Popularity of Skin Whitening Creams in Asia

OK, you saw it here first…maybe.

We’ve talked a bit about skin bleaching among African Americans, but it’s quite the rage in Asia too. Depressing and weird, especially the cream designed for “your lady bits.” I don’t know if this will be helpful to those of you writing about “white is right” beauty standards, but it’s certainly food for thought. Please note that these are mostly American companies selling this crap and this idea:

http://www.racialicious.com/2012/04/17/disgrasian-of-the-weak-vagina-whitening-thats-right-you-heard-me/

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Popularity of Skin Whitening Creams in Asia

  1. leilani05

    This is just ridiculous to me. Im so happy that i’m not ashamed of my skin color. I’ve never thought about bleaching my skin. This is absolutely sending the wrong message to the children in today’s society. The statement that “white is right” can be taken the wrong way. The chemicals and long term affects of these cremes can and may be deadly. Just because your outward appearance changes doesnt mean that you will also become a better person internally. The obsession with skin complexion is so overrated shouldn’t even be an issue in 2012, but apparently it is. It’s just sad. In the black race, children that have darker skin may be teased and called names in school, leading them to be very self conscious and that carries over into their adult life. Wake up people!!!!

  2. I agree that this is an issue. I think it also goes along the lines of “good hair.” I know growing up a lot of people, not only blacks, would always consider the light skinned black people with straight hair to be the prettiest or most handsome. Chris Rock’s documentary ” Good Hair” does a great job of covering this topic. He talked to black people all over America to find out their definition of good hair. Majority of the black people said that straight hair is considered good hair. Anything is bad hair or considered “nappy.” It was amazing to see how much money goes into the hair industry. There were women on the documentary who spent at $1,000 on weave. Her natural hair was beautiful, but she couldn’t see it. She could only see what society considers to be good hair. It also showed how Black males and females have been relaxing there hair for over 100 years. The relaxer was used back in the early and late 20th century to straighten the hair of blacks. It contained a strong ingredient called lye also known by it’s scientific name Sodium Hydroxide. Sodium Hydroxide is exothermic and can heat up and cause burns or ignite flames. That is the ingredient that makes the relaxer burn and actually straightens the hair, but it also can damage the scout. My oldest sister still gets relaxers put in her hair, and i’ve noticed that a lot the relaxers now have “No Lye” written on the front of the box These relaxers contain calcium hydroxide. The documentary can explain this a lot better than i can, and it’s very good. The title is “Good Hair” by Chris Rock. It can be found on netflix or redbox.

  3. Wow. I had no idea that this as also happening in Asia. I have known many African-Americans to do it and I’ve always wondered why. There was this girl in my class in high school that was much lighter than myself, until she decided to bleach herself. After her “whitening” process was complete, she ended up being spotty and even more unattractive than she probably thought herself to be from the beginning. Many African-Americans may feel that if they bleach themselves to become lighter skinned, that they may become more attractive, I have always thought black was beautiful; Aristotle seemed to agree. We are never really satisfied with ourselves and this goes for any gender and race. Now, I don’t know too much about the skin whitening for the “lady parts” so I’m not going down that road, all I can say that this concept is very weird and disturbing. I didn’t know that dark vaginas was one of the unwanted physical characteristics of women. This also goes to show that races are prejudice within themselves, and that “all people will never fully accept all people.”

  4. Bryn Pipes

    I actually did see this story on Jezebel.com last week (I have a close friend pursuing a master’s degree in human sexuality who keeps me up to date with all of the ridiculous hang-ups people manage to create for themselves). I have a difficult time even imagining this very specific “problem” being an issue for someone. And, yes, I agree completely that this has to carry a high level of future health risk for the person who decides to subject their body to such a product.

    Since we are on the topic of skin lightening, has anyone else noticed how pale Beyonce has become? I’m not a fan of hers and avoid her music like the plague, so I usually get by without being exposed to her on a regular basis; but a couple days ago a picture of her popped up online, and I had to do a triple take to convince myself it was actually her. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb if I say that she is currently the most visible African-American woman, and she is usually framed by national media as the pinnacle of beauty within that community. What is a little confusing for me is that she wasn’t very dark to begin with, but now she apparently feels the need to be even lighter. I won’t even go into her hair, which seems to have followed a similar trend over the years. With all of that said, I’m curious to hear what others think about this development. What, if any, impact do you think this has on the black community and its concept of beauty?

  5. ninamier

    I apologize for my late entry into the conversation but I read this a day or two after it was posted and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I thought that whitening cremes were a thing of the past. I Literally thought that people knew better than to use cremes to whiten their skin. The ingredients in the lotion are horrible and will definitely have some kind of effect on their skin in the long run. Two of those videos really struck me as horrific.
    The first video, marketing the whitening lotion to teens literally made me make a face at the computer screen. These little girls are having their brain washed by ads like these telling them that their dark skin isn’t beautiful. If those girls came to the United States, they would have a different message being thrown in their faces and would undoubtedly be terribly confused. Asian women are told that they need to have skin as white as porcelain (which we all know has been going on for quite sometime. This is the reason that you get the depiction of the women with their faces painted white with bright red paint on their lips).

    However, if we really thought about it, some of the moms that are buying their daughters the tanning lotions, spray-on tans, allowing them to go to tanning beds etc, are guilty of the same thing. In Asia they believe White is beauty. In America if you’re not somewhat tanned you get stared at, and called pasty or even “goth”. Americans are just as guilty of brainwashing as people from Asia (specifically the Philippines in this case).

    • I agree with ninamier, white people in America do these dumb things all the time. They bleach teeth, hair, and everything else. But this issue is rampant in all ethnic groups. Every woman in America waxes/shaves to be considered normal when really that isn’t natural. It has just become expected and is so well rooted that we don’t even consider it weird anymore. But these trends change routinely, 100 years ago women must be fair skinned and avoided the sun like the plague. Also raven hair was preferred. Also the ideal body type is ever changing even in recent years we have gone from women needing to look like Paris Hilton to needing to look like Kim Kardashian. Men in the 90′s and early 2000′s needed to be slim and metro, but now being beefy and manly is the trend.

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