34 Lizzie // Jun 4, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    This is crazy! I’m from England and there having a tan is consider to be a huge bonus! Everyone I know fake tans when they want to look good for an event, and are upset if they don’t get a tan from their holidays… I’m naturally very pale with very dark hair (almost black) and don’t tan at all, I get teased about this all the time, especially on holiday. But I don’t care! I was born like this and I’ve accepted it! The colour of someone’s skin should never define their beauty or worth… women have spent far too long damaging their health by trying to change what was naturally given to them, enough is enough!

  • 35 avalon // Jun 10, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    “Yes and India has been colonized by the Europeans who ruled that country for decades to believe that white was better and to this day, that caste system is in place.”

    Rubbish. The Indian caste system is ancient and a thoroughly Indian creation. White colonization did not create the caste system.

    “Well, where do you think they get it from? From the White stars who come over with their media onslaught of commericals subliminally telling the masses that white looks better than everybody.”

    So Asians are so mindless and robot-like that they will blindly follow any white celebrity who tells them anything? My, what a lot of power those evil white people have.

  • 36 Oneya // Jul 2, 2008 at 12:55 am

    5 I am black,but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tends of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon 6 Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me:my mother’s childrens were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.
    Songs of Solomon 1:5-6

  • 37 Sunmi // Jul 9, 2008 at 1:00 am

    i always find it funny that western ppl want to be tan and asians want to be pale. not saying everyone in that race exactly does. but every time i go to korea, the girls there have pale skin and do nothing much to cover themselves up. so i always thought they just dont tan (unlike me, i live in california so im completly tan).

  • 38 y // Jul 16, 2008 at 8:21 am

    This segment about pale skin, for some parts is unfounded dribble. yes, it is true that pale skin is widely desired by any asian cultures. and there are the links to historical social bearings.

    ’5. Japanese skin has the best condition (least deterioration with age), while Indian skin has the worst.’ < also, i notice many, many of my korean friends r all naturally pale- not yellow. actually, most of my japanese friends and family r dark.

    anyway, its good to protect you skin from the sun- not to prevent tanning, but more importantly to prevent premature ageing.

    also whitening products- should be trashed- u should learn 2 love ur natural skin color .

  • 39 cuteyhoney // Jul 23, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    that’s why I love Lee Hyori so much. A Korean pop star who tans!! she’s like “in your face, I’m still hot!”

    regardless of why people are doing it, they should do what makes them feel good and sexy and all that jazz. don’t do it for someone else ladies and gentlemen and don’t judge others for what they are or what they like!

  • 40 Brittni // Jul 24, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    *le sigh*
    Well being extremely pale and living in the USA, I get alot of crap about my skin color.
    I’ve gotten COUNTLESS “OMG you’re so pale” comments.
    Yes America, I’m very aware. I have seen myself before, lol.
    I wish people could just leave it alone and appreciate what they have, find the beauty in what they were given by genetics.
    We’d all be so much happier that way, not constantly comparing ourselves to others and other to us.
    And I mean, really, everyone prefers something different from the next person.

    I cant do anything about my color because I have the white skin that wont tan at all, so I’ve learned to deal with it and appreciate myself as being out of the norm.
    Hey, at least I dont have to worry about farmers tans! =D

  • 41 LMAO // Jul 25, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Lana you are an idiot. You must think all asians are one race and look exactly the same dont you? Even the oriental asians have sub-races. Facial features vary from region to region you fucking retard. 70% of cantonese have double eyelids. 70% of koreans have single eyelids. And so on and so forth. Who gives a shit? Stop generalizing and getting upset when an asian doesn’t look the way you expect/want them to.

  • 42 Let's get one thing straight // Jul 25, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    White people are PINK and get sunburn easy.

    Pale asians are IVORY and don’t.

    And another thing, tanning regularly (salon retardation) ages the skin quicker and increases the risk of skin cancer. So if any of you want to jump on the trend of being a walking melanoma then be my guest. Because THAT’S being white for you, oh I’m sorry “western”.

  • 43 Well... // Jul 25, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Who here has seen a pale white person? Here’s a crude example:

    http://www.shabooty.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/gaffiganphoto-250×300.jpg

    I can see why most white people like to tan. They don’t want to look like this guy. White people tend to have somewhat rugged skin; kind of hairy too; and they’re pink . Most whites (not all) just look better tanned, especially the ones with light hair (better contrast?), or they just risk looking like a pasty and sickly q-tip.

    In any case, asian skin looks nothing like caucasian skin. It’s more of an actual white+ocher(yellowish)+greyish than pink+peach. The majority of north asians (Okinawans vary) have always been fair. They don’t go out of their way to achieve paleness as the creator of this article would have you believe. Maybe some do, but I doubt it’s as widespread in places like Korea or Japan as it is in India or the Philippines, obviously.

    These whole attributions to wealth and other half-ass theories as to why fairskin is coveted is ignoring the elephant in the room, that smooth, milky cream skin can look really good, just like how some people think that tans look good. It can go both ways.

    And to the person who wrote this article, I have a question. About those pictures above with the women wearing masks. Are you sure those pictures weren’t just taken during the whole SARS epidemic and they’re wearing masks to protect themselves from infection? Because I really don’t see how just covering your mouth (while exposing your arms, neck, shoulders, and the rest of your face) keeps your complexion light.

  • 44 miko // Jul 28, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    umbrellas, yeah. but masks? useless! they only cover the lower half of your face. they’re probably not for protection from the sun but to keep from breathing in pollution, etc

  • 45 kim // Jul 29, 2008 at 8:02 am

    I’m Asian, Filipino, and I’m very blessed to have pale skin compared to the other PURE Filipinos. But, because of that, people always ask: are you laos? OR, are you have Chinese?

    It kinda bugs me.

  • 46 Rjk // Aug 4, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    To Lana above – you need to stop looking at everything from a white racial perspective. Most Asians in Asia could care less about white people. Not everything is relative to how white people are or how white people think.

    Asians that desire white skin have nothing to do with white people. It is a long standing tradition in Asia long before White people even showed up in Asia.

    What Asians desire is a different shade of white comparing to what most white people have. White people tend to have pinkish white skin while Asians tend to want different shade of white skin.

    Also, in Chinese culture people with a lot of body hair is considered closer to the animals. So, I doubt most Chinese people in China want white skin with bunch of hair like most white people. People with no body hair with light skin are considered more high class for centuries.

  • 47 edna // Aug 17, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    im sort of pale like my face legs but not my arms they’re darker by a little bit and consistently other people(asian friends, family, other friends from different races) ask me why am i so pale for an asian or they ask did you know your pale? its just really annoying but i guess in asia they praise for paleness.. i wish i could be a little tanner so these people would stop commenting!!

  • 48 calisto // Aug 20, 2008 at 4:53 am

    i hate brown asians, they look like mexicans

  • 49 kvietgrl // Aug 20, 2008 at 10:45 am

    @calisto, that’s a pretty prejudice/discriminating comment regarding dark skin looking like mexicans.

  • 50 D // Aug 20, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    If a person were light skinned because they didn’t get much sun, their skin in natural. Not affected by outside forces(sun or chemicals). My relatives say my skin is ‘white’ just ’cause its not brown, but it is not white like what you see in the ads above. It’s a little darker than what it was when I was a kid. Maybe it’s just me, but I view it as keeping it natural, more so than having the sun change it.

    As long as the person doesn’t use skin whitening chemicals, I think it’s totally fine to keep one’s skin color from getting darker.

    A tan is basically your skin’s reaction to the sun. I’m not sure, but it keeps you from getting a sunburn?

    It is one thing to be born dark, and another thing to become darker through the sun. Fake tans are better than real ones. Sunlight causes skin cancer and 90% of wrinkles. Not saying that it is good to live underground for the rest of your life. Just wear sunblock and all is good.

  • 51 D // Aug 20, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    umm, ignore the 90% thing. i recall reading that ‘fact’ somewhere, but it seems too high.

  • 52 D // Aug 20, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Ah, I did remember correctly. Sun exposure indeed is responsible for 90% of premature aging. The rest is attributed to hormone effects, muscle use, gravity, smoking/air pollution.. I’m thinking genetics would be a factor too, but I didn’t see it in that article.

    When I was younger, I would get tans in the summer and they’d go away in the winter. But now I keep my color cause I use sunblock when I go out.

    In Vietnam, women wear gloves to protect their arms from the sun when they’re on their motorbikes. I’m surprised it wasn’t included here. I think the masks are mostly for pollution. I went to Japan recently in dec 2007, and once in a while i’d see a person wearing a mask. My relative who was living there, said she thinks it’s because they’re sick and didn’t want others to get infected.

    I asked my parents who is prettier if both girls were identical twins and one was darker than the other. They said, the lighter one was prettier of course. And what if the darker one had prettier features? They said it would be a close one.

    Vietnamese people are pretty racist. Or maybe it’s just my family. One time in Vietnam, there was a rare spotting of a black man in Phan Thiet. One of my aunts said something like, “did you see that? De so!” I’m not sure how to translate “de so”, but literally it means easy scare. Like it’s so ugly it’ll scare someone easily.

    As for me, I find skin color similar to hair color. Some people look better with it darker, while some look better with it lighter. But for a lot of people, it doesn’t matter either way.

  • 53 Anonymous // Aug 28, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    I came across this website by accident…I’m actually white/western, from the UK. I have very dark brown hair, nearly black and pale skin which is very unusual for western people. I do the opposite of all of you….i spend my time trying to get a tan!! Asian people seem to want their skin to be whiter and western people want theirs to be darker…. maybe we should all just accept what we were born with. Everyone’s skin colour’s beautiful as the concepts of beauty vary so widely. If we all looked the same the world would be a very boring place!

  • 54 Lux // Aug 28, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Lol don’t mind Lana. She’s just some uppity black woman who needs to feel better about getting her hair straightened all the time.

    You can tell she’s a racist herself with all her stereotyping. She doesn’t just hate self-hating asians, she hates asians period. I’ve been seeing more and more of these psuedo-intellectual, pseudo know-it-all “nubian” types trying to stir up crap among other minorities. Perusing asian websites and leaving obnoxious ethnocentric comments is just Lana’s way of compensating for her own shitty racial experiences with white people.

    She’s just a disgruntled, bitter ugly woman with an ugly attitude who craves for others to be as miserable as her.

  • 55 Kai // Sep 4, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    D,

    Please don’t generalize your own people by the actions of some.

    What about the people who make cracks about someone for being pale? How come that’s not considered racist? Why does a double standard even exist? I’ll tell you why. It’s a black-white thing; white guilt and all that bullshit. Why should asians, who are also an oppressed minority, have to take part in their white guilt? It seems like certain whites would love to even pass their guilt onto us for some very odd reason (Example: Dozens of white people in America have shot up their school, but then Cho Seung Hui comes along. Then a couple more white people shoot up their school, but it’s still, all about Cho). And let’s not overlook the numerous buffoons in here who seem to take great joy lampooning others’ cultures with some patronizing self-righteous attitude. Get off your high horse, hypocrites.

    We never enslaved the blacks. Whites came to a non-white country (America, among others), proclaimed themselves as the only humans worth a damn, and practiced apartheid and genocide. You just can’t expect a pretty homogenous country like Vietnam, where, like you said, blacks are rare, to be held at the same standards as a 300 year old melting pot nation like America that has gone through a series a civil rights movements. At least nobody went over and lynched him. It’s not liking throwing bananas or making monkey noises at black soccer players during the World Cup is it? *cough*. De so/easily scared? That’s not racist. It could be applied to anybody. Sure it was used in a vulgar context, but is there even an equivalent for ‘n word’ in the Vietnamese language? Surely being surprised at the unfamiliar is better than a bunch of westerners that still think East Asians are some kind of alien race. For example, I’ve heard some Greek guy call us reptilians. There was also this black afrocentrist that said we were zeti reticulis. lmfao. whatever.

    And for the last time, caucasians are typically shades of pink. How many times must we tell you people, we do not want to be fucking pink. It’s not just about being light or dark; there’s the actual shade of color to consider.

  • 56 Tabitha // Sep 9, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Dear Lux,

    Bitter much?!?!?

  • 57 Anonymous // Sep 11, 2008 at 1:34 am

    Um I’m black and I read this article.. then I scan accrossed Lux’s comment..

    It’s judging someone saying something racists.. but in turn he seems to making a racist comment as well..

    Hypocritical statements are very much not appreciated…. black people don’t stir up trouble between minorities.. nor do I think Lana is trying too.. and no one ever compare asians to black people.. asians are most like white people from my understanding… if not they are allways trying to compare with them and get with them… I just wanted to say its sad.

    I straightened my hair yesterday cause I thought I’d like the look.. its so straight that it’s “asian” straight.. I don’t see myself trying to be asian.. my hair before was very curly and made me look masculine and seemed to not grow much. I did it to enhance my features and in turn I like it very much. Every “CULTURE” (not race) does some custom that in turn damages their body in order to form a cool, desired outcome.. everyone seems to make things racially shared.. but its not..

    Black people don’t share the same ideas.. just like Chinese and Japanese don’t.
    ex. chinese and Japanese are both asian.. they don’t share the same exact features physically.. They were once enemies (may still be) now lets narrow it down.. to Japanese.. there are different cultures in Japan.. a person from Osaka isn;t going to even speak the same Dialect as someone from Tokyo.. lets go further into the society.. there are some Japanese who like to perserve their tradition… and then there are Japanese people who are into the American way of living.

    One race of people do not obligate that race to having the same intention.. so please..not every black woman is a know it all.. some simply observ and think on a solution. (sorry for any typos, please bare with me) and that’s not typically an African American trait.. I have been greeted with “I’m better than you”attitude by many white and asian and spanish people.. not an Indian as of yet.. but that doesn’t mean that I never will. Anyways I said enough.. being racist isn’t restricted to a race, every race is guilty for having racist pricks.

  • 58 Lux // Sep 11, 2008 at 2:06 am

    Bitter? Love the originality. I guess parroting what I just called Lana is all you could come up with.

    Look, I’m not the African-American going to Asian sites deliberately stirring up trouble here. We all know how deep the self-hatred in the black community goes so the fact that Lana was even in here posting essay long responses about Asian self-hatred is just ironic.

    If anybody’s bitter its Lana for sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong and spewing her anti-Asian garbage in such detail. Yes, I said anti-Asian. She’s not fooling anyone with her pretentious diatribes. Just because we don’t worship black people doesn’t mean we’re white wannabes. That moron seriously needs to get a clue.

    Please understand my reaction, Tabitha. I didn’t mean to offend you. It’s just that I’ve seen one too many of these afrocentrists types deliberately trying to put us down, passive aggressively or otherwise. They even go as far as claiming Chinese history. And I was simply warning my people to watch out for people like her. Afrocentrists is not synonymous with all black people.

  • 59 lisb // Sep 15, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    like someone had mentioned. pale skin is not a western concept. whitening of the skin has always been popular in asia before westerners came in contact with asia or any influence had taken place. and no. i still think dark or tanned skin is pretty as well with pale skin ( i have pale skin). and lighter skin was a status symbol or beauty symbol in many non asian countries. many african nations have had similar notions as well too as well with middle eastern, etc.

  • 60 Francis Xavier // Sep 26, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Yeah I’m Mexican and some of my fellow beaners feel this way. I find light skin with non-white features to be very disgusting actually. If you don’t have white looks then you should not have white skin. Asian and Mexican women who bleach their skin look like zombies or diseased freaks. YOU ARE NOT WHITE! Get a dark tan, it looks way better on non-white people than fake white skin. I’m naturally light but I go outside alot shirtless cause I hate my light skin. Luckily I tan easy so I’m nice and brown now. (PS I like white people, just not unnatural skin tones)

  • 61 Carrie // Sep 28, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    I personally hate fake skin tones too!
    I’m from the UK, 16 years old and know a lot of people who are always trying to tan themselves (even if they didn’t need a tan in the first place). Well…not so much now as we have had brilliant sunny weather!

    I had a point were I wanted to tan my skin a little to make myself look better. Tans suited me more than paler skin. Although, I wouldn’t say my skin was exactly pale anyway haha!

    There are loads of Asian people in the UK and I don’t happen to know any that want to whiten their skin more. Would this be because most western people want to tan?
    I don’t think so.
    I think it’s probably to do with the pressure in the country they live.

    At the end of the day, people are always going to want to change the way they look.
    But really, white people (well here, anyway), don’t give a damn what you look like.
    As long as you look healthy and whatever your features are, in a reasonable shape, you are beautiful.
    I feel it’s what you do with the beautiful you have got.

    (Unless your god damn ugly) hehe!!!!

    But really, confidence is what makes you most attractive.

    So if your unhappy however you look, you’ll still be ugly after trying to pretty yourself up

  • 62 anonymous // Oct 1, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I think it’s funny how white people want to have golden skin color (like asians), and asians want to have white skin color (like europeans). Why don’t we just switch!

    I am white and definitely have extremely white skin. When it’s cloudy and dark outside my skin reflects and looks pretty much transparent. I always wished that I had gotten the Olive skin tone gene (even though both my parents are pale and my sisters are pastey). But then I had come to realize that I am pale, and tanning is bad for you anyways. I think my pale skin looks cool in a way because I have dark hair and dark eyes, so it makes me look kinda creapy. Haha. But it’s my heritage and all my family has it, so I should except it. I can totally understand why Asians want to come close to the same skin color as me, but they need to learn that they are who they are and that’s not going to change. And if they haven’t noticed, golden skin looks more normal on asians. white skin on asians looks fake in a way because their hair is soo black and their eyes are like little black pebbles.

  • 63 lynn // Oct 31, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Now i know my asian men are always attracted to me. The funny thing is i have no asian in my blood at all, i’m half latino and white. The way asian skin behaves is so me. I actually try everything to get dark, but i end up looking dirty. I’m the strange one in the family becuase i look very asian or at least half asian. My mother is almost black and my white father has the perfect dark golden tan. Isn’t that funny.

  • 64 lynn // Oct 31, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Seriously though, Asian people need to get sun. Just like any other race, it prevents bone problems and osteoporosis, which asians have a high percentage of. The sun gives the body vitamin D, which you can’t get from a tanning booth!That is why it is important, vitamin D Protects the bones!

  • 65 Smile // Oct 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Slightly ironic that white people want to get tans nowadays.

  • 66 kc // Nov 1, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Im naturally pale, and my tan goes away faster than I want it to.. but everytime I go back to China, my grandma freaks out when I walk in the sun without an umbrella.. I think we should all just be happy with our natural skin, pale or tanned. Forget the umbrellas and the tanning booths, seriously.

  • 67 Momoko // Nov 12, 2008 at 1:14 am

    You wouldn’t believe how much skin color can mean here in Japan, just as in America. I come from Okinawa, an tiny island(usually doesn’t even show on the globe) waaaaay down south, and most Okinawans have tan skin. Some mainland Japanese people look down upon us Okinawans, cuz we’re the equivalent of a ‘country bumpkin’ … And we’re easily spotted because we have darker skin.

  • 68 Anna // Nov 16, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I really think that non Asians shouldn’t have a say on the importance of having pale skin because well, you’re not Asian. I’m not saying that your opinion doesn’t matter, but thriving to have pale skin isn’t that absurd if you step into an Asian’s shoes. It might sound superficial or even little vain, but wanting to have pale skin does go all the way back to class ranks. Someone said that that was then and this is now, but in Asian families, what happened then matter as much as now. Hello? Asian women holds the best grudges! Although I do love tanning, if I’m planning to return to the mother country, I give myself 4 months go “pale down.” Noe don’t judge…it might not matter to you, but it matters to us.

  • 69 Hapa Surfer in Long Beach // Nov 26, 2008 at 1:33 am

    Bob Marley was born to an English father and Jamaican mother. He was spit on and ridiculed throughout his childhood and called “half caste” by all the other people in his neighborhood. Because of his mixed race, he had no friends growing up.

    “I don’t have prejudice against meself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don’t dip on nobody’s side. Me don’t dip on the black man’s side nor the white man’s side. Me dip on God’s side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white.”

    -Bob Marley

    Stop racism, that includes self racism. Thankyou.

  • 70 Momomi // Nov 27, 2008 at 1:22 am

    Asian people wanting to look as pale as possible has no corelation whatsoever with trying to look like Western people nor it is neither a sign on self racism or embarrassment. Since the founding of our civilisation, royalty have been using powder made from pearls to whiten their skin (Qin, Han dynasties leading up all the way to Song). Geographically, we get less sunlight and in a lot of areas it snows and as a result our skin become paler. Also, many familys’ daughters lives would be spending all their time indoors and would never ever leave the house unless they are married off where they will usually move to live in their husband’s residence and never leave the house therefore Asians develop pale skin from due to this. In wikipedia, it states that should the world only have two races ie black and white, Asians would be considered as white.

    The fact that we do things like using an umbrella on what you white people call a ‘perfect sunny day’ means that we are simply PRESERVING our pale skin. I’m an Asian with pale skin and when I’m with my friends who are white and my skin is paler than theirs’ makes my day.

  • 71 Yuriko // Dec 20, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Geishas paint their faces white not because it is thought that makeup makes them look prettier, but because covering up the face insuch heavy makeup has the effect of making men wonder “what does she look like under all that paint?”.

    It has nothing to do with white or pale skin. It’s reverse psychology, covering something to make it more attractive.

  • 72 steve // Jan 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Pale skin is disgusting. And I’m a white guy saying that.

  • 73 Jen // Jan 6, 2009 at 3:11 am

    lol those masks are to prevent spreading germs when you have allergies or colds. its actually really courteous that they don’t want to walk around sick and infect people, it has nothing to do with skin color.

  • 74 princess // Jan 12, 2009 at 12:57 am

    blah blah blah. in the end tanned skin is hot and pale skin looks sick and pasty..get with the times

  • 75 G // Jan 12, 2009 at 9:17 am

    This board is full of sick and deranged people,mostly racist. Skin color is what you are born with your God given color there is beauty in all colors. No one color is better than the next,only if you are a one sided person who dont see the beauty in all people. The people who complain about other people’s skin color really hate there own skin and are very insucure about themselfs. Happy New Year all

  • 76 Meeee // Jan 12, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Thats really weird, i’ve never heard of cosmetics to make your skin ‘paler’, apart from in english history (victorians) when the rich would rub their skin in arsenic or something (which would give them cancer).
    Oh well, if people want pale skin they should be allowed, white people get tans ALL the time, my sister does anyway. But i quite like being pale, it contrasts with my light eyes and dark hair :) .
    Those masks are rather unusual though, i like the monkey mask :)
    I don’t think theres anything wrong with asian skin though, a lot of my male friends would do anything to have an asian girlfriend. According to them, they are the most attractive race :)
    Everybody has preferences though, i suppose.
    xxx

  • 77 human // Jan 13, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Some of you have the weirdest and creepiest views on skincolor, which is totally insignificant. Ridiculous.

    Preference for light skin has been in East Asian cultures for 589345843 years. Chinese poems from over 1000 years ago drool over girls with pale skin. This is not breaking news.

    And many East Asians are far more pale than Europeans, who also come in a wide range of skin colors.

    And plenty of European people love being whatever color they are, pale or tanned naturally, and they take care of their skin. There is no self-loathing in the White community, I can tell you that, hahaha. There are a few outliers who think pale skin is gross like the kid who posted here, but I can assure you that kid is mocked by all his White friends. Nothing wrong with being pale. A lot of European people love being pale.

  • 78 human // Jan 13, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Also… East Asians sunburn just like any other pale person, European or not. There are light skinned Africans and Hispanc/Latino(a) people who sunburn, too! Crazy, I know.

    And no, once you get to a certain level of pale, you no longer have undertones… I have seen plenty of pale East Asians and Europeans with identical skintones. So some of you nutjob, racist Asian kids who posted here can sit down now… really. Quit blowing smoke.

    And many MANY European ethnicities are not hairy at all. And I’ve met some very hairy Asians of all ethnicities. Spare me the crap. My friend’s French grandmother is 93 years old and has never had to use a razor on her legs in her entire life because she has no leg hair. Literally. So cut it out, racist shits.

  • 79 Lynn // Jan 16, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Kimora lee simmons is half-back that is why she is darker. But she is pretty, her additude just stinks.

    And whats wrong with looking Méxicano or any other kind of latino!

  • 80 angela // Jan 17, 2009 at 1:44 am

    The post says that Japanese have the lightest skin tone. Dean Cain (Superman) is only a quarter Japanese, but he has a very dark tan skin complexion… Answers??

  • 81 Someone who cares // Jan 23, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    tbh its not about being white, its about wanting what you think will make you look prettier. As Amy said, western people will want a tan because they have been told by the media or w/e it makes u look more healthy and prettier, and people buy it. With Asians they have been told paler skin is prettier so they would obvious want to look paler. I’m very pale, and I wanted a tan because I dont tan in the sun (me and my mum don’t, howver my dad and younger sister have Almond skin and reeeeeally tan in the sun) but now looking at what sun beds and the sun can do to your skin, I’d rather be healthy and not want a death wish and stick to my pale skin. Its not racist at all. I like my pale skin now AND IT IS NOT DISCUSTING, who’s the racist one here?! Bloody hell theres wars going on and people are moaning about other people wanting paler skin. Grow up.

  • 82 Happy Person // Feb 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    The world need LOVE END OF COMMENT!! STOP RIGHT HERE AND PLEASE DONT READ or COMMENT ANYMORE IGNORANT THINGS. HOLD RIGHT THERE I KNOW WHAT YOUR THINKING. DON”T LET YOUR ID TAKE OVER YOUR THOUGHT!! LET THE SUPEREGO DO ITS JOB. I’m TALKing about Angels & Devils here. Repeat this, “I shall be happy” everytime before you go to bed. Research shows that if you do something or trying to remember things; the time before bed is very effective.Ill The people above me are all evil because they say the truth! You need not to be brainwashes by this type of media of course these are the things that can enter your mind through repetitive times which you are not aware of and Sigmund Freud calls this the unconcious mind. To those that had an open mind please do not say evil things or humorous things either, sometime using humor is good but Americans are mainly Charle Darwin’s babies. From the bottom of my heart and behind a computer I feel sad for this world (Earth). Only Evil people argues; end of this Skin Controversy. Period! Relax your mind.. and LEt your body go with the flow, otherwise, put your effort in legalizing Marijuana. If you still argues about things in your life no matter what age you are 10,20,30,40,or 50 you still haven’t reach the Self-Actualization.

    Lastly, something for Open-minded folks.
    Go to youtube and search for psychetruth you will find some valuable media there

  • 83 Regular Asian // Mar 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    I have seen tons of Asian male actors with dark skinned.

    Pale skin for women is considered beautiful in cultures all over the world. Just look at their art work. Women in the pictures have pale skin.

  • 84 Mark // Mar 18, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Is it real that Japanese stay in the dark to have pale skin?

  • 85 Augusta // Apr 4, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Corpse colored skin is NOT beautiful… Someone really brained washed the public into believing this fallacy.

    Having a nice coloring to your skin looks so much healthier, to me.

    I believe deep down inside, a lot of people know that darker skin is beautiful or they wouldn’t risk getting skin cancer trying to get a tan.

    It’s like someone said, no one seems to be happy with what they are born with. The light want to get darker and the dark want to get lighter.

    You cannot choose what color you are born with, but please – don’t tell me being pale faced, having blue eyed, and blonde hair is the best thing since sliced bread.

    If you believe this, that means most ethnic groups are not up to par… And if you are a member of an ethnic group and want to be like the average “Westerner,” you may need to see a psychiatrist.

  • 86 Jessi // Apr 7, 2009 at 12:03 am

    japanese skin has the best condition (least deterioration with age)? and indian the worst??? wtf?? cite your source please, b/c your claim sounds as ridiculously bogus and racist as some of the other claims in this poorly presented article. i’ve met plenty of naturally dark skinned japanese, korean, chinese, and thai women and i’ve also met plenty of naturally light skinned indian women (i.e., kashmiris, punjabis, quite a few south indian girls). and, regardless of skin color or race, i’ve seen japanese women who’ve aged well and others who have not…same as with indian woman. so your japanophile fetish is absolutely sickening and undoubtedly untrue, as well as racist and demeaning to women of other ethnicities.

  • 87 someASIANkid // Apr 15, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    This is just my opinion

    Ya know..light skin is alright but when asian girls get their skin so white to the point where they’re whiter than white people woeh…

  • 88 deleted // Apr 19, 2009 at 12:54 am

    Stupid gooks your yellow not white and never, ever will be

  • 89 McGeorge // Apr 28, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Last year, I was with two friends at a beach in SW Thailand. It was around 1 p.m. absolutely perfect outside, no clouds in the sky, warm, but not too hot. My friends and I were sharing this beach with five 40+ Japanese couples.

    These five ladies were dressed head to toe in clothes, wearing gloves, big hats, masks and visors. They looked like Michael J Fox right after he went back in time in the movie Back to the Future.

    Their husbands were all in Speedos and swimming caps. Nothing else.

    Everyone was playing in the water, including the fully clothed Japanese women.

    Me (I’m white) and my two white buddies were also swimming and we ended up throwing a Frisbee and drinking nasty Thai beer with the five Japanese husbands. The five older Japanese guys were surprisingly good with a Frisbee. Their wives declined to play Frisbee or drink beer as they were happy getting pummeled by the smallish waves breaking on the sand.

    That was a confusing day for my friends and I. A lot of fun, but vexing.

    Is it ok for Asian men to be dark but not the women? Why is that?

  • 90 MT // May 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Hm. I lived in Korea for years and the surgical masks were a common sight, but I never thought for a minute that they were actually trying to hide their faces from the sun. I always assumed it was because of the air pollution in Seoul.

  • 91 Lyn // May 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I’m an Asian, a Filipina. I have a lighter skin color compare to a typical filipina who grew up in the province. I used to do alot of stuff to keep my skin paler and I’m so scared being expose to the sun but then I realized that its not really important lol and Im so glad my husband who is a white guy loves my tan skin. He thinks I have a nice golden tan cause I stop worrying being out in the sun so I kinda get tan skin now.

  • 92 Princess Sammi // Jun 2, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    So, Asians want to look like Michael Jackson?

  • 93 L.T. // Jun 6, 2009 at 8:21 am

    This is so ridiculous. People should be happy with what they have…be it light, tan, dark skin, etc.

  • 94 Beauty101 // Jun 13, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Holy Crap people what is wrong with all of you?
    ok i am a beauty therapist I live in Australia yep that’s right the sunburnt country! ok look for all of you people who wish to be paler or more tanned it’s a personal choice! no one ever twists you F**ing arm! ok so being a beauty therapist means i have studied intensely on SKIN! maybe all of you need to seriously take a course in Skin types and Skin Condtions. Maybe then before people judge and make certain suggestions about different races skin tones they would realise how F**ing stupid you all are.
    ok lets take a look at my own background here for example i come from a family that is dutch and german. And if any of you care to take notice of these two races one is known for being PALE! and the other for being DARK! so therefor some of my family are dark skinned with dark hair/eyes and some with pale skin, light hair/eyes and since when did it matter if you were pale or dark?
    Ha i did my study with a girl who was ASIAN and you know what she was the most georgous girl i have EVER met. and now does modelling And guess what shock horror She LOVES her DARKER SKIN.
    All i can really say to any of you is this.
    At the end of the day all skin types are the same, they get the same conditions and problems and they are treated by a beauty therapist exactly the same with the products that suit there condition not there COLOUR!
    And isn’t it funny that in the 21st century racism is still such a huge problem. It’s people like the people that comment on here being RACIST and condecending to any race that make hate crimes possible.
    I have worked, studied and been friends with people of all races and as far as i was ever concerned i never thought of them as asian, aboringinal, indian never not once and they never thought those things back. It’s exactly the reason why things like kkk can still exsist because the new gernerations are just as bad as older nothing has changed, you all seem to just pretend to like someone until there back is turned and then all of a sudden they are Asian, Black, white, Mexican and all others that haven’t been mentioned. some of my best friends growing up were Aboriginal and Asian and we never treated each other differently and if someone did they were no longer considered a friend to any of the RACES involved. funny for a world that is supposed to be all about equalism sure seems nothing has changed . Ireally hope you all grow up before it’s one of your family members that are one of the unlucky ones caught up in a racial fight or random shooting. And you know what the only person who can prevent that situation is YOU! You would be the first person to cry Racist when it happens i’ve seen enough of my friends hurt over the years not only physically but mentally because of cruel tants about race. at the end of the day we all have a heart that is the SAME COLOUR, BLOOD THE SAME COLOUR, GENETIC STRUCTURES, SAME EMOTIONS. So tell me how skin really makes us all that different? skin is made up of the exact same cellular structure in every race. And one more thing you’d be surprised that if you looked back through your family history that just about all of you except for rare occasion have the very race you hate in your family.

  • 95 T // Jun 15, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    wow i never knew i was considered so gorgeous. im going to keep my pale ass indoors 24/7 now LOL

  • 96 NoNo // Jun 23, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Just love your skin, what ever the color it is…

  • 97 Y // Jun 25, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Well I’m asian and the reason why i try to be white is because my body and my face are two different tones. My face is usually more protected than my body when i go swimming (and i tan super easily), so my body is super tan but my face is only lightly tanned.

    So no, its not always because we want to be like “white people”. dont make those sorts of assumptions. Im sure there are a few asians who do want to look caucasian but don’t make us ALL out to be that way.

  • 98 Small Feet // Jul 3, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9142171923095749295

    Check out this documentary. it explains why asian women want to be white. please watch it and tell me what you think.

  • 99 murrah // Jul 7, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    wow…i never thought that this could be true until i read this. i’m not asian or tan…at all, so i can’t really say anything but add my own oppinion on this. I’m quiet pale and i hate it sometimes! it doesn’t matter if its in the fashion cause its more of a pain than anything. anyways the natural tan that many asains have is beautiful! i wish they would keep it instead changing it for pale weasternized skin that takes away their ethnic identity! so be proud of your beautiful skin! i would love to trade with anothers!

  • 100 James // Jul 31, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I’m a native Californian “White” Caucasian male, who has been fortunate enough to have spent numerous years in Asia, mostly in the Philippines, but also in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China.

    On the topic of pale skin, I definitely prefer it. I will only date Asian girls with virtually flawless white skin and zero body hair other than the beautiful, thick, silky, shiny black hair that adorns her beautiful head.

    I will only continue to date young Asian women who are bare and smooth below the waist both for it’s visual beauty to me and the fact that it makes it much easier for me to make her the happiest young woman she can be in the bedroom…or counter-top, table-top, etc… :) I like to see all of what I am tasting and eating without any obstructions or things to get stuck in my lips or teeth. :)

    Also, when I look at a fair, sweet, petite young little Asian woman, I just kind of always have pictured them to be that way.

  • 101 Augusta // Aug 7, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    James, it seems to me that you have veered off the subject, in the latter part of your post.

    We are discussing skin color, not how you like to get your freak on…

  • 102 J // Aug 8, 2009 at 7:59 am

    You like little girls don’t you James. That’s why you like asian women, isn’t it James. James?

  • 103 p.a // Aug 11, 2009 at 9:15 am

    it’s normal when u walk down the street with a mask, often it seen at airport . it’s cuz sometimes when u are ill and cough and sometimes the streets are dusty, so you need it
    me too ^^ i’m asian and they sell really cute mask :D

  • 104 Lily // Aug 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I’ve bookmarked this page for when I’m feeling self-conscience about my milky-white skin.

    I’ve done everything- natural tanning with little or no suncream, tanning lotions, creams, spray tans. Nothing works. So I have no choice but to embrace it… It’s really hard, living in America. I cry sometimes in envy and anger and embarrassment. I’ll go over to a tanned friend’s house, and their mother will look at me and ask: “WHY are you so pale?”

    But this makes me feel a lot better, as does having a Korean friend. She stops me from ruining my skin. :D

  • 105 Meg // Sep 3, 2009 at 6:56 am

    My skins white as shit. I’m physically unable to have pigment. It’s beautiful. If they want to be pale let them. I don’t think it’s a race thing. I think they shouldn’t ruin their skin trying to do it, though. Like some people who tan do.

  • 106 A Darker Voice // Sep 3, 2009 at 8:32 am

    I think its ironic that white people are trying to get darker and darker people wish they were whiter. Love who you are, color doesn’t matter, its there for protection.

    By the way, the dark skin thing about them getting wrinkles faster is not very true. African descent people (like my family) age really slow. People always thought my mom was my sister, and my grandma who is 80 looks more like 60.
    Pale western descent people on the other hand
    age with a lot of ugly folds and loose skin from what I’ve seen.

    anyway
    Magazine pictures lie. Be happy with yourself. And be happy with the people around you. Lets just enjoy differences. Please everyone. stop this madness. this kind of stuff causes suffering and prejudges and discrimination.

    We live in a colorful world and that is what makes it so beautiful.

  • 107 Cay // Sep 4, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Seems every girl these days want to look different than they are naturally… whether it’s skin color, or eye shape, or body image… as long as it’s healthy, why should we change? (besides to give money to cosmetic industries… haha~)

  • 108 Are Indians Asian? // Sep 7, 2009 at 9:54 am

    I’m not sure if anyone pointed this out yet, but people keep commenting that your natural skin tone is what you’re born with. That’s not really true. I know that Indians are usually born very pale, and darken as they age (I’m pretty sure that this is true for other races as well, correct me if I’m wrong). So there is no such thing as your “real” or “true” skin color. We are different tones when we are born, as children, as adults, in the summer, in the winter, etc. depending on our genes and how much sun we get…Is my dark brown color not “natural” because I was born nearly white? I don’t think so.
    I’ve also noticed that a lot of white people point out that westerners want tanned skin. I’m sorry, but it’s just not the same. In Asia, especially South/Southeast Asia, light skin is sought after on a more extreme level. If you are a pale white person, Do people ever tell you that you won’t find a spouse because you are so pale? Do you lose out on job opportunities because you are so pale? Did your parents force you to play in the sun as a child? Do your in-laws dislike you because they think that their son/daughter deserves a darker person?
    In S/SE Asian countries, fairness is coveted to that extent. A white person wanting to tan is NOT the same as an Asian wanting to be pale.

  • 109 Lilz // Oct 4, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Okay, I’m not looking to insult anyone or to have anyone insult me.

    I really think everyone should calm down. I see the point is complaining how people are harming their skin trying to look super tan or super pale, but the whole “people who want to change their ‘natural’ skin color are sad sick people who hate themselves” is going a bit too far.

    Now, views on beauty are just as dependant on the culture as on the person. Personally, I think pale skin is quite beautiful on certain people but ugly on others. Same goes for tan skin. I myself am half chinese, half caucasian, and look better with paler skin. That is the reason I personally walk in the sun with umbrellas and go outsite with spf70+ sunscreen.

    Everyone has a preference. Don’t insult them for it even if you don’t agree. The only problem I have is with some parents or relatives (or anyone for that matter) who judge other people on skin color.

    Thanks for being open to my views (:

  • 110 shrivels // Oct 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    @A Darker Voice
    not all white people “age with a lot of ugly folds and loose skin”…you should see my 80 year old grandmother- beautiful porcelain skin, not a wrinkle in sight. she achieved this by taking care of her skin her entire life and staying out of the sun. not all of us whities turn into shriveled prunes in the later years, our skin just requires a lot more maintenance.

  • 111 Capricornboi_86 // Nov 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Indian people are multiracial

  • 112 Susan // Nov 7, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    I have been harrassed all my life for having such white skin in contrast to my black hair (I am Irish and Italian), which is unlike the other people in my family. Interestingly enough, it is always individuals of Asian descent who have complimented me on my coloring over the years.

  • 113 epiphany timez // Nov 14, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    now i finally see…
    so thats why asians walk around with umbrellas when it’s sunny

  • 114 Whitenomo // Nov 20, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Good thing melanotan 2 is gonna get approved by FDA soon
    no one should have to live with a pink undertone…it’s criminal

  • 115 Leigh // Dec 13, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    i like having a tan, but it’s too noticable as i have very pale skin, (my friend even joked before that my feet looked dead, :( )

    but i like my skin natural, and so should others. if you can’t accept the skin you’re born with, why should anybody else?

  • 116 Jolie // Dec 14, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Things that white people like : tanned skin. They’ll go to any lengths to get it, including risking skin cancer as they fry themselves brown, pink and even lobster red. They can’t be happy with themselves, clearly this is a sign of ethnic rejection and they want to look like Hispanics or Asians.

    At least it makes more sense to want to be pale. Even in Western society, it was for a long time considered a sign of beauty. Nobles and royals did not venture outside to do manual labour work.

  • 117 len // Dec 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    i am a pale (pure) filipino and i live in an area of -bzzt- that is dipped in tamil and sprinkled with white. not much else. wait, what about the herd of asians?

    another S.E.A. and I have natural pale skin that is constantly the topic of conversation whenever we talk to our tamil aquaintances. it gets on my nerves particularly and i’m pretty sure my friend is ticked too.

    however, our native asian buddies appreciate our skin and it kinda surprises me how they actually had to work to get their beautiful skin – it looks so natural!

    i guess grouping people by race can’t end, because beauty standards are different in each group!

  • 118 Google // Dec 21, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Asians want to keep their skin fair ’cause it shows the least amount of pigmentation and thus discoloration on their faces. On top of that, avoidance of wrinkles is a great motivator.

    I think these two are the most prominent reasons why Asians want to keep their skin fair. Maybe some are swayed by Caucasian ideals, but I think it’s just common sense to want “white” skin. It has very little to do with wanting to look “white.”

  • 119 asian girl stereotype // Dec 29, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    i believe that its sad to want to look “white” …unfortunately im a hypocrite. I live in southern CALIFORNIA and im as white as rice. its mostly my parents … i was sooo dark when i was young now that highschool is all inside i dont even see the sun. i used to not care until i actually visited asia and got SOO many compliments. now it feels like second nature

  • 120 WTH! // Dec 29, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    There are heaps other asian countries! It’s so disappointing only being able to read the chinese, japanese, korean and sometimes vietnamese cultures in your posts. It’s like they’re the most “asian” countries and the others (South East Asia to be specific) are disregarded! What the hell >.<

  • 121 mingo // Dec 31, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    I think this is more true with very Asian people than with more Americanized people. When I was at a summer college program this summer, all the Asian-Asians (i.e. girls who flew from China to the program rather than those [like me] who actually live on the continent) were really pale and walked around with umbrellas [that's how we could distinguish those Asians from the Americanized Asians... among other things]

  • 122 Hillary // Jan 13, 2010 at 1:58 am

    From a purely shallow perspective, I think that it is pretty clear that healthy flawless skin is the most physically attractive. Black, tan, ghost white…whatever, they can all look beautiful when genetically blessed and well taken care of. Really we should try not to judge by appearances anyway, but if you must, try not to look like a complete moron by bring racism into it.

  • 123 ammerianne // Jan 17, 2010 at 11:17 am

    i’m 100% asian,
    but i look nothing like an asian,
    i look arabic, and my skin is fair and sometimes pale (for an asian girl)
    and that’s why there’s always rivalry!
    a friend of mine, who is fairer than me,
    would buy all these products just to be fairer and more!
    and everytime she turns orange after marching activities, she’ll say “you’re so white…i’m so ugly..”

    i definitely have no idea why people want to be so fair?
    until one day,
    to me this girl is not that pretty,
    but people said she is because she is fair.
    such as – omg! she’s so beautiful and fair!, she’s white and beautiful!

    they’re just so obsessed with looking beautiful!

    nothing about racism. at all.
    once, there’s a group of girls with same races fought.
    one of them called the other one ugly because she’s dark. stupid stupid stupid!

  • 124 kvietgrl // Jan 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    i agree and i see this all the time too

  • 125 Augusta // Jan 29, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Having fair skin does not mean that you have beautiful features. If that was so, all white people would be pretty.

    Asians who has a little bit of coloring to their skin, whether it is a yellowish or tan tone — looks more appealing, in my humble opinion.

    I understand that some Asians don’t like their eyes, either. When they become pale, it creates more attention to this area.

    We live in a society that don’t accept people as they are, and in turn, individuals cannot accept themselves.

  • 126 Augusta // Jan 29, 2010 at 11:27 am

    @Google,

    I don’t understand your reasoning that it is “common sense” to want to be white. Is it a mistake when other cultures are born with less than pale skin? Are Caucasian the only ones born perfect?

    You are not white and never will be just because you use whitening cream. If you want to see how truly white you are, try joining the KKK. They will give you a good indication of how Caucasian you are!

  • 127 Anonymous // Jan 31, 2010 at 5:32 am

    hahaha. Some of comments in this article is obviously wrong. I do not know where the author got those information…. I have to say he just pulled these out just from his head……
    This is not based on study, but just on his observation…
    However, being a Westerner, he’s done a pretty good job of understanding Asia in general. At least the effort is admirable, I think.

  • 128 Anonymous // Feb 10, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    I’m like really pale and I’m an asian…. and my friends tell me to get a tan. so i don’t really agree with this. They sometimes call me a ghost or a vampire because in the cold weather I get really pale, it’s like I have no blood in me… creepy…. I’m planning to get a tan but my skin is weird its like i get darker in the summer but then i get paler in the winter, so i will never get tan…. T^T

  • 129 Anonymous // Feb 10, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    @James, dude get your own little chat room then u can explain how u hook up with asians ‘pale, flawless’ girls and how u f*** them okay?? don’t do it here, u can disturb some young readers and they will freak out that there are actually crazy ppl like u out there….

  • 130 Anonymous // Mar 4, 2010 at 4:38 am

    1) Not that this hasn’t been said, but, it’s only very recently that almost *every* culture in the world didn’t covet a paler appearance.
    Now we have to work inside. Being pale is associated with toil and being “common” — not leisure or money, which is what people want; to appear “elegant.” (Even those without direct knowledge of these sorts of things will get the message that one is somehow less attractive than the other.) That’s why white people make fun of pale skin today. To you white people with pale skin, next time someone makes fun of you for pallor, think about that.

    Same with being thin … Being super thin is now associated with having the extra time and money to pursue it, no matter how it’s obtained, as well as having the extra time and money to go out and glorify in your appearance.

    These styles change with the norms of the culture – any culture.

    2) What people (not meaning the op, since it’s a joke, but comments below it) are really thinking are races are actually nationalities. Most of the boundaries drawn on today’s maps are relatively recent in the big scheme of things, and people have been crossing ‘countries’ and so called “races” before most people of the world even learned how to store food. There’s no such thing as a pure race, people. Nope. Not anywhere. Get over it. Sorry. Buying into that stuff is what you might call, “Being taken by the man.”

  • 131 Leisha79 // Mar 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    One reason why white americans are often not as white as their asian counterparts is that most of us have a somewhat mixed heritage. I consider myself white because thats what I most phenotypically appear but my great grandfather was Black- American so yes it stands to reason that I would be a bit darker skinned than someone more racially homogeneous such as a Japanese person…most white people don’t want to admit this.

  • 132 Met Tathione // Mar 17, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Today women are attach to their physical being.

    They want to become more and more beautiful no matter how they achieve it.

    Even if they risk their lives in too dangerous surgeon procedures.

  • 133 AzhiDahaka // May 1, 2010 at 2:25 am

    @Lana, As a European girl with unknown family history I was made fun of in school all the time because I was so white. My skin has always been so bright white…I tried to tan and instead I got sick and my skin bubbled up in blisters, something called “photodermatitis”. I went to a school where all the rich white girls tanned at the salon all the time. They laughed at me for my white skin and dark, dark hair. I can’t darken my skin colour. It has not helped me being so white…

  • 134 AzhiDahaka // May 1, 2010 at 2:29 am

    @fm, Long ago, the reason white skin was so favoured was because it showed you were not a slave or labourer….see workers were out in the sun all day and would of course get coloured by the sun. Pale skin meant you were rich and could afford to stay inside or in the shade and not work. People always draw the racism card first, but the true truth is, darker skin meant you laboured working in the sun all day and light skin meant you were rich enough to stay in the shade.
    American public schools suck…..

  • 135 James // May 2, 2010 at 6:04 am

    Asian people are sooooo dumb. I’m talking about the North-east ones like Koreans etc. I have tanned skin and have been looked at by them as a second class citizen as we are walking by on the sidewalks.

    In America. The land where people WANT to be tan.

    And I am asian. Being discriminated against by another asian..

    Like I said, asians can be sooo dumb.

  • 136 NorskeDiv // May 2, 2010 at 10:01 am

    @Lana, interesting that you only get vitriolic responses like yours when it comes to whitening. When people talk about getting tans or desiring darker skins, there’s no offense. So wanting to look darker is a fashion statement, but wanting to be whiter (or avoid getting a tan) is evil and racist?

    And unlike tanning, avoiding the sun actually has the health benefit of lowering the incidence of cancer.

  • 137 NorskeDiv // May 2, 2010 at 10:07 am

    @Lana, Desire for whiter skin supercedes contact with Europeans by at least a thousand years. I know it’s popular to blame Europeans and colonialism for every problem in the world, but it just doesn’t pan out.

  • 138 NorskeDiv // May 2, 2010 at 10:11 am

    @Beauty101, Well said. I don’t see how desiring darker (getting a tan) or lighter skin is racist, it’s a personal choice.

    Now, if you hate all white people, but find white people who get a tan more acceptable, that is racist. If you look down on dark people, but find dark people who get paler skin more acceptable, that is racist. But what you do personally has nothing to do with racism.

  • 139 NorskeDiv // May 2, 2010 at 10:14 am

    @James, Americans are dumb too. Tanning… aka, intentionally exposing yourself to UV rays?? Pretty dumb too. Tanning creams are another matter of course. But actually endangering your life for purely cosmetic reasons takes the cake I think.

  • 140 Juzzy // May 10, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    My grandma is always known for saying she has “white as a cloud” skin. After reading this, it reminded me of the obsession of having white skin when I went to the Philippines for a holiday (massive billboards advertising whitening soap). I’m glad to have been born in Sydney coz everyone esp. white ppl tell me how jealous they are of my tan complexion. My cousins in the Phils however, are scrutinised for being dark and fat (when they arent even fat) and are forced to bathe with ‘whitening soap’.

  • 141 Aishah Wee // May 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    @James, omg. i am traumatized. white guys like u make asian girls like me wanna run and hide!

  • 142 DC // May 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Japanese do not have the lightest skin colour.

    Koreans and Northern Chinese do.
    If you go on any Asian forums – Koreans and N.Chinese are stereotyped to have fair, milky white skin, whereas Japanese are known for their more tan/yellowy skin tones.

    I think its pretty obvious that this blogger is a Westerner who doesn’t know much about Asian culture.

  • 143 di // May 27, 2010 at 5:09 am

    hi,just like to say…i kinda hate this…white skin crap.im an south-east asian….with skin that gets tanned in other words dark.i love the outdoors,dont lyk being cooped up insyd…coz its boreing…and so far this obsession of being white skinned is FUCKIN annoying.my frnds,my bf,arg… wished they’d just SHUT UP.I M NOT GOING TO STOP GOING OUT JUST COZ IM GETTING JUST COZ I GOT MELANIN ON ME…..!!!

  • 144 di // May 27, 2010 at 5:13 am

    typos*
    im prone to typos…. dnt mynd

  • 145 real asian girl // May 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Seriously?Those women cover their faces because of the pollution.Besides, pale skin/white skin just looks cleaner for us asians…plus… u know how in the U.S. all the white girls love to tan?Its kinda like that except i could explain the reason why we like light skin better. People who work on the farms or live on the streets are dark skinned, im sure if you have lived in the P.I. you would know how much of an insult it would be to be called \mahirap\ (poor). I realllly still don’t get the whole reason why people would like to tan…sometimes they get a lil too tan and look like they just got roasted.Seriously.I’ve lived in San Diego for 5 years and went back here (Philippines) to study and i just remember all my friends talking about how some girls getting a lil too crazy with the sun. I’ve noticed that asian girls /latina girls tan better. I mean there’s some white girls who do have perfect tans…but alot of them just burnnnnn. Theyr’e too red/ orange .I have no idea why they do it.I guess people just want something entirely different than what they have.

  • 146 TotesMcGotes // Jun 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    @di,
    dang i wish i lived where you lived.
    down here in california i’ve been teased my whole life for having pale skin, while every other asian american has dark skin. People don’t realize how much it hurts when they make fun of people for not looking like themselves.

  • 147 JTheGreat // Jun 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Meh, I’m indifferent to the issue, although I do think that it’s a ridiculous reason the bleach your skin just so you can look Western.

    I am Filipino, but my skin is naturally tan so many people do get me confused for a Hispanic nationality, although when I am in the Phillipines all of my relatives call me pale. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.

  • 148 dd // Jul 7, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Koreans have more paler skin. Stupid

  • 149 Leigha // Jul 15, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    being around asian people is one of the only times i feel good about my pale skin. because when i’m around my white friends who all have their summer tan on i feel pasty, but my asian friends are always going on about how jelous they are of my skin color, so it makes me feel good. :) thanks asian friends

  • 150 miimii // Jul 17, 2010 at 4:05 am

    seriously… I thought this article was about how to get whiter skin…. I am white! and I want to find out how to get whiter skin…. why? because I think it looks better on me and is healthier than the alternative… a tan…

    So can anyone actually help with that? Is there a good moisturiser to use?

  • 151 Anonymous // Jul 24, 2010 at 1:48 am

    This is funny, if you guys like pale skin come to Ireland, I think I read somewhere that we’re the palest people on the planet haha, to the point that we’ll burn if we get any sun and can’t really tan.

  • 152 Anonymous // Jul 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    seroisly what is with all this pale hate? why should a person feel bad about their natural skin color regardless of whatever it is?

    it’s not about racism, if i’m asian and i’m born white, why would i want to tan? if i’m african and i’m born black why would i want to bleach? people need to get over their insecurities, stop playing the race card, and stop making THIER inferiority complexes other people’s problems.

    ps the imbecile who said asians want to be more “white”/”western” is full of shit. that’s about as true as africans wanting to be white/western.

  • 153 JAT // Jul 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Wanting to look pale, doesn’t equate to wanting to look white. I mean seriously, some people have to stop being so conceited.

    As many have stated already, favoring paleness dates back to hundreds of years ago. It was a social status thing.

    It’s annoying to hear people say people should just embrace the color they are given and not try to “look white”. Again, there are NATURALLY pale Asians. By using umbrellas or other methods to avoid getting tans, Asians are actually trying to PRESERVE their paleness as well as to prevent premature aging and skin damage. As for using whitening products, what’s wrong with trying to revert your skin back to its original paleness after getting a tan? You have any idea how long tans on some Asians can last? It’s not like a month and it’s gone, it can last up to 8 months!

    Although it was never mentioned in this post, I’m sure this has crossed some conceited people’s mind when they see Asians with colored contacts and blond or brown hair. I’d like to note that shades of brown or blond are the only permanent colors that any race can dye or bleach their hair, so don’t even try to start on that one.

    When “white” people dye their hair black, they’re obviously not copying Asians ’cause “white” people have natural blond, brown and black hair — oh, and red too!

    Not to mention, they have all shades of skin tone ranging from fair to natural brown. So of course, when the “white” tan, they’re obviously not trying to pretend to BE like the Latinos, or Africans, etc.

    See here’s the double standard. Whites can have whatever color they want, and they’ll just be being themselves, while Asians on the other hand, if they want to be pale, they’re trying to look western.

    As for features like tall noses and big eyes… There are many Asians who naturally have tall noses and big eyes. Why big eyes? There’s so many reasons people would want big eyes other than to look western. When you’re sad, happy, or show any kind of emotion, you can see it in people’s eyes. Eyes are expressive therefore favored? I dunno, just throwing random stuff out there for some people who refuse to look outside the box.

    Some people just prefer certain looks and this preference is not about trying to become “white”. Take plastic for example, there are many western celebs who opt for rhinoplasty. They’re already white, why change the way they look? To look more obviously white? As if changing their nose would make them more white looking than they already are ROFL. My point is, there are features that are more desirable to some people.

    Lastly, those pictures of the SARS/pollution masks, as well as this article is just very misleading.

  • 154 Liz // Aug 21, 2010 at 12:02 am

    wow, this pale skin thing is really so common. I remember when I went to pick up my aunt from the airport the first thing she said was “You’ve gotten whiter (paler)”. Thanks I guess… lol

  • 155 random // Nov 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    “Why chinese opera performers have white masks… ”

    You have no clue about the Chinese opera and are soooo off here.

    Chinese opera uses different colors of masks to represent different characters. White mask is for the bad/deceitful guy.

  • 156 Anonymous // Dec 16, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    @nanheyangrouchuan,

    It’s kind of funny how obsessed white people are with getting that ‘healthy sun glow’, when it’s really not healthy at all.

    I’m a white person who CONSTANTLY gets told to go out and get in the sun, but I tell them I’d rather be ghostly white and not die of cancer/have wrinkle alligator bag skin when I’m 25.

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  • 158 Shy // Jan 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    It really depends on where you come from I think. In my family it doesn’t matter if you’re dark or light. You might get a joke once in a while or an observation, but thats all. Then again I come from a very liberal portuguese, native american and Irish background.

    My sister and I are polar oposites with our coloring and when skincolor comes naturally there is a lot of truth to occupation factor. My sister has verrrry dark skin and natural dirty blond/ sunbleached hair. Her occupation would classify as hard labor (she owns 27 horses and a trail riding business).. As for me, very dark hair and skin so white you could throw glitter on me and say I was in twilight. My occupation? Receptionist. Our occupations have nothing to do with class though. She makes a lot of money doing what she loves, and I make some money doing what I can.

    My boyfriend however, is Mexican and Irish. (Gorgeous mix) He is one of 11 children, and has the lightest skin of them all. He was ridiculed for it all the time. He still is.

    I think that pale is elegant, but tan is earthy and sexy. People just need to learn how to work with what they have.

    I have asian cousins. One from China and one from Cambodia. One is ghostly and one is dark.They are both gorgeous girls and to my knowledge, this aspect of life doesn’t effect them.

    Trends are trends. No matter what race we are, we are still people, the original mocking bird. We re-invent ourselves constantly due to observation, envy and the need to metamorphisize.

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  • 160 Krakks // Jan 19, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    @AzhiDahaka,
    It becomes an issue of discrimination and disrespect of others when you begin associating dark skin with the menial classes even though many are born with dark skin and didn’t labor in the sun. Get it? So yes, it is a form of discrimination and racism when it affects the opinions of Asians against other populations with naturally dark skin.

  • 161 Lisa // Feb 9, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I’m african american with dark brown skin and am extremely jealous of all pale people because theyre beautiful and most guys find them attractive. I wish there was a magical way to change my look completely. Its hard to be happy in my skin when most of the time I see light=good, dark=bad.

  • 162 Ciderkiss // Feb 13, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    There is one peron that comes to mind with this post. Thienna Ho.

  • 163 kissthedragon // Feb 13, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Look up Thienna Ho.

  • 164 kissthedragon // Feb 13, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Look up Thienna Ho she managed to whiten her skin better than any bottle of Skin White could.

  • 165 giftflowersindia // Feb 23, 2011 at 4:17 am

    I’m african american with dark brown skin and am extremely jealous of all pale people because theyre beautiful and most guys find them attractive. I wish there was a magical way to change my look completely. Its hard to be happy in my skin when most of the time I see light=good, dark=bad.

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  • 170 compleetlyylility // Mar 12, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Well why expose to the sun when every negative thing comes out of it? I rather have whiter skin than be dark and then diagonose with skin cancer.

  • 171 LavenderGinger // Mar 18, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Francis Xavier// You find pale skin with non-white features to be disgusting? That people with non-white features shoundn’t have white skin? You obviously don’t realize there are people who are born pale in Asia. Are you going to call them disgusting even though that’s the way they were born? No, they are not albinos, Asians are of variety of skin colors. It ranges from pale brunette to swarthy olive. Why do so many non-Asians, especially whites, think that Asians want to bleach their skins because they want to imitate the white people? I find it so narcissistic of them. The whiter-skin-obsession was there way before the first European contact in Asia. And genetically speaking, there are some people in Asia who have pale-skin gene in them. One of my friends, who is full blooded Korean, has paler skin than most white Americans from when she was born. And again, no, she’s not an albino. Don’t get angry unnecessarily just because Asians don’t look how you want them to look. It’s in their genes as well, and those who whiten their skin do so not becuase they want to look more white people, but because paler skin has been element of looking of higher classes and attractive from the ancient times.

  • 172 Augusta // Mar 19, 2011 at 10:06 am

    It seems that Lisa and Giftflowersindia needs to change their mental attitude more than their skin color.

    They are definitely suffering from low self-esteem issues.

  • 173 An Asian Girl // May 12, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    For those who say “Asian needs to love their own race and stop trying to look white”. LOL.

    I know you’re trying to sound “nice and accepting” but I’m sorry to inform that you are full of shit and ignorance.

    Us asian (especially east asian) have prefered to have paler skin since ancient time. Yes. Even wayyyy before we even get to see you western people.
    So no we don ‘t wanna look like you.

  • 174 An Asian Girl #2 lol // May 23, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    @Lana.
    The reason I want pale skin is because of the beauty of it. I look better when I’m pale than when I’m tan.
    No offense but I don’t want to look like a caucasian person at all. I actually embrace the fact that I’m asian.

    I agree with An Asian Girl post #173 lol.
    So stop being ignorant and saying us Asians want to look like westerners.

  • 175 Kathryn // Jun 9, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I agree that pale skin is more beautiful than tan skin. Some people might think it’s “racist” but I disagree. Here, in America, people say “eew i’m so paaale. I need a taaan.” It’s the same “rascist” idea when you think pale isn’t good. I am a white girl and I used to be tan. I tan beautifully in the summers and i was obsessed with tanning untill I learned about how some cultrues found white better. Now I’m obsessed with white and I find too dark girls really unnatractive. Whiter your skin the better.

  • 176 Dewey // Jul 6, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I really don’t buy the prevalent argument that desiring paler skin is western. The desire amongst asian women for white skinn has dated back to the oldest of times before the introduction of white people. In the earlier times, they still desired pale skin although China saw themselves as superior to any other country in the world. The desire for pale skin is not a form of self hate of their race, it is a purely based on their conception of beauty. I totally agree with asians. I think paler skin brings out their features and enhances how they look.

  • 177 Gabrielle // Jul 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I agree with Dewey- Look up Art from before China was westernized; in most of the paintings, the women are quite pale. This has nothing to do with America, just China’s own beauty standard.

  • 178 Millie // Jul 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Pale skin can look really beautiful which is why so many women will go to great lengths to get it. Its ironic that in asian culture women will do anything to have paler skin, while in western culture we envy the beautiful tanned skin tone of asians.

  • 179 jenn // Sep 13, 2011 at 7:15 am

    japanese people are the one traditionally put on top of the asian hierarchy and they have very light skin… is it all still based on the japanese standard of beauty… because I can tell you that its bullshit. Just because westerns have traditionally favored it more for being “more westernized” just reinforces the common standard of euro-centric values by which all europeans and americans thinks the world should be judged. if asians are so smart why don’t they see this?

  • 180 jenn // Sep 13, 2011 at 7:17 am

    …oh and for those people who have commented on asian people not wanting o be asian…
    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/05/19/korea.beauty/index.html

  • 181 Diddy // Oct 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Hi everyone,

    I have just come across this interesting article. Indeed, many people (not only from Asia) think of white as beauty. But the phenomenon is getting worse: we complain when it deals with skin color, but what about all those people who dye their hair and wear color lenses to look whiter? Not to talk about surgery…

    That’s exactly the same problem, but skin seems more respected since so many people find the idea of enlightning one’s skin as terrible.

    First, it is silly, since the result always looks artificial and therefore ugly, althought the media and magazine would like us to think of it as pretty. Famous stars like Mariah Carey or Beyonce looks like aliens with their fake blond hair, but strangely enough, no one notices…some even say that’s beautiful. No, it is not: to them, it looks as natural as pink or blue, so it can never be good looking.

    Then, the most important point: we are creating a brand new racism. To sum up, if you are non-white, you are said to look better with caucasian attributes (hair and eyes anything but black).
    Just go for a walk in a big city like Shangai or Tokyo: how many people will you meet who have willingly changed their hair color? And the color they choose is in no way innocent: caucasian hair color, of course, never green or blue. Don’t tell me they do no know who they are trying to look like!

    The same goes in many countries, unfortunately, not only in Asia. The new rule seems to be “a “colored person” especially a woman, should know have anything but black hair and black eyes”.
    Yes, this definitly self-racism.

    I could give many examples of shocking cases in which someone (probably unaware of the dangerous message behind) promoted “whiter beauty”.

    How dangerous for our children to tell them that. I just hope that with time, people around the world will wake up and stop this nonsense: we cannot let fashion and beauty criteria make up believe that some races are better than others.

  • 182 Diddy // Oct 25, 2011 at 8:49 am

    On more point I forgot to mention in my previous post: I see many angry reactions of people (mainly Asians) who claim that no, they are not trying to look “whiter”. THat it is just out fo random that so many choose caucasian hair color and use whitening skin products…

    I would like to tell them that the way they call it, and the way they claim NOT to be trying to look more European matters not.

    What matters most is NO what you say, but what you do.

    And if someone claims no to be whitening himself but adopts beauty attributes from white people, then the message is clear.

    I feel tempted to use the word “jealousy” to sum up the situation: when you claim openly that what you neighbour has is in no way better, whereas you try everything to have the same…but no, of course, you would never admit that you just want to have the same. You do so, only you don’t admit it.

    Isn’t it exactly what we see here?

  • 183 Kina // Oct 31, 2011 at 9:49 am

    you fucking racists; asians can do whatever the motherfucking hell they want so stick your ass off of it. And look at those idiot american chicks going to tan salons. asians have the best tan around tenQ very much trololol. so far as i’m concerned, an asian with a perfect yellow tan is HOT. but most asian chicks are actually born pale; just too much contact with the sun tans us. lewls, i was as pale as my friend at the start of the year but then i started hpe and swimming which gave me a tan. do i give a fuck? no, beech, it’s mother nature. stop grouping asian woman as a whole. You wouldn;t like it if i grouped all white woman as a whole as people who can’t accept themselves and OH! go to such unhealthy places like tanning salons for free cancer rays. lewls, never heard about whitening salons but most korean women (not saying all) are pretty vain about their image and looks due to the idiotic gossip and shit that get passed through desperately bored housewives. i dunno lol, i’ve been raised in australia since i was 4 so yeah; a tan is pretty hot here. mate, don’t just group asian woman as a whole and degrade us lol. like you can talk -scoffs-. mind you, those small fragile asian chicks with pale skin are prettyh cute you gotta admit.

  • 184 Diddy // Nov 2, 2011 at 1:49 am

    Kina,

    You’re either silly or blind…

    So, if you’re SOOOO clever, then tell us: WHO IS RACIST?

    People who do anything to whithen themselves, althought they vainly try to hide that for them, white style (in skin, hair and eyes color) is better when it deals with beauty…or people like me who are willing to stop this silly racist fashion?

    And I find very nice to read in your post a reference to “mother nature”…whereas the very basis of this topic is about people who seem to disagree with what mother nature gave them. People who claim, that no, white is not best…but still, a pale skin, and European brown hair is better. Do they think they fool anyone?

    Now, you also talk about beautiful looking pale Asian girls. Of course, they are nice looking. That’tsthe point: they are nice just the way they are, and the same goes for slightly darker skinned Asian girls (and boys too!). No need to look for something else, what makes beauty is in your face, your look (of your eyes, i mean), you behavior, NOT in the colors Nature gave you. Whatever your skin color.

  • 185 Diddy // Nov 2, 2011 at 2:18 am

    One more thing, Kina: why are you SO rude?

    Can’t you just speak without saying “fuck” or “shit”? Do you this this sounds more convincing? >_<

    Or has this article hurt your pride? I have read angry reactions like yours before, and it turned out that most came from Asians who are following this silly "whitish" fashion (dying their hair, for instance). They seem angry that people have noticed the root of this stupid fashion, namely trying to look slightly whiter, whereas they always refuse to admit it.

    I hope I am wrong, otherwise this would you just don't realize how dangerous this phenomenon has grown.

  • 186 Cheyanne // Nov 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I have extremely pale skin naturally. I don’t like this sun but I live in Florida -__- I use whitening soap just to get rid of tan lines. It is really hard to find makeup with my skin, everything is too tan, even the lightest shades I can find. If I went to Korea (I am planning to do so in a year or two), would I be counted as more pretty?

  • 187 meral // Dec 19, 2011 at 7:26 am

    I dont think Japanese has the whitest skin, Mongols live much on the north, Kazaks are pretty asiatic looking and white, I suppose Ozbeks may be whiter than Japanese though they also have many green-blue eyes brown-yellow haired people too

  • 188 jim // Jan 23, 2012 at 4:58 am

    east/south asia no matter what century, generation light skin asian will forever associated with beauty+educated+noble+prime class = power – fact always fact get on with it

  • 189 YT // Jan 27, 2012 at 3:18 am

    Who cares if they want to have white skin or tanned skin? You self righteous people like Lana need to butt out of other people’s business/preferences.

  • 190 mg myo // Jan 29, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I am from Myanmar (Burma)
    it is hard for outsider to understand that phenomenon. Even they visit us , they wont know because we treat everyone very warmly. Our culture.
    But Whitening is the best ( Our culture too) . Almost all woman try to whiten their skin. That i white=beautiful for everyone. It i not racist. Because we are of the same race. just discrimination , prejudice and impression. There are a lot of high ranking people with tan skin, but believe me, for ever aspect of life, the color effect . When people see white babies, ” wow lovely white child” they would say. When going to school, darkened children are to be teased by other. no serious matter , but jokes. In family too, children are teased to have darkened skin.
    And No one in my country see black beautiful. Beauty is white. That is all. I , as a middle class, never go out in sun (if i have to go, i use umbrella). The same for everyone, we protect our skin from sun by any means. White girls are popular. Many men fancy them. No one usually like darkened skin girl. I see hundreds of whitening creams in my life, but never saw a single tan cream in my country.
    There is one famous commercial in TV.
    it i about , a darkened man feel inferior because of his color and his dream girl avoid him. When he use particular whitening cream, he become white, meaning he become confident, shiny and looked high class. The girl love him back.
    it is very popular burmese traditional whitening cream.
    In beaches of myanmar, people swim in full-clothes only during morning and evening using sun block lotion. they all fear sun burn. so When the sun is highest at noon, whole beach is like desert with no one. We have no idea what is sunbath. To go out in sun ( to have darkened skin) , is very bad unfortunate thing for a Myanmar. It is a sign of poverty and low class.

    it have its root in ancient time. many folklore and stories, beautiful girls are white. black is bad. Poor worked all day long in sun, so they become black. Higher class live under shade , so they are white.
    Ok i dont know westerners will fully understand that trend or not, the same way we dont understand your racism. Actually we think they are crazy to take racism serious matter. So they think us the same why we are so obscessed with being white.

  • 191 Janice Lester // Feb 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Out of morbid curiosity, what is more important to korean peoples:
    Small face or pale skin?
    Seems that liking pale skin has been around longer and that the small face thing may fall to the wayside as it becomes apparent that its proportion and ratios of features that determine a face’s beauty, but was just curious.
    Thanks!

  • 192 Mr. Duby // Apr 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    If you’re born pale, stay pale. This especially applies to White people. I don’t like it when White women tan themselves. Any woman, in her natural skin-tone, will look good.

  • 193 Augusta // May 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    To me having bronze skin is beautiful. No wonder weightlifters and swimsuit models get a slight tan before they compete. Their muscles seem to be more noticeable, unlike morbidly pale skin.

  • 194 mel higginson // Jun 17, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    this is so lame, well how about this. Here in America we like people with a nice tan, we don’t like to look pale and sick.

  • 195 45e6ye4e // Nov 5, 2012 at 3:26 am

    this is all media’s effects

  • 196 charlane // Jun 22, 2014 at 2:03 am

    Personally, I prefer brown skin Asians. The Japanese are the ugliest becuase they look like ghosts. I mean you can be a pasty person, but you can’t change your facial features. Without plastic surgery, I don’t know what you would do. You will never look European … never!!!! I always feel sympathy for the Japanese tourists becuase the women dress like children and the men carry purses; they wear womens’ clothes. Please you are not helping the Asian image in America. Get a tan!

  • 197 charlane // Jun 22, 2014 at 2:04 am

    * because

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