Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Hate the White Man Love the White Skin- White and Yellow in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on May 10, 2011

China is a land of mysteries and contrasts. While much of her skyline has morphed from two story dingy gray buildings to an eye catching array of international design, one can still find the charm of a local shitting on the street corner…..just kidding, that was an ADD thing…
Ok, but my point is this.
China is mysterious and in some ways its good and some bad. The good is that each day you jump out of be to see what is next, what amazing thing the center country will throw at you. The bad has more to do with the oppressive government or the things the locals may not tell you about the truth of china as they wish to save face. But some things you just have to come here to live and see for yourself.

One of the things that gets me, however, is the hatred or angst the locals have with their skin or its color. Chinese women, or so it would appear based upon the numerous skin bleaching products that fill chinese stores, hate their ‘yellowness’ as they call it. Stores are filled with products ensconsed in boxes of chinese women with photoshopped bone white skin and the smug look of someone who has a secret they will never tell you. Everything from wraps, peels and gels all peddled to the locals, with a promise to yank out their Chinese’ness even to their very souls. This condition, however, is not only a woman’s thing but the one-child policy boys, as they are called here and how appropriate a term, also seem to be desirious of perly white skin, maybe to match their shoulder bags.
While this phenomenon, ie wanting to change oneself via cosmetics based upon a hatred of one’s reality due to the help of advertising is not particular to china, but other places as well. Some blacks, for instance, have a tremendous amount of pride in being light skinned (prez?) and will not date a woman who is a shade darker. But to the Chinese women, imho, it seems to go much deeper. While a woman in the usa may hate her saddlebags, she embraces or knows what she is, they don’t seem to be as bothered with their ethnicity as the people here.

While some may say that advertisting promotes self hate and an image that is possible to attain, one has to wonder what is at root of the problem here. Invisible Monsters is a great book by Chuck Palahniuk, it talks about advertising and the culture of consumption etc (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Monsters)..

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