Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Perception of beauty towards skin color


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 General_Zhaoyun

General_Zhaoyun

    Grand Valiant General of Imperial Han Army

  • Owner
  • 12,284 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore (Taiwanese/Singapore Permanent Resident)
  • Interests:Chinese History, Chinese Philosophy and Religion, Chinese languages, Minnan/Taiwanese language, Classical Chinese, General Chinese Culture
  • Languages spoken:Mandarin, Taiwanese (Hokkien), English, German, Singlish
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Han Chinese (Taiwanese Hoklo)
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    General Chinese Culture
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Chinese Language, History and Culture

Posted 16 January 2008 - 12:48 AM

This is not a "racism" talk. It has nothing to do with the racism belief that "a person of certain race or skin color tends to be more superior to another". Certainly, this is not the agenda I'm raising, although we can discuss whether cultural attitude towards skin color can lead to racism or discrimination.

Here, I just want to raise the question of chinese cultural attitude towards skin color (i.e. the perception of beauty in terms of skin color in chinese culture)

I notice that in east asian culture, in particular China, Korea, Japan or Taiwan, "fair" (white) skin color is often associated with 'beauty'. You will see lots of beauty advertisement (whether it's celebrity, super models), whereby the model/person has a more fair skin rather than a dark skin. Not to mention, there are even lots of 'whitening powder' used now and in chinese history, as a form of cosmetic to beautify or whiten a girl's skin. Thus, I have to say in general that 'whiteness' (fairness) as a form of "stereotype" is often seen by east asian culture as somewhat 'beautiful'.

To argue my case, just check out the paintings of '4 great beauties" in ancient China. They all were painted with fair skin (instead of darker skin).

But in western culture, I notice that a person of darker skin (esp. if he/she is 'tanned') is often seen as more beautiful than a person of fair/lighter skin. I was told that it's because a person with tanned skin is often perceived as 'healthier' and 'richer' when you have the money to go and enjoy holiday by the beach. Is that a western stereotype and cultural attitude?

Certainly, in some cases, cultural attitude towards skin colour can lead to discrimination (in a somewhat racist manner). For e.g. some chinese might think a person of darker skin is 'uglier'.

What do you think is the major cultural differences between chinese and western perception of skin color? Any comments are appreciated. :clapping:
Posted ImagePosted Image

"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#2 Pattie

Pattie

    Prime Minister (Situ/Chengxiang 司徒/丞相)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 1,956 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Oh, the humanity!
  • Interests:All things mythic
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Mythology
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Shan Hai Jing

Posted 16 January 2008 - 01:20 AM

I notice that in east asian culture, in particular China, Korea, Japan or Taiwan, "fair" (white) skin color is often associated with 'beauty'.



This question is far older than you think. ^__^
This couple is 4th Dynasty (2575-2467 BCE). Fair skin was considered a sign of wealth and so was desirable. Times change, but human nature doesn't.

Posted Image
Cheers,
 

Pattie


_________________________________________________________
I had begun to cherish words excessively for the space they allow around them, for their tangencies with countless other words that I did not utter. Andre Breton

#3 tung2sai

tung2sai

    State Undersecretary (Shangshu Lang 尚书郎)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 571 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:So Cal
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    science, psychology

Posted 16 January 2008 - 01:30 AM

There's a lot I want to say, but I need to read up more to be as accurate as possible.

Simply speaking, my feeling is that some of the ideas of beauty whether it's historically or currently, has something to do with what is exotic. I know in the US, there are some trends where girls with fair or light skin would want to tan themselves up, not for health per se, but to feel and think beautiful. It would sort of make sense if let's say a group of people who have for generations had fair skin, but now there is exposure to different shades of skin color, plus the current fad is to look a certain way and there are methods to make the skin color to look differently. Some of the people with fair skin might want to tan themselves up, for health (which I've read has something to do with perception of beauty, but that's like a whole other lesson in itself) to look trendy or exotic.

I've read how in the past, there was some correlation between people who did not have to work were often lighter than those who had to work more. Maybe the perception of beauty had something to do with status.

I want to ask anyone if this is true. I read somewhere online (using the JSTOR system) that there were a few time periods in China's history where the standards of beauty were change. Something like those with a darker complexion was viewed as more pretty or favored. Is this true to some degree or has anyone read or heard anything like that?

#4 Yun

Yun

    Sage-King

  • CHF Han Lin Scholar
  • 9,057 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore/USA
  • Interests:Ancient Chinese history, with a focus on the Age of Fragmentation. Chinese ethnicities, religion, philosophy, music, and art and material culture. Military history in general.
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Three Kingdoms, Age of Fragmentation, Sui-Tang

Posted 16 January 2008 - 03:22 AM

But in western culture, I notice that a person of darker skin (esp. if he/she is 'tanned') is often seen as more beautiful than a person of fair/lighter skin. I was told that it's because a person with tanned skin is often perceived as 'healthier' and 'richer' when you have the money to go and enjoy holiday by the beach. Is that a western stereotype and cultural attitude?


The perceived attractiveness of a healthy tan is a relatively recent phenomenon in North American and European societies, and has much to do with changing labour patterns as a result of urbanization:

In Europe, during much of the 18th and 19th centuries, fair, freckleless skin was considered attractive, especially in women, since tanned skin was associated with manual labour such as on a farm or in the outdoor employ of a wealthier person. Having fair skin signified that one was wealthy enough to hire other people to do manual labour. In 18th-century France, members of the royal court emphasized this point by powdering their faces to look as white as possible. As labour patterns shifted during the early 20th century, with indoor work becoming the norm, tanned skin came to be seen as a credential for membership of the leisured classes. When famous fashion designer Coco Chanel accidentally acquired a dark tan during a vacation on the French Riviera in the 1920's, she ignited a fad among Caucasians for tanned skin. By the 1960s, a tan's earlier social significance had been reversed and bronzed skin among whites often signified social status, wealth and health, possibly for the opposite reason. Now that most jobs are done inside, tans among whites signify the wealth required to have the leisure time to acquire one.


(source: http://en.wikipedia....iki/Sun_tanning )

In most of East Asia, north India, and Southeast Asia, however, urbanization is much more limited and there is still a large rural population that is heavily tanned from working in the sun. Therefore fair skin is still considered more attractive because it tends to signify high social status. It is only in Asian countries that have been heavily urbanized and influenced by US popular culture and fashion, including Singapore, that sun tanning has come to be seen as a way of looking fitter and healthier and thereby more attractive. But this is usually seen more among males than females. In Singapore you will find both women who want to be as white as possible, and women who want to more tanned, but you will hardly ever see men who want to be fair rather than tanned. There has been a growing stereotype here of the 'pale guy' as a geek or nerd and therefore less masculine.
The dead have passed beyond our power to honour or dishonour them, but not beyond our ability to try and understand.

#5 Yun

Yun

    Sage-King

  • CHF Han Lin Scholar
  • 9,057 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore/USA
  • Interests:Ancient Chinese history, with a focus on the Age of Fragmentation. Chinese ethnicities, religion, philosophy, music, and art and material culture. Military history in general.
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Three Kingdoms, Age of Fragmentation, Sui-Tang

Posted 16 January 2008 - 03:27 AM

I want to ask anyone if this is true. I read somewhere online (using the JSTOR system) that there were a few time periods in China's history where the standards of beauty were change. Something like those with a darker complexion was viewed as more pretty or favored. Is this true to some degree or has anyone read or heard anything like that?


As far as we know, dark skin has never been favoured in Chinese history. Changing standards of beauty mostly had to do with the female figure, with the preference for plumpness during part of the Tang period being most well known.
The dead have passed beyond our power to honour or dishonour them, but not beyond our ability to try and understand.

#6 Intranetusa

Intranetusa

    Grand Mentor (Taishi 太师)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 459 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United States of America
  • Interests:Ancient Military History: Republican Roman, Imperial Roman, Warring States, Han Dynasty, etc
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Ancient military history

Posted 16 January 2008 - 03:37 AM

"ganguro" tanning...yuck! :icon15:
Posted Image
The Flying Spaghetti Monster, our Lord and Savior and the One True God... (courtesy of Pattie :D)

#7 大泽升龙

大泽升龙

    Grand Mentor (Taishi 太师)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 496 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Utera Næfreland
  • Interests:Things & Thinks
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Mythology
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    science, art, history, linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, logic

Posted 16 January 2008 - 07:03 AM

This question is far older than you think. ^__^
This couple is 4th Dynasty (2575-2467 BCE). Fair skin was considered a sign of wealth and so was desirable. Times change, but human nature doesn't.

Posted Image


This is an old story which can be dated back to the last depigmentation stage in human evolution ~20000 year ago. This newly evolved character was then prefered and proped by sexual selection. The ancient Chinese people in paleolithic age favoured jade stones which was mostly white, and built up an racial character like jade. So in Chinese culture, a character like jade will considered as beauty.

It will be bold and arrogant to simply assert darker skins are more primitive than lighter skins, since we know it is a matter of enviroment and inheritance. It is also linked to social hierarchy. The heavy labour people, usuallly with lower social status, have darker skins mostly due to outdoor work in the sun; the people with hight social status, generally have lighter skins since they can stay mosty indoor.

Today out society is very diverse, so are our sexual preferences. I think most men wiil agree with me that a hot tanned fit brunette p***y is more attractive than a droopy fat blonde a***. My gf is a brunette with brown hair and brown eyes, and she does not like blue-eyed men; I also have a ginger English mate, who does not like western women, and he only dates with east asian girls but they are not the hot chick type as you expected. In my opinion, he has a bad taste of women.

I have been told many times: blonde more fun even my gf says that. Maybe I should move on to blonde. What do you think, blondie? :)

Edited by 大泽升龙, 16 January 2008 - 07:27 AM.


#8 DaMo

DaMo

    Prime Minister (Situ/Chengxiang 司徒/丞相)

  • Super Moderator
  • 1,755 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dubai
  • Interests:History, Philosophy, Law, Political Science, InfoTech
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Asian History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Prehistory, Early Imperial, Samguk

Posted 16 January 2008 - 07:41 AM

Skin color preferences change within and across cultures ... but preference for wealth remains the same everywhere.

I'm sure that if bucktoothed mouths became associated with prosperity, people everywhere would be gnawing wood like nobody's business.
"If an archeologist calls something a finial, he usually he has no idea what it is"
"We Vandals get blamed for stuff that was actually done by some errant Lombard or Visigoth"
"Nationalism is much about forgetting as it is about remembering"

China historical vacation 2011 photos and videos: http://www.chinahist...na-trip-photos/

#9 technogypsy

technogypsy

    Commissioner (Shi Chijie 使持节)

  • Visiting Scholar
  • 68 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denton, Texas USA
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    chemistry, material science

Posted 16 January 2008 - 11:44 AM

I don't have the reference handy but I remember reading that in most cultures darker skin color implied traditionally an outdoor life and hence lower social status. Soft hands similarly. That changed slowly in the indistrial revolution except for the soft hands part. As people worked indoors, only the rich could afford the time outside it takes to get a tan.

Because of my hobbies, my hands are very rough and I was told in one job to get them taken care of as it looked and felt bad to people when dealing with the investment community. An employer's president had started as a scientist and when he became a CEO, he was also told manicures and hand lotion when they prepared him for dealing with investment bankers. Also tanning booths. He was quite annoyed with having to be basted...

Interestingly in China, I had several comments on the calluses too. They were not favorable... Interestingly similarly with the gray in my beard in business. Socially in China it seemed okay..

FWIW
Kevin P Menard
Posted Image
www.technogypsy.net

#10 fireball

fireball

    Emperor (Huangdi 皇帝)

  • CHF Grand Historian Award
  • 2,453 posts
  • Interests:archaeology, linguistic, genetic, comparative culture, religion and philosophy, social structure, interactions between China and the world, pre-Qin era, 5 Hu 16 kingdoms, food, the origins of Chinese people and civilization, Kung-Fu novels, and Science Fiction.
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Any chinese-related stuff
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Han, Tang, Qin, and pre-Qin era, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Empress Wu, comparative religion and philosophy, some linguistics

Posted 16 January 2008 - 11:55 AM

Skin color preferences change within and across cultures ... but preference for wealth remains the same everywhere.

I'm sure that if bucktoothed mouths became associated with prosperity, people everywhere would be gnawing wood like nobody's business.


In ancient Japan, court ladies did paint their teeth black and shave their eyebrows to paint short eyebrows half way up their foreheads and thought that look was beautiful!!! :yucky: The Wei and Jin dynasty Chinese upper class men liked to put on cosmetics and painted their face white, etc., and they think the sickly and feminine looks are handsome and cultured!!! :yucky: Unfortunately, I heard the Japanese lords of the imperial court also learned of that fashion for a while. :no: If anyone likes Japanese historical soap operas or movies (like me), you could see some of those fashions. Some really beautiful women and very handsome men were totally ruined in that fashion in my own modern opinion.

I also heard many North Europeans who are blonds loved to marry Africans or Asians because darker skins and darker hair colors are considered beautiful to them -- I heard this from my friends from Norway and Sweden! Many of the Americans I know would not consider other Caucasians for dating or marrying, and that include both men and women. My own sister-in-law married a Japanese once, and several of our female American friends are/were married to or dating Asian men! I don't even need to mention about American men -- my husband told me early on that Asian girls are hot to the American men's eyes! Currently, my step mother-in-law of the last 15 years is a Japanese American.

In U.S., the very tanned skins are considered beautiful to the horrors of many first generation immigrant Asian parents! :icon15: I read a little essay by a young Chinese American. She wrote about she and her cousins were born in U.S. and in California, and they all like tanned skins. Her parents and grandparents as well as all family elders all complain that they (the younger cousins and she) are very ugly with their very tanned skins. She left home to the East Coast for college and did not see sun for one full winter! She came home for the Christmas holiday, and all her family elders commented on how beautiful she was because she was the only pale skinned young woman among her very tanned younger cousins! :lol:

#11 tung2sai

tung2sai

    State Undersecretary (Shangshu Lang 尚书郎)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 571 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:So Cal
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    science, psychology

Posted 16 January 2008 - 01:45 PM

I don't have the reference handy but I remember reading that in most cultures darker skin color implied traditionally an outdoor life and hence lower social status. Soft hands similarly. That changed slowly in the indistrial revolution except for the soft hands part. As people worked indoors, only the rich could afford the time outside it takes to get a tan.

Because of my hobbies, my hands are very rough and I was told in one job to get them taken care of as it looked and felt bad to people when dealing with the investment community. An employer's president had started as a scientist and when he became a CEO, he was also told manicures and hand lotion when they prepared him for dealing with investment bankers. Also tanning booths. He was quite annoyed with having to be basted...

Interestingly in China, I had several comments on the calluses too. They were not favorable... Interestingly similarly with the gray in my beard in business. Socially in China it seemed okay..

FWIW



Interesting, I didn't know that. I've heard about how the looks or first time impression can mean a lot, but I didn't know people could be that shallow.
Actually, I can sort of see why, but it's still a bit awkward to explain.





On a seperate note...
I remember watching some documentary on Sex on TLC where it talked about why human males tend to prefer certain characteristics on females, how different it may be across cultures, but in some ways, the attraction could be similar.
The preference for fair skin is present in many places, mostly due to a link with status, but also something like men prefer a woman who may be a bit heavier (it's very long to describe, but basically it has something to do with how our "natural instincts" will want to pick out which female has more potential to fertilize and carry our offspring until birth and be able to be pregnant again, because somehow a woman who is slightly more curvy is seen as more of the attraction for that cause)

Then, somehow the fair skin woman is sometimes seen as heavier than a darker skin one, because it's something like a person with more darker complexion will look a bit thinner than someone with a more lighter complexion. Even if both the fair skin and darker complexion women may weigh or have the same physique as each other.

Edited by tung2sai, 16 January 2008 - 01:47 PM.


#12 LongMa

LongMa

    Supreme Censor (Yushi Dafu 御史大夫)

  • Supreme Scholar (Jinshi)
  • 1,177 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Flyover Ohio
  • Interests:history, global politics, economics, genetics, psychology, sociology, Confucianist countries, economic development, SubSahara African politics and economics.
  • Languages spoken:Mandarin
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:African American
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Ethnicities,Peoples
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Modern Greater China Political-Economy

Posted 05 July 2008 - 01:59 PM

I think the only universal characteristics of beauty I have ever heard that is innate is that men tend to like women

1) big breasts, but what is "big" depends on society., and too big can be a negative, maybe "bigger than average" for your society.

2) Men like women that tend to look younger for their age...maybe because those women look more "fertile".

3) Men like women with a certain hip/waste ratio ((WHR) of 0.7 or 0.68), this is pretty standard in all cultures, this has nothing to do with weight, some men might like women bigger than others or smaller, but they tend not to like women with a hip/waist ratio like a man, that is usually considered unattractive. Once again, it is thought these women have an easier time having children.

4) Men (and women) also tend to like people with symmetrical facial features. Almost all famous actors and singers who are considered "beautiful" have very symmetrical features (regardless of race and ethnicity). Why? Well...symmetry in mammals means they had good nutrition as children, less likely to have genetic defects, and also less major disease in early childhood (good immune system).


There is a debate over men liking women who are lighter than them...some scientist are saying this is innate, some say this is culture.

I believe it is innate, but obviously humans are complex, some men like very dark women or much darker than them, some don't care at all...there are other forces that can override this.

I blogged about this over a year ago...

http://pmsol3.wordpr...rer-sex-really/

I have some theories...

“In this way lighter skin is seen as feminine in almost every society and darker skin as masculine. Even in India, Japan, China, Korea, and in the Middle East long before Europe colonization people in these societies favored fairer skinned women (for their populations, remember ‘light skin’ relative to the average skin tone of the population if the population is homogeneous).

This is all well and good if the population is homogeneous, because although a dark Senegalese man might light a woman lighter than him, in his tribe or clan “lighter” is just slightly lighter than him.

The problem comes when you have exposure to outside races (different phenotypes) of people who are much lighter or darker. The lighter woman, the one who is much lighter than average for the native population (lets say a Slavic slave girl in a Saudi harem) will be more favored than the Ethiopian, Turkic, Persian, and Arab slave girls…at least on average only considering skin color, not other attributes.

Now there are exceptions to this rule. I have seen many. In Japan many men admire white women’s light skin but are not to big on blond hair and blue eyes…which traditionally were associated with demons. In China, even today red hair is considered a bad omen in rural areas. So a white woman from Ireland with bright red hair and very pale skin will not be favored.


Also if men are isolated from women lighter than them (think a white man in a colony of black people) he, being a man will get with who he can, if the women around him are all darker than him he will not be celibate, other things trump skin color.

Another thing is fetish or attraction to the exotic. David Bowie is a pasty pale white man married to Iman (who is my complexion, an even brown color)…



I also mused...

This Prof thinks the following might be a strong reason for selection of light skin in females in elevations further from the equator:

http://www.bgsu.edu/..._color_2000.pdf

“…the lighter skin pigmentation of females is needed to permit relatively greater UV light penetration of the integument for previtamin D3 synthesis. The extra calcium needs of females during pregnancy and lactation are met by increasing plasma concentrations of 1.25-dihydroxyvitamin D, which in turn enhances calcium absorption in the intestine….



I thought of an experiment one can do on this:



"I should add I also have read black women tend to deliver earlier (more often premature) than white Americans. Before milk and other foods was fused with vitamin D it was not uncommon for black slaves in more northern region to get rickets from lack of sun exposure in the winter.

Even today many African Americans are lactose intolerant in adulthood so I am wondering if they still suffer from lack of vitamin D (assuming most don’t take vitamin supplements).

There could be a study by skin color to show that black women have more complications in pregnancy due to lack of vitamin D than lighter women. If they can show a cline then there will be a bit of bite to this theory.

The assumption would be that men are biologically evolved to choose women who look more fertile. In a climate away from the equator that would be a lighter skinned woman.

There are other things, men like younger faces, certain hip/waste ration, and maybe large breasts (large depending on the group, large in Nigeria is not the same as large in China) for instance."


To conclude it could be that men like women slightly lighter than them or slightly lighter than the norm because of an innate sense of reproduction...these women might produce healthier children. It could also be that there is nothing innate and because these people tend to produce healthier children they (in the past) often became the elite of society and successful darker men would try to marry these light skinned women, so the children would be (on average) lighter than the father...if this cycle keeps up you would have an elite slightly lighter (on in a place like India with more variation) significantly lighter than the average.

As far as Western Europe and North America, whites used to think (going back to the Elizabethan era) that the fairest skin was the best.

I don't think this was always true, because in ancient Greece and Rome they spoke negatively about pale faced light haired barbarians (usually Slavs and Germans) and how this very look was a sign of "barbarism" and they also spoke negatively about people darker. Greece spoke negatively about the appearance of "Ethiopians"...as "burned"...also some Egyptians they said were the color of "dirt"...I don't think they found this "beautiful". So I would guess they thought a "tan" color was the best, which was their average color. LOL

Since most North American cities are far South in latitude of even the more warmer European cities there would be less selection pressure for light skin as people get a lot of sun (white people, blacks would get less than in West Africa). Also more food in America is vitamin fortified, so even if you don't get a lot of sun you might be okay by eating healthy...so light skin becomes less biologically important.

Edited by LongMa, 05 July 2008 - 02:05 PM.

"That's One of the tragedies of this life - that the men who are most in need of a beating up are always enormous"

-Preston Sturges 1942 film, The Palm Beach Story.

http://southeastasia...olicyblogs.com/

龙马 Rising!

#13 LongMa

LongMa

    Supreme Censor (Yushi Dafu 御史大夫)

  • Supreme Scholar (Jinshi)
  • 1,177 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Flyover Ohio
  • Interests:history, global politics, economics, genetics, psychology, sociology, Confucianist countries, economic development, SubSahara African politics and economics.
  • Languages spoken:Mandarin
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:African American
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Ethnicities,Peoples
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Modern Greater China Political-Economy

Posted 05 July 2008 - 02:09 PM

I also wanted to add something or throw it out...anyone notice that "white skinned" Asians tend to be more porcelain looking while very light skinned whites (like the Scots, Irish) tend to be reddish/pinkish or ruddy looking...they are definately not the same.

I would also add that in Japan I noticed most of them men in movies and TV tend to be tannish, but women were very fair (in Chinese entertainment as well)...is it that darker than average skin is seen as a more masculine trait? Or is it that men's appearance is less important in their attractiveness as other traits...I think men's status, personality, and height is important, as well as muscle tone (not huge muscles but looks like they are in shape)...I've rarely heard a woman comment on a man's skin unless he has bad acne.

Edited by LongMa, 05 July 2008 - 02:10 PM.

"That's One of the tragedies of this life - that the men who are most in need of a beating up are always enormous"

-Preston Sturges 1942 film, The Palm Beach Story.

http://southeastasia...olicyblogs.com/

龙马 Rising!

#14 Liu

Liu

    Grand Mentor (Taishi 太师)

  • Supreme Scholar (Jinshi)
  • 474 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:France
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    General Chinese Culture
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    not yet

Posted 05 July 2008 - 03:19 PM

The perceived attractiveness of a healthy tan is a relatively recent phenomenon in North American and European societies, and has much to do with changing labour patterns as a result of urbanization

True. But, I shall tend to say that nowadays - in France-, the phenomenon begins to be reversed.
Numerous preventive messages about the cancer of the skin are sent before summer holidays, the solar cream protection factors are more and more high, the time of exposure have to be respected, specific preventions have to be taken to protect the fragile skin of the children …Today, all this stuff is added to a new tendency which is centred on the Nature, the natural cosmetic, the bio world, the well-being and the body care are representing a huge market which is on the roll.
Today, when you see someone who is strongly tanned, it is more and more considered that he/she took a risk for her health ; he/she is no longer considered like an attractive one because of the color of his/her skin.
However, the "milk" colouring is definitely not fashioned, and people who have such a skin often use tricks like self-tanners.
The "peach / apricot" colouring is fashioned, it means that you know how to enjoy the sun while taking care of your health.
问世间情为何物,直叫生死相许?

#15 misha

misha

    Grand Guardian (Taibao 太保)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 270 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Philippines
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Any chinese-related stuff
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    none

Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:31 AM

I remember my British boss here told us that in Western countries, if your color is not tanned, that means you are not high paying worker since you don't enjoy being in outdoor. Or you cannot afford to however in Asian countries if your skin color is Fair, that means you got a nice job being able to work inside office.

African-Americans in the United States

The "brown paper bag test" was a ritual once practiced by certain African-American and Creole fraternities and sororities who discriminated against people who were "too dark." That is, these groups would not let anyone into the sorority or fraternity whose skin tone was darker than a paper lunch bag, in order to maintain a perception of standards. Spike Lee's film School Daze satirized this practice at historically black colleges and universities.

While stated less explicitly, colorism has been portrayed in episodes of the NBC drama Homicide: Life on the Street. Lighter-skinned African American superior officers Deputy Commissioner of Operations James C. Harris and Colonel George Barnfather appear to discriminate against main character Baltimore Police Lieutenant Al Giardello, a darker-skinned African American. Additionally, African American women have discriminated against Giardello on the grounds that his appearance is "too black".

Americo Liberians

In Liberia, descendants of African-American settlers (renamed Americo-Liberians) in part defined social class and standing by raising people with lighter skin above those with dark skin. The first Americo-Liberian presidents such as Joseph Jenkins Roberts, James Spriggs-Payne, and Alfred Francis Russell had considerable proportions of European ancestry. Most may have been only one-quarter or one-eighth African American. Other aspects of their rising to power, however, likely related to their chances for having obtained education and work that provided good livings.

Edward Roye was the first representative of dark-skinned African-American settlers in Liberia.(http://www.reference...arch?q=Colorism). The light- skinned party was the Republican Party (Liberia) and the dark-skinned party was the True Whig Party.

In addition to rivalries among descendants of African Americans, the Americans held themselves above the native Africans in Liberia. Thus, descendants of Americans held and kept power out of proportion to their representation in the population of the entire country, so there was a larger issue than color at work.

The "Blue Vein Society"

Following the Emancipation, mulatto societies such as as "The Blue Vein Society" came into prominence. Its members were often well-connected free-born or freed individuals of mixed African, European, and occasionally of Native American blood. To be eligible for membership, one's skin color had to be pale enough that the "blue veins" on the underside of the arm were visible. Such restrictive organizations allowed its members and their offspring to meet, co-mingle and marry, thereby preserving what small privilege the mulatto elite had enjoyed before all slaves were set free. Uneducated, or economically disadvantaged mixed-race individuals, even those whose skin color was technically light enough to qualify them for admission, were rarely welcomed, demonstrating that there were more than color issues under consideration.

The original "Blue Veins" were said to have been organized in New England. Their primary objective was to establish and maintain "correct" social standards among people who had achieved some social, educational and economic standing.

Colorism outside the United States

Colorism also occurs in other western cultures where fair people are considered to be more superior, affluent, and powerful then those of a darker skin tone. In some Latin American countries such as Brazil, "race" classification is more a matter of skin tone and social status than actual ancestry.

Colorism can be identified as a direct consequence of the social stratification of colonial societies, especially the ones affected by slavery. The phenomenon exists in the Americas from United States to Caribbean countries to South America.

In the French West Indies, new born children can be deemed as "sauvé" (saved) when their skin tone is light enough to represent a chance at better social status.

The same conceptions that discriminate against dark skin are often applied to other physical features that are directly linked to African heritage: hair, face features, etc.

Colorism in Brazil

Brazil has the second largest population of African descendents in the world. This large number was a result of the African Slave trade. In Brazil, skin color plays a large role in differences among the races. Social status and privileges are related to skin color. Individuals with lighter skin and who are racially mixed face higher rates of social mobility.

Like in the United States, there are a disproportionate number of white elites than those of African descent. The Brazilian society is set up to have white elites continually stay in power. Individuals with darker skin have higher mortality, poorer health, higher rates of physical disease and mental health problems. There are large health, education and income disparities between the races in Brazil.

Colorism in Indian societies

Colorism in Anglo-Indian societies

Since the early stages of interaction between Europeans and Indians, colorism has been an issue for Indian cultures. Historical Indian caste differences as well as a long history of invasion and colonization may play a part in this prejudice. Individuals of these societies began to see "white" as what is beautiful. In Anglo-Indian cultures, skin color serves as a signal of status. Those individuals who Individuals with fairer skin color tend to have larger opportunities than those with "dark skin." Anglo-Indians with more "European" features often face social mobility and live in European statuses. These individuals gain advantages in education and in employment. Darker skinned Anglo-Indians are socially and economically advantaged due to their appearance. Being dark skinned, black or "colored" constitutes a disadvantage in society for Indian men and women.

Colorism in Bengali societies

In Bengali Societies, colorism affects perceptions of women's beauty. Men evaluate a woman’s beauty based on the color of their skin instead of other characteristics. The Bengali film industry filled with lighter skinned actors and actress demonstrates the low value associated with dark skin in the Bengali culture. White skin signifies beauty, purity, happiness and cleanliness. Women with whiter skin tend be more privileged than those women with darker skin. Despite the impressions of women’s skin color, skin color for men doesn’t have any significance in their roles in Bengali society.

Colorism in Indian societies today

In the Indian Sub-continent, light skin is often deemed more beautiful in both men and women. Indian actors and actress almost always have light skin, or use lots of makeup to made themselves look lighter. Indians have many skin colors, ranging from very pale to black and everything in between. Many Indians think it's natural to consider light skin to be more beautiful than dark skin. Evidence of this comes from beauty products used help women achieve lighter skin. The product "Fair and Lovely" by Lever Brothers was created to help lighten darker skin. This facial cream is one of the best selling facial creams in the world. This cream shows the importance of lighter skins in Indian societies.


Edited by misha, 09 July 2008 - 01:32 AM.

“Continue even when it is hard to go on; release even when it is hard to let go; endure even when it is hard to bear; this is how we build our character."




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users