logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel
Southwest USA


dailyclick
All times in EST

Autism Spectrum Disorders: 4:00 PM

Full Schedule
g
g Chinese Culture Site

BellaOnline's Chinese Culture Editor

g

Asian Women's Obsession for White Skin

Guest Author - Michelle Lee

There is a Chinese saying “when a person is fair, most other (physical) flaws can be overlooked”. While this saying is clearly an exaggeration, it does give a hint as to importance of fairness as an accent to beauty in Asia.

Porcelain-pale complexion is the most coveted of all physical traits for Asian women. Surveys have actually shown that most Asians, men and women alike, somehow associate beauty with white skin.

This engrained view stems back to ancient China when fairness was a symbol of social status. In the ancient times, only the daughters and wives of the wealthy and politically powerful could afford to stay indoors. Peasants spent their lives toiling in the sun would therefore have darker skin. In addition, the early arts in China and Japan have always depicted goddesses and beauties as having snow-like skin tone. So unconsciously, pale skin is linked to wealth, refinement and femininity.

In the pursuit of fairness, women in the past have invented hundreds of methods and products, ranging from washing the face with rice water to smearing bird droppings on the face. With the advancement of technology, Asian women nowadays rely more sophisticated bleaching agents and melanin inhibiting chemicals such as hydroquinone, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and mercury. According to the article "Bleaching Creams: Fade to Beautiful?" published by the Northwestern University, skin whitening products sales grew from $40 billion to $43 billion in 2008.

These numbers are not hard to understand when we look at the result of an Asia Market Intelligence survey, which revealed that more than 70% of Asian men prefer women with lighter complexions. About three quarter Malaysian men think that their partner will look better with fairer skin. More than half of Asian women use some kind of skin whiteners.

However, this obsession comes at a potential cost. Many skin-bleaching creams contain potent and toxic chemicals. Commonly used skin whitening agents such as corticosteroid and hydroquinone peel away the outer layers of the skin, exposing it to the harmful rays of the sun. Prolonged exposure to UV rays in turn causes a host of possible health issues.

As a precaution, many Asian women opt to take the safest path while using skin whiteners, which is staying out of the sun and slathering on sunscreen with high SPF. Ironically, new research has found that wearing sunscreen continuously can reduce the body’s natural ability to make vitamin D, which is essential for bone strength and other health needs.
Add Asian+Women%27s+Obsession+for+White+Skin to Twitter Add Asian+Women%27s+Obsession+for+White+Skin to Facebook Add Asian+Women%27s+Obsession+for+White+Skin to MySpace Add Asian+Women%27s+Obsession+for+White+Skin to Del.icio.us Digg Asian+Women%27s+Obsession+for+White+Skin Add Asian+Women%27s+Obsession+for+White+Skin to Yahoo My Web Add Asian+Women%27s+Obsession+for+White+Skin to Google Bookmarks Add Asian+Women%27s+Obsession+for+White+Skin to Stumbleupon Add Asian+Women%27s+Obsession+for+White+Skin to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Chinese Culture Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Michelle Lee. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Michelle Lee. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Inci Yilmazli for details.

g


g features
Owls in Chinese Culture

Chinese Valentine's Day

Book Review: Chinese Calligraphy Made Easy

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor