“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.
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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