How far would you go to change your looks?
We’ve all heard it said that appearances are everything, and whether or not we take it to heart, there is some sad truth to the refrain. In our crowded and often confusing world, one look and an initial judgement are sometimes all we have when deciding our thoughts and feelings about other people.
We judge so many things so quickly: style, beauty, clothing, word choice, background. We judge things we couldn’t possibly hope to understand from just one look, trying and profoundly failing to encapsulate this other person without getting to know them first.
And sadly, skin color is one of the first, outermost things we see while making our judgements.
Now, these men and women are standing up to societal standards to embrace the skin they’re in.
All across the world and far removed from America’s history of racism, skin color is still a determiner of social status and individual beauty.
A survey from the Washington Post showed what areas of the world are the most and least tolerant of other races. When asked who they would not want to have as a neighbor, the countries in red were most likely to answer “people of another race.”
As you can see, many of the less tolerant countries are localized in Southeast Asia. India was one of the least tolerant countries in the world according to this survey.
In some of these Asian cultures, light skin is prized over dark skin, stemming from the social bias that the only the poorer classes had to work outside in the sun, therefore acquiring a darker hue.
As this forum explains, these cultures don’t pressure people to have lighter skin to look “white” so much as to appear sophisticated and fair.
In fact, whereas tanning products are popular in the West, many Asians use skin-lightening products, such as Fair & Lovely, to bleach their skin.