Understanding China: News Investments Community

White, Gold, Pale, and Tan: East and West Disagree

August 9th, 2012 by · 1 Comment

It’s a known fact to most all humans that we are never satisfied with what we have, and we always want what someone else has. There are probably many examples of this, but the ones I notice the most are about the proper color of beauty in the two countries that I live in: China and America.

Everyone knows that most Asians have a yellowish skin tone, and many foreigners think it a lovely color and skin type. The natural deep tan accents their shiny black hair, and doesn’t get sunburns easily. But many Chinese think that those who have pale skin are more beautiful, and they have built an entire industry around lightening their skin. Many commercials advertise skincare products to give the skin a “white, glowing beauty”, and skin-whitening creams, powders, and facials are a major part of the cosmetics industry. People go to extreme lengths to give themselves what they consider the most beautiful skin.

Yet on the other side of the world, Caucasians are sunning on the beach and visiting tanning salons to gain a darker skin tone. People like professional bodybuilders get special tans to show off their muscles even more, and fashion models with perfectly tanned skin are considered the most beautiful. Golden brown skin is desirable, and just like in China, there are many tanning solutions and lotions on the market. People will lie on the beach under the sun for long periods of time, risking skin cancer and other damage in pursuit of the perfect tan.

It seems that people are never satisfied with what they have, and will go to extremes to change what they have into what other people have. Personally, I’ve always thought that people are most beautiful with whatever skin and hair they started out with. Change too much, and it just looks artificial and sometimes even silly. We were born with what we should have, and sometimes it’s hard for me to understand why people can’t just be happy with that.

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