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White skin in Japan

MadamePapillon

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A little bit of a misleading title but this is a thread about the quest for white skin in Japan (and the rest of Asia).

There are several articles around the internet on the issue about (mainly women) going to extremes to keep their skin pale from something as simple as avoiding sunlight to more risky methods like buying skin whitening products.

http://goldentriangleboutique.com/loreal_white_perfect_face
http://uniorb.com/ATREND/asianwhite.html

Even the celebrities have their skin photoshopped so white it's unnatural, in fact, in all the time I've seen Japanese pop/rock stars I can't recall a single one who wasn't photoshopped ghostly pale or at least a few shades lighter than the average Asian person (I don't think I've ever seen a dark J Idol). It seems to be sending the message that white skin = beautiful/ successful/ better (take your pick), especially towards females.

Example ...


Vidoll20JRockRevolutionJPG-1.jpg



So what your thoughts or experiences with this beauty ideal? What's the deal with the ghostly photoshopping? Is white skin really that important in Japan?
 

Putrefaction

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The lighter you are, the less you (had) to work, the more important and rich you (were).

Old **** dies hard, hah.
 

pipokun

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Ueno-san, aged 58, proud of her eyes
30 seconds/1.5MB
ドモホルンリンクル

Though Ueno san is 3 years younger than Hillary Clinton, she merely prefers caring her skin chemically to doing it physically, I mean, face-lifting. (I am not here to say something ridiculous, "all North American women are face-lifted".)

Choose whatever you want, chemically, physically, and/or mentally, when you get older, and live long.
 

Haruspex

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Alabaster skin FTW! Thats all I can say. Although, I hate mascara. That isn't alabaster skin, it is deception.
 

Mycernius

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I heard that the it is the same in India. Paler skin means that you are not of the lower classes ie: a farmer. Strange that in the west people try and get darker skin, as they link it to looking healthy. Again sometimes going to the extremes of chemical use and tanning beds.
As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 

MadamePapillon

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I heard that the it is the same in India. Paler skin means that you are not of the lower classes ie: a farmer. Strange that in the west people try and get darker skin, as they link it to looking healthy. Again sometimes going to the extremes of chemical use and tanning beds.
As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Well, I heard the tanning obsession stems from a similar mentality we have that if you have a tan it means you can afford to go on vacations to tropical places. Remember not long ago we used to like the pale look as well.

However, as much as tanning has taken off here it's not considered the 'ideal' exactly. Not in the same way that pale skin is in other parts of the world. We have a spectrum of colours and nobody can say that any one shade of skin tone is more beautiful because we go more by facial features. I know people who prefer tans (I personally like a healthy tan) and others (like my bff) who adores alabaster skin.

However in places like Japan you see a definite whitewash of a lot of the popular figures. What really surprises me is the extent of how white they try to make themselves seem ... albino white almost.


EDIT:
Something funny that happened today. My bother was playing Call of Duty and fighting the Japanese so he got to talking about them and he made the observation that Japanese people all looked darker back then and that they all look a lot paler now. Of course I thought of this thread and mentioned to him that a lot of products in Japan have have whitening agents. He just sort of shook his head and laughed and now apparently thinks Japan is even stranger than he had before. Go figure. :p
 
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Elizabeth

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Even the celebrities have their skin photoshopped so white it's unnatural, in fact, in all the time I've seen Japanese pop/rock stars I can't recall a single one who wasn't photoshopped ghostly pale or at least a few shades lighter than the average Asian person (I don't think I've ever seen a dark J Idol). It seems to be sending the message that white skin = beautiful/ successful/ better (take your pick), especially towards females.
Example ...
Maybe they still think of themselves as modern day geisha, sans
traditional trademark deep crimson lipstick, dark eyes, black hair, thick eyebrows, kimono and obi. :p
(the men of course in role as Kabuki actors...) 😌
 

korp

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Human nature, we want what we dont have. White wanna be brown, brown wanna be white. Just feel sorry for the Thai, they are the colour of morning pee :p
 

Haruspex

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Just feel sorry for the Thai, they are the colour of morning pee :p

Huh? Feel sorry? You mean to imply that there is something wrong with them? Think we got ourselves another ignorant fool.
 

gaijinalways

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korp posted
Just feel sorry for the Thai, they are the colour of morning pee

Did you pick up something..?

Yes, often people want a condition that is different than normal or possibly ideal. Some sun is normal and a good source of vitamin D, but of course skin cancer is not something to strive for nor is skin that is too dry.

Personally, I don't spend a lot of time in the sun either here as I usually can't deal with the humidity which almost always accompanies the warmer weather here. Some of the people I have talked to here feel the same way, but then again, some use a parasol even on overcast days.
 

kukuruu

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I like having pale skin. I used to tan really well when I was younger, but now I just burn (going to look like a flaky lobster after egypt holiday!!). I also like having a little bit of a tan, but I don't make any effort to get one. It just happens.
I'm happy either way, but it really interests me that people from every race want to look like someone from another race. I personally would love to look Asian, and I understand that a lot of Asians would love to look Western.

Maybe we should all just be grateful for what we have, in the knowledge that somewhere out there, someone else would love to have our looks. :)
 

Illusional

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maybe everyone is too young to know who ai iijima is... she's the one who started the kogal image (i think). anyways, it's style consists basically of tanned skin with light dyed hair. something totally opposite from this white skin concept. this is also mainly popular among the younger generation.

Kogal - Wikipedia

raverboy
 

pipokun

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...
I'm happy either way, but it really interests me that people from every race want to look like someone from another race. I personally would love to look Asian, and I understand that a lot of Asians would love to look Western.
...

Many women are simply age spot haters.
Before the samurai wife met the West, skin cares esp., on smoothness of your skin were very important and popular. It seems to me that "pale" does have different meanings in Japan and, what you call, the West.

Forever 21 is a nice branding strategy from North America, but it is only applicable to your preference on clothes.
In reality, the healthy tan, the OP believed, at the age of 21 may be different from the one when she gets older.
 

kukuruu

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Don't get me wrong, I never make any effort to get a tan. In fact, I spend much of my time indoors in the summer, because I don't want to end up getting skin cancer when I'm older. I have seen first hand the damage the sun can do to your skin. My mother used to use sunbeds and used to sit in the garden covered in baby oil in order to get a deep tan. She had an abnormal mole removed from her face last year and has since been using sun cream and fake tan instead of risking her health. She is very lucky that her skin is not much worse.

I never referred to a tan as "healthy" because it's not. It's a very dangerous trend and not one that I intend to follow. I've never used a sunbed, and never sunbathed in order to get a tan. If I do get a slight tan from my normal activities, then I don't mind. But I don't mind being pale either. I'm not naive enough to think that a tan has no lasting effects, because I know that tanning does have long term consequences for your skin.
 

kukuruu

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My apologies, I thought you were referring to the original poster of the quote. Sorry. 😌
 

MadamePapillon

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I never referred to a tan as "healthy" because it's not. It's a very dangerous trend and not one that I intend to follow. I've never used a sunbed, and never sunbathed in order to get a tan. If I do get a slight tan from my normal activities, then I don't mind. But I don't mind being pale either. I'm not naive enough to think that a tan has no lasting effects, because I know that tanning does have long term consequences for your skin.

I think there a bit of a misconception about the 'healthy tan'.

Tanning beds are absolutely not, so is sitting out in the sun for hours at a time with reflectors so you get maximum UV exposure to achieve that 'perfect tan'.

Alternately, not getting enough sun is nearly as unhealthy as getting to much sun. It's all about moderation. Those people that stay inside all the time to achieve that perfect alabaster skin are also putting themselves at risk for Vitamin D deprivation, accelerated bone loss and other equally-not-so healthy risk factors.

It's all about perspective. I love getting a tan and going out in the sun because I live in a place that is overcast through most of the year (we have rainforests, just to give you an idea). :p
Two of my friends are so white because of it they actually glow in the sun (strangest thing I've ever seen) and one of my friends has a mild sun allergy and breaks out in hives when exposed to too much UV rays. So, I guess from the perspective of people who have to deal with constant overcast, rainforest conditions, and sun allergies, being white is not exactly a prized attribute. Pale isn't so great when you have no choice in the matter.

A healthy tan is definitely the way to go. 👍
 

princess07

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Hey guys I never knew about this forum... I love it! And I don't know if you guys know, but this thread made it the top stories at Tweble.com .... Pretty awesome... Perhaps it could get some more users because the place seems kind of dead? Anyways...

I find myself sometimes wanting to be whiter because I find that foreigners like white better. They don't want to be with that darkish yellow/brown color... But It's too bad the world has come to this ...
It's all about looks now. :(
 

Giostigma

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I wouldnt say this place is dead. There are lots of new posts popping up.
 

Jericho Desu

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I find myself sometimes wanting to be whiter because I find that foreigners like white better. They don't want to be with that darkish yellow/brown color... But It's too bad the world has come to this ...
It's all about looks now. :(

You know as much as I hate to admit it, I can relate to you somewhat, I often look at my body and think "maybe I should wax?", because being of middle-eastern decent I'm alot more hairier then most and living in London I feel a little self-conscious wearing a shirt outside. I think that if I wax I would look more 'pleasable', not whiter just more accepted, because I am proud being from Iran, just not of the hair...

However I also think if a person would be more inclined to be sociable with you because you fit their "criteria" or whatever, your better off not knowing them. You are you and that's it, they can accept it or bugger off.
 

MadamePapillon

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I find myself sometimes wanting to be whiter because I find that foreigners like white better. They don't want to be with that darkish yellow/brown color... But It's too bad the world has come to this ...
It's all about looks now. :(

I personally haven't known any people that wouldn't want to date or be friends with someone because they were dark skinned, to be honest, I find they either dislike the entire race or don't, skin tone has very little to do with it. I've never heard anyone say 'I only date a certain skin tone'.
Some of the best looking people I've seen have been dark skinned Indian/Middle Eastern men.
 

Haruspex

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You know as much as I hate to admit it, I can relate to you somewhat, I often look at my body and think "maybe I should wax?", because being of middle-eastern decent I'm alot more hairier then most and living in London I feel a little self-conscious wearing a shirt outside. I think that if I wax I would look more 'pleasable', not whiter just more accepted, because I am proud being from Iran, just not of the hair...

Ahahahaha, ownd. Being half-Armenian, I know the score, but for some reason, it never bothered me.
You know what? Just grow long hair and beard, all the hair will look totally justified. :D
 

jarjarb

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back to topic, it's a cultural thing. white skin is considered pure and beautiful. I've heard people say 'X san is white and cute/kirei desu ne.' And they go as far as walking around sticking black umbrellas in summer sunshine.
 
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