Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No Melanin, Please

A few days later, I found more evidence to continue the quandary touched upon in my last post. I was absently watching ads on the television in a cab. Absently, that is, until I saw the latest L'Oreal product offering and how it was endorsed. First of all, the sub-brand is called "White Perfect", and the products are "re-lighting creams." Once again, whiteness seems to be a virtue in China, and apparently L'Oreal knows it. The choice of words in the ad offended me, and I thought it would not fly in America, nor would this blatant promotion of White is Better. At least I hope not.

It makes me think of more primitive times in our U.S. history when Blacks would try to bleach their skin, which was happening about the same time hair relaxing became a huge industry. Of course they felt they had to do it. Their existence in this country began in shackles that were directly related to the color of their skin. Their livelihood and their quality of life depended on being as "white" as possible. It's sickening to think about that kind of self-hatred today. But the remnants of that destruction are not gone yet in America. I'm sure in Asia people don't even realize that attitude could be interpreted this way. I saw a total of 7 black people the entire time I was in China. I wonder how much THEY get stared at on the metro.

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