Here’s a post by guest writer Vannie Sung about the the new beauty standards emerging in Asia as a result of western influences.
Ever wonder why you see those Asian grannies on the street holding umbrellas in the summer? Well, for Asians, umbrellas don’t just block rain, but sun too!
How did being light or fair skinned ever evolve to becoming the standard of beauty? Unlike Americans or Europeans who prefer a healthy tan, the opposite of a lack thereof is prevalent through almost other culture: light skinned girls are deemed “prettier” than darker-skinned girls. Especially in our Asian culture, as shallow as it may be, beauty is emphasized above all. I’ll be out with my mother on the street, and she’ll point out the “attractive” passerby. When meeting elders, the first thing they say isn’t “How are you?”. Instead, they’ll add the prefix of “Your daughter’s so pretty!” before asking how you actually are. One summer when I biked daily, she warned me not to get too tan or I’d get mistaken for an [african american] person.
Commercials for skin whitening creams and lotions run frequently on Asian channels, and the rate of eyelid surgery (a type of cosmetic surgery where eyelids are surgically edited to incorporate a “crease”, giving the patient a more Caucasian look) has skyrocketed. Just as skinny has become the new norm, so it is to be “white”. Caucasians want to be darker. Asians want to be lighter. Why can’t we be comfortable in our own skin?
As someone naturally born with double eyelid creases and fair skin, this obviously hasn’t affected my self-esteem. I know, what do I know? But, I find it funny how sometimes I’m mistakenly thought of as Korean or half-Caucasian (I’m pure Chinese) simply based on my physical appearance. I’d love to hear from anyone offering insight into this peculiar insecurity based on skin tone, and whether you’re treated differently because of this.
Last 5 posts by Peter
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- #141 - The Colbert Report / Conan O'Brien Show - January 23rd, 2014
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