Right, so I have been bitching about this for weeks to everyone that would listen. Now its time to put fingers to keyboard and blog about it.
There's this mentality in Malaysia, the whole of Asia come to think about it that fair is good. Fair is beautiful. Everything white is exquisite and any other thing that isn't white is fug. Okay, maybe not in those terms. I watch TV, I flip through magazines and newspapers and I cannot recall a moment in time when I was not bombarded by some kind or other beauty product that promises "Fair and radiant skin in 30 days" or "Whiter and fairer skin, he would never let go of you now" or some kind of bullshit with that kind of premises. A promise of whiter skin in a bottle for non-white Asian women to feel better about themselves. I never really care about it.
My moisturiser is finishing up. I give it another 2 weeks and I would need to buy a new one. I am not happy with the current one so I figure I finish that off and get a new product. So I walked into a store that prides themselves on facial regime and skin beautification. A salesgirl came up to me and asked me what I wanted. This is what I said:
"I'm looking something for my face. I have combination skin. Slightly oily T-zone, not that oily that the oiliness could be captured in pictures but oily enough for my nose to be all shiny under the light. I have dry patches on my cheek but not so bad but what I'm concerned most is the open pores, the size of the back of needles along my cheekbones. Any recommendations?"
People, it does not get more specific than that.
From that what would you tell me? Perhaps you would recommend the pore control regime, or maybe products specifically for combination skin. That bitch however feels that its a brilliant idea to introduce me to their skin whitening range.
"Why are you showing me this?"
"Oh this is our skin whitening range. It can make your skin fairer."
"What wrong with my skin?"
"It's not fair."
.............................Years from now, this is the moment when that bitch would look back and wished that she would have given me to one of the other salesgirls.
"Oh, my skin is not fair? That's a problem now? I do not recall having brown skin is ever a ...."problem". I remember perfectly well that when I came in, I highlighted that I have combination skin and open pores. At no point did I mentioned that I hate the colour my skin and would like you to suggest your skin whitening products to me. What is the logic in recommending skin whitening products to someone who has combination skin and open pores?"
I said all this without ever raising my voice. I said it all in a low, strict voice and I did not brake eye contact. My mother does this all the time when she's angry with me. The woman never yells, but she speaks in a quietly fierce way that seems to scare people. Over the years I have come to mimic it and achieved similar results. At this point of course, that bitch looked scared.
She didn't managed to answer anything. I'm sorry that I picked on her though. I bet that just what she's trained to do. I'm sorry that she had to deal with me. Now no offence to anyone who is into this whole whitening thing. I mean, go crazy. I on the other hand thinks its offensive.
Why would I want to put some magical cream on my face so that my skin would be whiter? That I would be beautiful once I become white? And isn't that shit weird when only your face is white when the rest of your skin - your neck, arms, legs would still be brown? What the fuck is that? Why is that when I walk into a skin care store; I am being told my brown skin is a flaw. Why the fuck should I use that cream and become white? No disrespect whatsoever to white people of course. I mean no offence no anyone. I am just perplexed.
What is so wrong with coloured skin?
It's not just in Malaysia, in India poor girls are buying face creams that promises them that their skin would be fairer. But some of the chemicals are untested and dangerous. They ended up with disfigured faces and some even went blind. All just because some time ago a group or marketing fucks dictated that fair is good. Fair is beautiful therefore we all must. What ever happen to pride for your skin colour? Why is that we Asians want to become fairer? I went to Thailand and I see the same shit in their shopping marts. Singapore and Indonesia going through the same shit as well. Why do Asian people wants to have fairer skin? What's wrong with our skin now? Colours make the world a more beautiful place. And yes, that includes our skin too.
I never would have guessed that when I was born bout 2 decades ago, my brown skin would be a flaw and make me look fugly. Well.... tough. I rather be fugly than change the colour of my skin.