Archive | July, 2011

China Dolls vs. the Tinted Tangerine

25 Jul

China, and most of Asia for that matter, has an obsession with white skin. Whitening shit is in EVERYTHING. Face creams, body wash, toners–you name it, it’ll make you whiter.

It’s a historical trend:

But it’s also gotten completely out of hand:

Her eyes are the headlights

When I first got to Asia I was blown away by this. Especially since the level of white they’re striving for is the kind of pale I associate with sickness and hospital visits. Of course, I wanted to know why. The theory I’ve heard kicked around most often sounds something like this:

In the days of yore, white skin (in Asian societies) meant that you didn’t need to work outside. Read: You had money, status, and power. White skin=high class. And since, generally, high class is equal to or greater than beauty, it came to be that sickly pale bitches equalled beautiful bitches.

It makes sense. Whether or not it’s true is probably something someone with a degree in economics should sort out. But it got me thinking.

You know those tinted tangerines that seem to float around our culture? Those girls (and guys) who have spent way too much time tanning and are unaware that they looked like a slightly burnt orange?

Oompa Loompa gone wrong

Well I wonder if this Caucasian♄dark pattern follows the Asian♄light principle. Because, traditionally speaking, we whiteys tend to be cold-climate folks. The only way you got to have dark skin in the good-old-days was if you had enough money to take you to warmer climes.

So, is our formula inversely proportionate to the Asian one? When someone makes fun of how pale my skin is (and it’s bad), are they really just raging against my inability to balance the equation: dark skin=beautiful?

Maybe. I know that I, for one, am hitting the tanning booth this week.