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One year I vacationed in Mexico and spent the entire time in the water, body surfing and boogie boarding. My skin got really dark, which I don’t care about one way or another, though I am afraid of sun damage and skin cancer, in that order. I made one mistake that trip though, and it wasn’t forgetting sunscreen (always, always remember sunscreen). My mistake was going to see my grandmother right after. The first thing she said, once she got over the shock, was “How did you get so dark?!” For the rest of the visit, she introduced me to her friends as “My Granddaughter-Who’s-Normally-Not-This-Dark.”
Light skin is still prized in Asia for a number of reasons that have to do with longstanding notions of race, class, and gender. Good thing then, that there’s a booming market for skin whitening creams, many of them manufactured by Western companies! And good thing the companies who make these creams also make commercials, because quite a few of them–beyond their creepy, disturbing premise–are kinda hilarious.
1. Skin Whitening For Young Girls
There’s this commercial for SkinWhite Teens, produced by Filipino company Splash Corporation, a skin whitening product designed specifically for young girls:
Filed under: Advertising, Advertising in Asia, Asia, Asian Obsession with Light Skin, Badvertising, Beauty Products, Bollywood, China, Class Issues, Dark Skin Bias, Dark Skin Prejudice, India, J, Japan, Korea, Lady Bits, Lady Parts, Oppressive Notions of Beauty, Philippines, Pond's, Skin Bleaching, Skin Color Hierarchy, Skin Lightening, skin whitening, SkinWhite, Vagina Bleaching, Vagina Lightening, Vagina Whitening, Vaginal Bleaching, Vaginal Lightening, Vaginal Whitening