Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

Skin-whitening commercials

with 3 comments

I found an article on the NY Daily News site that dealt with cosmetic ads being aired in Asia that blatantly portray whiter skin as being more superior to darker skin. While controversial, these ads have made this skin-whitening cream sell like hot cakes. The ads show light skin as more desirable and attractive than dark skin. They give the impression that if you use their product, you will get your dream job and find the perfect girlfriend or boyfriend.

While this is happening in Asia and not the US, I still felt this was applicable to our class discussions. When I read this article it reminded me of the experiment in which black children were shown two baby dolls, one white and one black, and asked to choose which one was prettier, more desirable, “nicer”, etc. Time after time the children chose the white doll.

This ties into our readings in White Privilege about institutional racism. I feel like the media plays a huge role in perpetuating the notion that light skin is better than dark skin. With commercials, movies, the news, white skin has always been subtly been cast in a light that was more favorable than dark skin. This disturbing truth is horrendous. All the talk of equality and being yourself and being proud of who you are and where you come from is just the front that is put out, but really there are still serious, serious issues involving race that need to be dealt with not only in our country but across the globe.

the mentioned article can be located at:


Written by sranson08

September 11, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. It’s really upsetting that people feel the need to bleach their skin and quite frankly I don’t understand the phenomenon. Even if they do happen to chemically lighten their skin, they will still be a minority of not by color, but rather by culture and upbringing. As discussed in our readings, there was an issue with Hispanics claiming to be white thus leading to creation of a separate box on the census bureau. Even minorities who are physically white, such as most first wave Cuban immigrants, are still discriminated against and not seen as being “white American.” Even subsequent generations who are fully integrated in American society are not viewed as “white Americans,” making the term very difficult to define and making it even more difficult to obtain white status indeed.


    September 11, 2009 at 11:15 pm

  2. Great article. The media does play a huge role, its almost like brainwashing. You turn on the television and they decide whats beautiful. The media decides what you wear, what you should eat, where to shop, and even who you should date! Beauty is so socialy constructed that people can come out with products like this and actualy make a profit out of it. Its a very scary thought.


    September 12, 2009 at 9:15 pm

  3. I definitely agree. I feel like the perception of beauty in the media is totally outrageous. Be comfortable in the skin your in. Your beautiful just the way God made you.


    September 13, 2009 at 3:37 am

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