I’ll admit it. I am a consumer of brightening products and trust me I’ve seen and tried them all.
Alright, maybe not all of them but most of the products you can buy at your local oriental market. From Likas whitening soap to Glutothione cream, I have exfoliated, masked, and peeled my face in order to achieve lighter skin. I guess I have my ethnic traditional values to blame. Hundreds of years ago, light skin meant wealth and dark-skin meant working class (i.e. field work and manual labor) for Asians. Somehow the historic notion stuck with Asian culture until this day and unfortunately, several Asian Americans like myself have adapted the same concept. Lately I have been on a mission to truly appreciate my caramel skin and kick the whitening regiments to the curb!
As I was browsing on YouTube to catch up on current documentaries, I found an interesting story on the developing cultural underground movement in Japan where Japanese men and women want to emulate “Black culture,” or “hip-hop lifestyle.”
The rap/hip-hop music videos serve as their main inspiration associating the voluptuous and well-manicured video models as the new “Barbie.” Since their reformation, they schedule weekly appointments at their neighborhoods tanning salons and hold underground hip-hop parties where big hair, vibrant make-up and sexy outfits are a must.
Whether or not anyone believes this movement is joke, untrue or completely racist, it proves to be a brave surge of change to a longstanding traditional beauty standard. At the least, this movement helps women like me feel more comfortable in her own skin and open to the idea of change.
I believe that is amazing in it of itself.