Is THIS me? (Asian Beauty Standards + A Short History Lesson)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; an amazing quote that people do NOT take to heart. Why? Because beauty is always the first basis of most people, even when you are looking for a job, appearance and beauty is always present in the requirements. That is also why people like myself exists. Beauticians, cosmetologists, makeup artists, cosmetic surgeons, even personal trainers. We all exist to take care of people’s appearance/beauty.

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this is taking it a notch higher though… And I thought my eyes were already big!

This is a picture my classmate, ate Mheizy, took. She is an avid fan of the app called Beauty Plus. To be honest, I hardly recognized myself in this photo. Since this what I actually looked like in that event:

 

Here are the differences I saw on my face; on ate Mheizy’s photo I looked fairer, my eyes looked way bigger, I look like I have circle lenses on, I look like I have not a single blemish on my face, the subtle contouring I did on my face was completely obliterated, and my face was matte as fuck, and I looked like I had botox.

Now time for some explaining.

This app is called Beauty Plus, it is a beauty app that is popular in Asia. Why is it? Because it changes the appearance of a person, to fit the Asian beauty standards. Like a lighter skin, youthful/stretched skin, big eyes, healthy glowing blemish free skin.

In the Philippines particularly; the popular beauty standards are lighter skin, tall stature, poker straight hair, again blemish free skin, not just on the face but all-over the body, and slim stature.

So why are these traits popular? It could be linked to Asia’s history. You see most countries in the East Asia, Particularly, Korea, Japan and China started as Monarchy. Meaning there is a king or an emperor, Japan actually still has it’s Royal family. It also means that there a nobles, and rich families. Lighter skin is a status symbol; it means you are wealthy, you are not working under the sun, you are not required to stay under the sun for long hours. You are one rich mother fucker.

Hence, the Geisha makeup, ancient Chinese makeup and ancient Korean makeup all rely on pale skin, red lips and cheeks are also a trend back then because the dark color contrast from the paleness of the face, making the paleness standout more.

The first picture is a picture of Fan Bingbing in “the Empress of China” the setting of the Television Drama is set during the Tang Dynasty. (for link to the place I got it from click “here”), the next one is an example of a Japanese Geisha makeup (click “here”), The last one is an example of traditional Korean Wedding makeup (Link “here”). All credit goes to the images’ respective owners.

The other parts of Asia like South Asia, and South-east Asia have been colonies of European countries. You can attribute the reason stated above, and it could also be this; colonial mentality.

Okay, here is a little history lesson for you; Noli me Tangere is one of Dr. Jose Rizal’s two novels that criticizes the Spanish government and Spanish friars of that time period. Also in this novel we were introduced to a character who we Filipinos call “Classic Example of Filipina Beauty” Maria Clara, and guess what… she’s half white (Caucasian). I won’t spoil the whole story, you can read it yourself. And as expected; she was always portrayed in plays and in other media by fair skinned women which we Filipinos call mestiza (which is originally a term we used to refer to half indio (the term the Spaniard conquerors called the natives of the Philippines)-half Spanish women, mestizo is the term used for men).

Aside from that we were also a past colony of the USA. Back in those days when white supremacy is predominant…

Even in the Golden age of Filipino Films, if you search it, you’ll notice that most of the top actresses are women with porcelain white skin. Even now, most of the top actresses here are fair skinned.

some of the top actresses of the Filipino Films’ Golden age… (from left to right: Bella Flores (link to the original picture “HERE”), Gloria Romero (link “HERE”), Nida Blanca (Link “HERE” ) and Susan Roces (Link “HERE”)).

some of the top actresses in the Philippines now. (From left to right Marian Rivera (link “here”), Jennylyn Mercado (link “here”), Angel Locsin (link “here”), and Maja Salvador (link “here”)).

And that is why Glutathione treatments are popular nowadays. Since even regular people want to look as pale as their favorite actors and actresses; you can even hear phrases like these on the streets; “Makikita mo puputi din ako!” which roughly translates to “You’ll see I get whiter/fairer someday!” which serve as a goal and a new year’s resolution for some people, “Uy, umitim ka yata?” which translates to “Hey, have you gotten darker?” which can either serve as an insult, or a phrase of genuine care, and “Uy, mas maputi na ko sa’yo!” which translates to “Hey, I’m fairer than you now!” which is either an insult or a light banter between friends.

You see Glutathione is a type of medicine used for liver diseases… it’s side effect is whitening, when people in Asia realized that; of course they went ahead and used it as a beauty treatment; it is effective, people get lighter/fairer after some shots, but it has some possible side effects that’ll be problematic, like the weakening of the liver; or the possibility of medicine/drug resistance if you get liver diseases.

Aside from that, those who can’t afford and those who do not want to get shots have another option. Whitening lotions and a lot of skin products that has “whitening” written on them, has been very popular in our local market, every single brand here has whitening products, trust me. Ponds, iWhite Korea, Nivea, Sutla, and Dr. Alvin; they have whitening products.

Maldita Bleach

(link “here”)

This product is pretty popular too, it’s called Maldita Bleach… Here is what it says on it’s website: “Maldita Bleach is a home made bleaching cream tested and used by generations. It is made from natural bleaching ingredients, carefully mixed together. It is proven to be gentle, safe and effective to lighten the skin by nourishing and exfoliation, giving you a youthful, radiant and glowing look.” and here are it’s claims: whitening of; dark elbows, dark underarms, dark knees, tan lines and bikini lines, it’s also good for fading scars, insect bites, melasma, freckles, pimples and stretchmarks. And according to some reviews, it’s good. The ingredients however is a secret according to the manufacturers; but they also claim that the product is paraben free, mercury free and safe for pregnant and lactating women… which is good. But according to the website; it has egg whites.

It’s claim is that it can whitens as fast as SEVEN FUCKING DAYS… (insert the ring theme here… if there is…) So it can whitens in seven days, and according to some reviews and according to a friend of mine who has used it, it works.

Aside from that; this soap is popular too.

kojie san.jpg

The image above is owned by Ms. AnneClutz and you can see her review “here”. This soap is called Kojie San, it is a soap that is widely available in the Philippines, and dude it is made in the Philippines do not let the geisha picture fool you!

This soap is formulated with Kojic Acid. Which according to Wikipedia ( -_- I’m not a chemist…) is a good skin lightener, has properties to treat melasma, has anti-fungal properties and has properties to protect you from radiation damage (like gamma radiation and shit O.o Holy fucking shit!). And according to Ms. Anne’s review, it works as early as 2 weeks.

But if you can’t afford any of that, you could just protect yourself from the sun by using the amazing invention that is the umbrella.

So really, in the end why do Asian’s go this far to get lighter? If it wasn’t clear enough for you here is the shortened version: because culture wise, it is more appealing in the eyes of Asians… we don’t want to be white, we don’t want to be Caucasians. But due to colonialism in the Philippine people’s case, the idea of the lighter the better got drilled into our heads. And in East Asian cultures the same idea existed because of monarchy and elitism.

You see, I might sound like a hypocrite to my Filipino peers for what I’m about to say, but I am proud of my tan skin. I am proud of my Filipina skin. I like my skin tone, and I don’t want it changed. I know I look like I’m lighter in some of my photos, but that was because of the lighting, since I use my laptop’s  monitor/screen as lighting. And the lack of variety in foundation shades in drugstores here ( -_- ). I love my skin color. And really in reality; people have different preferences and I just happen to prefer my skin tan. They prefer their skin fair. It’s all about preference that’s it! But did I like the way I looked in the photo of ate Mhezy??? Nope… the only reason is because I do not look like myself in that photo, at least I do not look the way I want to look like.

So that’s all for now folks and see you all later! 😀

 

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