As many expats in Asia and perhaps even some travelers know, being white-skinned is considered beautiful, desirable and essential. This is quite laughable to the Westerner who wants to be tanned. Creams, sprays and salons are dedicated to making us look like we’ve just been to Mexico or the Bahamas. When I lived in Hawaii, I was sometimes teased for looking “too white,” for not getting enough beach time.

In Asia, however, being tanned represents looking poor: bent over in the fields, working outside in the hot sun and appearing dirty or, Buddha help us, old.

And even though, throughout the years, I’ve explained to my students or colleagues that a tan means you got out of the office, you were on vacation, you have time to play, this ideal simply does not correspond to life in the East. Of course, Asians try to make it sound like the sun’s UV rays are extremely harmful, and while there is some truth to this, the lengths Thais, Chinese, Koreans, etc., go to, to look lily-white is shocking, and a little scary.

This phenomenon is something I’ve touched upon here and is something that I’ve learned to accept, but it was this article shared by a friend that got me thinking about the issue again. In short:

“A young woman in southern India is painting her body black to protest against what she calls the growing intolerance in the country against the low-caste Dalit community, writes Ashraf Padanna in Kerala.”

Can you imagine? Horrible that Indians are killing themselves for being in the “wrong/dark” caste system. Unbelievable that Asians are poisoning themselves in an attempt to look whiter. I’ll be keen to read a follow up article on her experiment.

I remember my b/f told me that one of his university students in China had to wear a mask because she took the whitening creams too far and had to hide the mistake. He also told me an amusing story of when he was teaching in Ankang, a small city smack in the middle of China. One of his colleagues was a Chinese American who had dark skin (I’m sure he wasn’t that dark) and the security guard wouldn’t let him on campus because he didn’t believe he was a teacher. He eventually had to jump the fence in order to teach his classes.

When I first got to Thailand I saw pink nipple cream at one of the malls. I laughed. Then I thought, “Are pink nipples considered more desirable than brown ones? Is this something I’m supposed to want???” Then, of course, I started noticing how Thais hid under umbrellas, covered themselves with sleeves, scarves and socks, all in an attempt to avoid Vitamin D as much as possible.

In Cambodia they are much more relaxed about it. I think this is because they are browner and it really can’t be helped no matter how much you try to avoid the sun. It’s also a poorer country. Women here don’t walk with umbrellas like Thailand or Laos, wearing hats are much more practical.  Although, they might cover up, which I understand, because the sun is super strong here. My own efforts of putting on sunscreen while at the pool have been futile. I’m getting dark as my archaeology days.

But Cambodia, just like its sister Asian countries, loves its light-skinned celebrities. In Thailand (I know Thailand better), Chompoo is such a crazy popular actress and she is Thai and British. She is everywhere, on TV, at the movies, on commercials, and advertisements. Mario is Thai-Chinese and German, and is a very popular celebrity as well. It’s rather maddening, actually, to see many luk krung (half-Thais) dominate Thai pop culture. And if they aren’t on top, then milky-white skinned celebs are – seriously, unless it’s comedy or a villain, you won’t see a nice brown tanned Thai.

Chompoo Thai celebrity, Thais obsession with half-Thais and white skin
Chompoo has got to be one of the most popular and rich Thai celebrities of all time.

I know other Asian countries have the same beauty standards because whenever I turn on the TV this is what I see. I watch marshmallow-white, creamy Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Khmer, Indians on TV. Just once (okay not just once!), I’d like to see a popular dark-skinned Asian celebrity on Asian TV (because ABCs – Australian born Chinese, American born Chinese, etc, you get the picture, want to be tanned and healthy looking). I think it would do a world of greater good for teens to see someone that looks like them and for everyone to understand beauty comes in all shades.

I know others have expressed their concern and disgust over Asia’s white-skin obsession, but sadly it does not appear to be going away any time soon. My students tease each other for having ‘black’ skin and then, of course, I have to step in and tell them they are being ridiculous. But I can’t help but wonder if my dark-skinned female students will have a harder time finding a man than their light-skinned counterparts.

Enter Dr. Rhonda Tindle who is a professor of East Asia studies. I tweeted her asking where this white-skin obsession came from and here’s what she had to say:

(27th century BC /creation myth)  If you look up one of the Yellow Emperor’s consorts, you will find Leizu. She was very young (of course) when she became consort of the Emperor and the myth is that she was of the purest yellow as was the Emperor.  She was also apparently really clever because she discovered silk.

The Japanese in particular really take the purest yellow thing (pale skin) to heart.  But the whole pale thing goes back to these mythical creation stories of the Yellow Emperor – or at least the preference for pale skin is supported by the myth.   I read an anthropological article a few years ago that the whole love of pale skin and pale being beautiful relates to the male preference for young females.

When I first got to SE Asia, I mistakenly thought Asians obsession with being white-skinned meant they wanted to be White. But I was wrong. They might admire whiter skin and there are certainly Asians who are obsessed with mainstream ideals of beauty (wider eyes, bigger breasts), overall though, I think Asians want to be Asians, but with lighter skin. Take the controversial Chinese laundry detergent commercial. The woman puts a black man in the laundry, but he doesn’t come out White, he comes out pale Asian.

Interestingly, the commercial it was based off of (right down to the music), was an Italian one claiming and boasting to add color to the wash –  same scene, but in went a skinny Italian man and out came a big black hunk. My goodness, if these two commercials don’t represent the fundamental differences of wants and desires between the East and West, I don’t know what does!

To make matters even more complex, I asked a few of my colleagues regarding Cambodia’s desire for whiter skin or finding a fair partner and one of them said,

“Khmers are dark-skinned people. If you find a light-skinned Cambodian then it probably means they are Chinese-Cambodian which is considered more desirable because the Chinese are known for their business savvy. Regardless of whether or not this is true, it’s what people believe.”

To be honest, I think I’ve been living in Asia for too long. I notice skin tones, who’s darker than me and who’s lighter, but I don’t use it as a benchmark for beauty. I can’t. I’ve seen too many situations where appearances were deceptive and when looking good mattered more than being good.

Besides, standards of beauty change, but compassion, generosity and kindness go beyond the shades that seem so important today.

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It all comes down to wanting to be liked and accepted. [Chiang Mai, 2013]
What do you think?

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74 replies on “What’s up with Asians obsession with white skin?

  1. Amazing post on Asia’s obsession with looking fair, Lani. You said it so much better than me and brought forward so many good pointers of discussion.

    “to look lily-white” and marshmallow white. Lol. I have never heard of this description towards Asians with fair-skin before. But it is very fitting: looking as pale as some common things around us with personalities shallow and soft.

    Never heard of Chompoo but she does look quite fair. The only Thai celebrity I’ve come to know is Tata Young (she had an English hit Sexy, Naughty, Bitchy Me) and Utt (who is Thai American and was an MTV VJ many years back). Both of them have fair skin and watching them on TV in my high school days, I wondered how they managed to stay so far when they filmed under the hot Asian sun.

    Asians want to be Asians, but with lighter skin” This is an interesting way to put it. Hmmm. I don’t really know what to say about that, though. As an Asian Australian, though I am not a fan of pale skin, it doesn’t mean I am not a fan of liking a kawaii look at times…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks. I’m glad you liked it. I sweated over it after I read yours. But like I mentioned, I had started it, but never got around to finishing it. I just thought it was interesting how different our takes were on the same thing. I rather like that about creativity and perspective…

      I know Tata, but I’ve never heard of Utt. Yeah, as far as Asians wanting to lighter versions of themselves, I meant, Asians from the Motherland, not ABCs or Canadians or Western-raised Asians. I should have made that more clear.

      I certainly waffle between wanting to have that perfect white skin and a lovely tan. I think the latter is nice because it is coveted and because I could never have it no matter how hard I try. I naturally tan and that’s just the way it is!


      1. Always nice to hear another opinion, and yours makes perfect sense. As mentioned, the Asians want to be Asians point really caught me, and that is so true.

        You know, you could always use those moisturisers that promises a temporary tanned glow but then again, you might be poisoning yourself, as you said so in the post. I used to use them a while back just to see whether they work – not really and I left dark marks all over my bed.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha. Methinks you are the first woman to experience the staining power of those tanning creams 😛

        Thanks for always commenting Mabel and having something thoughful and nice to say. I really appreciate it. xxoo

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A fascinating article Lani, and extremely well-written! I didn’t know Asians were obsessed with pale skin. I’ve always had it but I never had a choice. When I was a kid I was obsessed with getting a tan, but my skin wasn’t prone to tanning the way all my friends’ was. I spent many miserable summer afternoons baking myself in the hot sun, only to end up pinker than before. Around age 14 I dismissed the whole skin color obsession as dumb and stopped torturing myself. As you said, there are many different ways to be attractive. It’s unfortunate that cultures latch onto certain arbitrary ideals that mainly end up inducing neurosis, underconfidence, and pointless suffering.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “It’s unfortunate that cultures latch onto certain arbitrary ideals that mainly end up inducing neurosis, underconfidence, and pointless suffering.” – OMG, I love that. Sooo sad and true.

      Yeah, we want what we don’t have. Straight hair, curly hair, tall, short, boobs, flat stomach, etc, etc. We really do drive ourselves down insanity blvd. obsessing and not accepting the way were are made.

      Thanks Lisa!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can relate. The skin lightening aka bleaching cream industry in my native Nigeria is huge. I would’ve thought that the dangers of skin bleaching from skin cancer to ugly burns, would’ve dissuaded people. But people have been bleaching their skin since I was a little girl up until now. I haven’t really investigated why there’s a seeming preference for light skin.

    I use the word seeming because I grew up with people of different shades and very fair and very dark (both extremes) were teased. Dark girls who were beautiful were called black beauty as a compliment. I would say skin bleaching persists among the illiterate and poorer segments of society, but that would be wrong. The educated and richer people, buy more expensive creams and don’t get burnt.

    Whether in Asia, Africa, or anywhere else were lighter or pale skin is the standard of beauty, the media helps perpetuate the myths … Ms Jaya is courageous and determined. To spend 2 hours a day painting yourself black every day for over a 100 days is no mean feat. Kudos to her.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, yes. It’s probably no accident that many African American celebrities (especially the women) are light-skinned. I remember someone joking about how Beyonce is getting whiter and whiter-looking these days, too.

      I think you’re right, it’s the media that perpetuates what is beautiful – and rich or poor desire to be “in” and do whatever they can to be popular. I really hope that I will live to see the day when the masses dictate what is important and beautiful and not those in power.

      Cheers and cheers to Ms. Jaya.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh yeah this topic. I can’t help but shake my head when I am in China and many women are more pale than me there even though I am really really pale due to my illness.
    My wife is thankfully not so much into the whole thing, sure she likes to keep her skin pale but she does not care too much as she had no problem getting tanned on our holiday on Rhodes a few years ago.

    You mention Mario and that reminds me on one of his movies “first love” where the main actress tries everything to get together with him and that includes getting white. So her friends even scrub her skin to make it pale…oh my

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahha. I didn’t know you were such a Mario fan! 😉 Actually, the fact that the white-skin desire was played out in a movie, I’m not surprised. Thais are crazy about it.

      Yes, it’s good your wife is not too fixated on it. I think that would drive anyone up the wall. I’m certainly glad my mom never pushed me. I think being raised in Hawaii did her some good in changing her perspective 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ohno I am no Mario fan but my wife forced me to watch that movie back then :p
        I remember few years ago we went eating in China with family friends and their daughter was soo white and so much makeup to make it even more “white” that it looked like some thick crust on her face. Well mother in law later said to my wife “look how well she takes care of her skin, you can learn from her, so nicely white”…

        Liked by 2 people

  5. My girlfriend is always after me to put on sunscreen, when I prefer more of a lobster look and a red clown nose. Seriously, I guess I support people looking however they like, but would hope they are comfortable with their natural shade, and not persuaded by others that there’s something wrong with it or something better. People are probably too image conscious, and forget that even the most attractive people in photographs lose their beauty – it easily becomes banal – when what animates them is not so great.

    Which brings me to a lesson I learned teaching at a university in China. On the first day of class I might notice some standout conventionally attractive students, not that it mattered. But by the end of the term, if I had to pick out the most attractive students, it rarely would be the same ones as on the first day. What really matters is how the person is animated. Smiles look good on most everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it is true. We are too-image conscious when we should know better by now. I mean, really, 2016 and we’re wanting to be white as possible?

      By the way, your girlfriend sounds like she has your best interest in heart. What a wonderful lady!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Do you think that something also adding to the fever could be that we always want what we don’t have? Asians tan naturally, they want to be whiter. Europeans (in general) don’t tan that easily, we want to be tanned. Asians have straight hair, they perm it. Many Spanish girls have naturally curly or wavy hair, they use irons to straighten it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely. But I think what makes this phenomenon so unique is that it is a crazy obsession, and from a historical standpoint it was interesting to learn that it probably stemmed from royality. I got to dig deeeper than I thought I would on this post and that’s what’s been rewarding!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Hey Lani, what a thorny topic to tackle! I love seeing my SE Asia through your worldview. 🙂 We’re more relaxed about it in the Philippines, but I do hear statements like “She’s pretty but if only she were whiter!” all the time. In fact, my Dad — born with darker skin — often got teased about being adopted into his Chinese family because of it. One time as a kid, he got lost and was brought to the neighborhood radio station (this was the early 60s) where the DJ announced he could be found there. When my grandpa showed up, they wouldn’t let him take my Dad for the longest time because this pale-skinned man just COULDN’T have a dark-skinned son! Yikes!

    Well, I can’t deny I’m treated better wherever I go in Asia because of my yellow-white skin. It’s something I grew up with without thinking about it too much. Cultural differences, eh?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thorny! 😉 Well, someone’s got to hack away at the vines and rescue Sleeping Beauty!

      I loved hearing your story about your father. I imagine most of us experience some kind of bias one time or another based on our appearance. It seems natural, but I do hope we continue to dig deeper and get to know each other on a soul to soul level. Hugs!


  8. I have never heard of Chompoo before but Mario is so cute and yummy looking! I’m quite disappointed in Thais for being obsessed with luk kreung, but I have read that luk kreungs weren’t always treated well, but badly, so now it’s the opposite for them.
    I realize that I love being tan, well “dark” according to Asians. I have seen Asians where I live using umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun, to me it’s quite silly!
    I didn’t know that is how skin tones are perceived in Cambodia. But unfortunately I have read that from other Asians, Cambodians are considered the “blacks” or in a less pleasant tones “n*****” of Asia. Sigh.
    I think one of the reasons why skin tone is such an issue is because it says a lot about the culture. To many people it shows beauty, social status, and economical means. And well those things are important in life in well, superficial ways.
    Even though the West prefers dark or tan, they don’t like being too dark.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent last point. You can be considered too dark. *rolls eyes*

      Cambodians do favor lighter skin, but like I said, they aren’t CRAZY about it. I think this is because it is a developing country – and it’s a hot country, too. At some point you just have to live life and be practical 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I haven’t thought this one through for myself personally and of course here in Canada, it’s more relaxed for Asian Canadians either looking whitish or simply darker-tan.

    I seriously did not realize that my skin is naturally very light golden (Chinese) in the areas that never had sun exposure until I met my Caucasian partner. 🙂

    It does explain to me about Cambodians since there is an employee I know well who is half Cambodian-Chinese. I personally don’t know any other Cambodians.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m glad you delved more deeply into this, going all the way back to creation myths. It’s not surprising that the desired skin (pale) is related to power and youth in the myth with the Emperor’s young consort having pure yellow skin.

    I like that first picture of you. Very cute!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nicki. It was an interesting post to write. At first, I didnt feel like I had anything to add to the topic but then I realized more could be said!


  11. This is such an interesting topic! I have always felt such a social outcast ( well, in my younger days anyway). Being so fair haired and white skinned ( asked as a child, are you an albino?) all I desired (and went to great lengths to obtain- sunburn my skin if necessary) was to get some color on this body….. but all to no avail. As my dad used to say I guess, “it all depends on where you sit how the picture looks!”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have learned to accept myself in so many many ways over the years. I cringe to think of wasted time being concerned over such trivia!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Hello,
    You said it right, I think that people in Asia or India in particular have a tendency to crave for something they are not. Like in India, people are generally not too fair and hence they think that being fair is more beautiful, and then it becomes a trend. People who are born fair are given more respect in terms of beauty. Also talent and ability comes second to your looks..
    Anyways good post from you..nice points covered..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I think you perfectly summed it up. And it is unfortunate how much talent and intelligence are pushed aside for a beautiful face and/or body. Research regarding this supports people’s tendencies to favor good-looking over average or less. Hopefully, we’ll do more than award those who were born blessed and take the time to see who is beneath the surface.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. We all want to be someone or something else. The most popular cosmetic surgery among Caucasian women is the nose job that brings the nose in and wider – more Asian. The most popular cosmetic surgery in Japan and Korea is the removal of the eye fold to look more European. White people ruin their skin baking in the UV rays of the sun; Asians ruin theirs with weird chemicals. It’s nuts! It’s about projecting class though isn’t it? A bronzed white person is seen as a rich high class person of leisure. My Japanese mother in law can’t stand it when my wife gets a tan from the sun because to her it’s a low-class “redneck” look.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it is crazy the lengths we go to alter the way we look. It’s really a waste of time. I mean, it can be fun to experiment with different looks and try new things, but at the end of the day, you are who you are, and we need to learn to like ourselves! Thanks, Stuart.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I disagree with people saying that Asians want to be Asians, just with lighter skin. If this was true, then they wouldn’t be having double eyelid surgery, as well. Also, look at anime. All of the characters look EXACTLY the same, with huge, sparkling blue eyes, white skin, and giant breasts. In other words, the complete opposite of how most Asians actually look. I never understood this wierd obsession they have with Caucasian skin and features. Asian women, in my opinion, are absolutely gorgeous, with shiny, healthy, silky black hair, gorgeous almond-shaped eyes, beautiful creamy skin and…..they don’t age! They might not have the curves that women of other races have, but they also don’t seem to have the weight problems, either. They stay thin throughout their lives and are extremely feminine and usually very intelligent. I guess there is some truth to what Stuart says-we all want what we don’t have. White women are just as obsessed with plumper, fuller lips, Bigger butts and tan skin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is definitely a case for saying that some Asian women want to look “Whiter”. And I’ve seen my fair share of pop stars and every day men and women who seem to want to look different than the way that they do.

      Bigger breasts, probably stems from what is considered desirable, in every (?) culture. Wider eyes are, again, probably a universal ideal. And crazy contact lenses, well, I think many people like to play with their looks no matter how unnatural it may seem!

      I don’t know much about the beginnings of anime, other than it is Japanese. And yes, it is odd that the characters are White (with a few exceptions). I’m sure there are better discussions elsewhere regarding this.

      Generally though, I don’t think Asians who obsess w/ their skin color necessarily want to be racially White. I think, as many have commented, people want what they don’t have.

      Thanks for bringing up an opposing point of view! 🙂


    2. I don’t think all anime chatacters look the same. It sounds like you only have watched one or two animes. You should watch more before you put that. Also, Anime characters does not create to look white.They created to look like anime character, that’s all. In fact, many asian girls do have round and big eyes and natural double eyelid, just not as big as european or middle easterner. Many of them also have natural white or milky skin, especially the girls from korea, japan and northern china. I think the giant breasts thing is just opposite to any human beings not just asians, no one can have breasts huge as basketballs except by surgery or some kind of disease. Please make it clear, they don’t want to look caucasian(wth), they just want to look like beautiful asian models, idols, singers and actress. They are obssessed with fair skin since ancient time, nothing to do with caucasians.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Again, interesting and insightful post Lani! The desire for white skin in Asia just goes too far. I’ll never forget when I tried a sample of some whitening cream at a Korean beauty store, and my hand turned bleach white in mere minutes. I knew that definitely couldn’t be safe.

    To be honest with you I turned more “Asian” while living in Japan and China, and instead of bask in the sun for a tan I was guilty of holding an umbrella over my head to protect my skin. Maybe I lived in Asia too long.

    I also think it’s all about moderation as well. I see some women here in the states that are just a little too tan. Some women lie on the beach for hours at a time, literally grilling in the sun (especially here in California) and the skin cancer alarm goes off in my head. I usually try to avoid the sun but my boyfriend told me that vitamin D is essential and we all need it, so now instead of go out with an umbrella I just lather myself in sunblock.

    In retrospect, some women in Asia try too hard to be white. You can tell their face looks kind of ghostly and sickly and… unnatural from all the creams. And last time I was at grand canyon all of the Chinese tourists walked out of the bus looking like terrorists–they were covered in black, head to toe, including their face! (they wore ski masks–really!). It’s all just too much.

    IMO, the most beautiful Asian women are the natural ones. Whether their skin is naturally dark or light, just being yourself is the most beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So, you tried the creams, eh? Interesting. I had no idea that some of them worked so fast. Ug. Scary.

      No, I do the same thing. When I was in Thailand, I was an umbrella holder 😛 and I noticed that I was able to control my tanning better. But to be fair, it also helped cut down on the heat. The sun is damn strong in SE Asia.

      I also liked the umbrella as a way to let motorist know I was walking. I used to have a bright rainbow striped one from Fred Myers (before it finally died, sad). Now I have a green one. I wave it like a flag, “see me! see me!”

      As I mentioned, in Cambo they aren’t as crazy about it. They can’t be. Some of the folks here are very brown. They do layer up in sweaters, scarves and hats which is insane considering the heat, but what are you going to do? Join them? Not.Quite.Yet.


  16. Yes! Loved this piece, Lani. The length to which these Asian countries go to be paler is crazy. Whitening soaps and other skin whitening products are distributed in several markets in Korea and are still promoted heavily. Though, I suppose whitening enthusiasts wonder the same about our tanning obsession here in the U.S. Regardless, the stigmas on pale and especially dark skin is disheartening.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for commenting and sharing! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Yeah, it’s extremely disheartening how stigmas are placed on something you can’t change – your skin color.


  17. Good read, thanks for the write up about it. I have been to thailand and know what you mean. i went there white skinned so i was looking for tanning lotion but pretty much every product even all the soaps were for whitening. Im learning heaps reading these blog posts. Im writing a blog myself about how to get whiter skin. I understand that people should accept themselves the way they are and that culture causes a lot of caos in our heads about what we should be. Sometimes however life can be tormenting if we are not how we want to be and it can be a relief and life saving just to fix what we dont like and move on. For example, i think girls should be happy with the size of their chest but the fact is so many arent. The spend their lives wanting and desiring different and it can consume them. Only after they finally get a larger chest can they relax and let it go so i dont think its all bad to achieve something that we want.


    1. Yikes. I’d be interested in follow ups with those who do get breast implants. Are they indeed happier? Or do they convince themselves they are happier? I’m betting they are for the short term and then it’s something else they want.

      Sure, we all want what we don’t have and the media does an excellent job of glorifying women who fit a particular mold. I’m sure the companies making money off of this desire tell themselves they are in the business of making women happy all the time.


    1. OH, right, yeah, I know. I avoid whitening products…it seems harmful, so why take that chance for a temporary fix to a problem that doesn’t exist!


  18. Its seems all cultures are obsessed with lighter skin tones and it’s sad to me. As a dark African American woman, I was teased almost every single day growing up. My own family even constantly comments on my skin (I am darker than most of them). My husband is a “dark” Cambodian and he hears MANY comments about being dark as well. At the end of the day, we both took decades to accept ourselves individually. Now, we’re just happy knowing our skin will age well and we don’t care about staying in the sun ALL DAY and getting even darker. WE LOVE OURSELVES unapologetically <3.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would seem so. Maybe in the future, darker skin will be considered just fine. I certainly hope so.

      Of course, now would be good, too.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story. I love positive narratives on how we stand up for ourselves and accept what makes us unique. xxoo

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I don’t see loving fair skin is a bad thing, as long as no one get hurt. It’s a beauty trend, no different from wearing high heels or tanning skin. When caucasian women teased asian women about persuading light skin, asian women also laughed at caucasian women’s obssesion of dark skin. To dodge from the sun actually helps you age slowly, thats why most asian women look younger than their real age. Caucasian women aged horribly. They look 40s at their 20s. Not to mean offensive, just want to point out the truth.


    1. I don’t think that Asians abilities to avoid the sun makes them stay younger looking. It’s in the genes. They are normally, more petite which helps everyone to think they are younger than they are. And Asians do age, in fact, you could argue that Asians who are 65 look much older than Whites who are the same age.

      A lot of how we age has to do with stress, genetics, habits and our health.

      And as far as the white skin trend among Asians, I think that’s the point. Folks are hurting themselves in an effort to attain paper-white skin. So, sure, if no one is harmed, but when they do…


  20. Going on vacation to Thailand from China, I was thrilled to find that they have Boots and in general many more make-up articles available… until I found out the majority of them are whitening and struggled to find anything I can buy! I totally agree with you – some Chinese really overdo it with looking white and look scary, like ghosts. It saddens me that we can’t just all look natural and feel the need to change the tone of our skin to be accepted in our society.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, looking for toner or moisturiser (or even a lotion) that isn’t whitening is tricky, isn’t it? Not everyone wants to look like a ghost!


  21. I had to laugh when I saw pink nipple cream. My husband is Asian and always compliments me on my pretty pink areolas and nipples. I never thought or heard that before until I met him. Perhaps that is where his obsession came from. I am also blonde but tan very easily in the summer. I love having tanned legs for shorts and skirts. Hate those tanning lotions and so many horrible chemicals in them. I love the sun and get a good dose of vitamin D too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love having tanned legs, too. Tans do make us look healthier, with color, not deathly white, but man, oh, man is it coveted here.


  22. I forgot to include that I think Asian women are some of the most beautiful women. I see many tanned Asian women here in the US and they tan such a pretty color..golden tan the desired here in America! It is sad that Chinese women are opting for breast implants…looks horrible on a petite women IMO. The breast implant craze is trending down in America and many women are opting to have them removed as well. Take notice of the recent Grammys. Many of the women had plunging dresses and natural breasts. Yea! I think little breasts, medium breast, big breasts are beautiful. All boobies are beautiful as long as they are natural!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear. Natural is almost always better. It would be great if we could return to some normal programming. Hahahha, and not these extremes anymore.


    1. Thanks for finding me. I love your article and couldnt agree more. Its amazing the kind of pressure we feel to conform, often without consciously realizing what we are doing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for taking the time to read it. You speak truth. We do put so much pressure on ourselves, but sometimes we just conform to what everyone is doing around us, and we lose ourselves.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. “deathly white”, that’s not very nice, Lani. 😉 It’s amazing the vocabulary we use subconsciously without realising the implications.


    1. I wish I send you photos because it is a very unhealthy look that some of these girls/women end up achieving through these whitening products. It’s not about being ‘cute’ or subconsciously cruel or unjust, it’s about having a pallor that seems unnecessary in the attempt at ‘beauty’. Think Michael Jackson, and many of the girls damage their skin using these products. In fact, I have a student in one of my classes right now that is wearing a mask because she “misused” a whitening product. Her words, not mine. It about an unnatural level of whiteness that is unhealthy/deathly.


  24. lol asian woman do NOT poison their skin trying to become paler because asians put great emphasis on skincare. asian woman usually use skin brightening products from renowned skincare brands like Shiseido and SK-II so please do not spread false information.


    1. If you do a google search on skin whitening, there are many articles that talk about the dangers of it. If they are saying it’s safe, generally it’s because they are manufacters of skin whitening products, so of course, they are going to say it’s safe.

      Consider this article by WebMD:

      And if you click on the ‘news’ section after googling “are skin whitening products safe?” you will see recent news articles on the issue.

      Big brands have been sued in the past for putting out bad products, but I’m not saying the brands you mentioned are not trustworthy, I’m just saying there have been instances where these treatments and products have gone wrong.


  25. Asians want to be Asians with lighter skin? Well not here in the Philippines where being mestizo (mixed Filipino & Caucasian) or having some Western features is the ideal standard of beauty which is ridiculous because the majority of people are basically of native Southeast Asian stock. Everywhere on the street you see half-White celebrities on billboards advertising clothes, banks, real estate and especially skin whitening products such as glutathione soaps, creams and pills.

    Personally I find this obsession downright crazy and I’m probably one of those rare Asians who doesn’t go out in the sun with an umbrella and long-sleeves (who could endure that extra heat). In fact I wear sleeveless shirts or tank tops and shorts since I sweat really easily. For me I love having some tan lines especially in the summer because for me, it means fresh from a beach getaway (and how I love beaches!) which I cannot afford, however this doesn’t come without some scoldings or critical remarks from my mom, boyfriend and others who get scared that I will get dark which doesn’t complement my features (as if having a dark skin is a crime).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I could see why you think this way. There are plenty of half-Thai celebrities in Thailand. But half-Thais are not necessarily treated better. And I’ve definitely seen my fair share of full Thais that look mixed because they are so fair.

      If I were to meet you halfway here (hahahaha, no pun intended), I’d say Thais do covet a nice tall straight nose. But like my mom has a straight nose, but it is in no way “white” looking and she’s quite proud of it. Thais are also obsessed with eyebrows too and that’s not really a “race” thing.

      Regardless, I don’t get it either. I do get the tanlines things though. I’ve got a horrible tanline from my slippers or flipflops. And when I drove a motorbike, I had “motorbike hand” tans. It’s just the extremes I don’t care for.

      Liked by 1 person

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