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Chinese Girls Want To Be Whiter

Chinese Girl - Could She Be Any Whiter?When I went abroad I bought a set of my favorite cosmetics line. But after few months I had to go shopping and replenish some stuff. In the big store of cosmetics I unsuccessfully tried to search among unfamiliar brands on myself before asking the seller for help. The guy was very patient and handed me one cream after another all of which I rejected.

The creams weren’t bad – they promised to make skin softer, smoother, moisturize it… but why not whiten? It was so strange and frustrating! The whitening capabilities of any “normal” cream seemed to me as natural as in case of toothpaste. 

My wish to be whiter is far from being unique. On the contrary, it is a common denominator of almost all Chinese girls. According to Wikipedia the whitening cream industry in China is estimated to be worth around $7 billion!

While many westerners spend hours in solariums and beaches to acquire a smooth tan, Chinese are equally eager to get rid of it. This is quite paradoxical that the standards of beauty by which Chinese girls judge themselves are more European and not generally characteristic to Asians. No wonder that the never-ending struggle against own nature makes most Chinese girls frustrated and  extremely insecure about their appearance.

One might argue that the reasons for preferring the lighter skin are historical. In ancient China darker skin was usually a sign of lower social status: while rich people could stay indoors, the farmers had to work in the rice fields under the scorching sun.

While preparing this article I stumbled upon interesting data that can shed more light on white skin mania in Asia. The results from one dermatological research show that:

Hyperpigmentation (dark spots) has an earlier onset than wrinkles and laxity (loss of firmness) on Asian skin (compared to Caucasians).

If this is true then the preference of pale skin among Asians can have evolutionary explanation: white skin being a sign of youth and fertility.

This social and biological conditioning is exploited by cosmetic industry which sends unequivocal messages to potential customers: being whiter will increase your dating chances.

Some advertisements went too far and were accused of being racist sparking hot debates.

Check pictures of Chinese minority girls or popular Chinese singers: you will see that most of Chinese (and other Asian) female celebrities are whiter than average Chinese girls. It seems that skin whitening is a must-have item in the list of plastic corrections that they perform to look more attractive. The same trend can be seen in Korean soap operas – so popular in China – where most beauties have almost snow-white faces.

Chinese girl with umbrella

Hiding under umbrella

Well, I guess that now you understand why Chinese girls always hide under umbrellas and wear huge sunglasses.

Therefore, here is one more tip for dating: even if you think that your Chinese girlfriend’s yellowish skin is beautiful – never make compliment about her tan. It will only make her unhappy!

I personally coat my nails only with transparent color just because I think that my skin is too yellow to experiment with brighter colors. It sometimes makes me very envious about pale-looking girls.

I am not lonely in this despair: one friend of mine recently complained that she never wears red, green or purple dresses exactly for the same reason :-(.

As for my cosmetics – in the end I asked my friend to bring it to me from Hong Kong.

Not completely happy with her skin, Crystal Tao

  • Brian

    Interesting topic…you talked about this in the reply to my email to you last week, and actually me and my girl had this very same discussion early on in our relationship. My girl actually said people would say she is a pretty girl but her skin is alittle dark (I don’t think she is really that dark) and actually her family has even darker skin then her. It also bothered her a bit, and me being a black American with normal brown skin the first thing I said in reply was that she has beautiful skin tone and should be happy with it and not care what everyone thinks. It was true too I think she is the most beautiful woman in the world in my opinion :oops:

    Anyways she actually didn’t get upset or anything when I said it and actually kind of agreed with me…maybe she is just different then everyone else but she really doesn’t look for all the makeup to try to get lighter or anything. I can understand the skin “insecurities” though since there is also the same thing in the black community here with the bad history of discrimination in America. My mom actually doesn’t like that she has very light skin, almost the same lightness as the picture you have in the article.

    I know my opinion doesn’t matter but I think you should be happy with your skin tone…I think its nice :)

  • TLB

    I totally agree with Brian, and as a black American he certainly speaks to the social effects of skin color with more authority than I can as a white American man. I find it sad that Chinese women, who are already under a lot of pressure evidently (thus the high suicide rates) feel they need to add this to their burdens. Personally I find the natural skin color of Chinese people very attractive, and (like many white Americans) often wish mine were a little darker.

    That being said, I am not unhappy with my skin color, and I think no one else should be unhappy with that either. Do you really want people — men in particular — to like the real you or the one manipulated by creams? Wouldn’t it lead to some insecurity if you felt the latter were true — that if people saw your real skin color they’d not like you?

    I think all skins colors are beautiful — black is beautiful, white is beautiful, brown is beautiful, all colors are beautiful — it all depends on how they’re worn… :smile:

    Wear yours with pride and confidence and anyone whose opinion you should care about will find you attractive.

  • Crystal

    Brian and TLB,

    Your girlfriends are very lucky. I wish that other Chinese girls would read your encouraging comments.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see the attitude towards skin color in China to change in foreseeable future. :sad:

    • Nick


      I have never understood why Chinese ladies want to change their skin tone. As someone with both Northern and Southern European heritage, I think that your skin tone from your photos is absolutely gorgeous! The queen of my heart, my 辣妹 (who is only a year younger than am, but looks like she’s 25), has a similar skin tone and I always tell her that her skin is beautiful. I love the colour of her skin. I am thankful that she does not use whitening creams because it would spoil the perfect skin that she already has.

  • Teacher in China

    Speaking as a pasty white man with German, Polish, Scottish and British heritage, I find it delightful that people here in China think white skin is so beautiful. Every girlfriend I’ve had here has been so jealous of how white I am! It’s nice to be complimented for it instead of being forced out into the sun to bake myself into a darker colour, which often ends up being red since I burn so easily…
    I have to agree with the other two guys here so far, I think the skin tones on Chinese girls is really sexy. But it’s hard to convince someone who has spent her entire life railing against something to change her mind. Hopefully things can change in the future!
    By the way Crystal – nice blog! I just recently discovered it, and I wish I had found it ages ago! Keep up the good work!

  • melanie gao

    I agree with Brian, you have a beautiful skin tone.

    The compulsion to change our skin color is an interesting one. I’m also fascinated by the whole teeth whitening thing. And I’m surprised that it’s so popular in American but not so much in China. I know there are products and treatments in China but I don’t get the impression that Chinese people are obsessed with whitening their teeth the way Americans are. I wonder why? I wonder if Chinese people will start obsessing over this in time?

  • Erik

    It’s really a shame that the beauty industry continues to promote these old social norms in order to promote their needless products.

    Then again that’s what they do all around the world.

  • Crystal

    @melanie: While reading your comment I had a funny idea: maybe Chinese are less worried about teeth whitening compared to white people just because our skin is yellow and on its background our teeth seem whiter? :lol:

    @Erik: specially for you I have another video link: though it is advertisement for Indian males, and not Chinese females, but it only proves that this obsession with skin whitening is really overboard -> Indian commercial

  • Erik

    That is truly sad.

  • Mark

    My wife worries about getting too tanned in the summer but she’s a bit of a sun lover like myself so she’s not covered with layers when we go to the beach. I tell her that her (Chinese) white skin is beautiful and her slightly tanned skin is also beautiful, and she agrees that too white looks ghostly. She is often comparing her skin to mine and frets when I’m whiter than her, but I tell her I’m a “white” person, I’m always going to be “whiter.” :-P But golden/olive skin is what drives us white dudes wild (and presumably every other color of dudes in the world). The smoothness, softness, and clearness of Asian skin can’t be beat.

    • Lily

      Frankly speaking, I have never understood why you westerners like “yellow” skin. It’s funny that some people even granted a name as “golden/beautiful” color.

      Well, I think, the yellow skin makes a girl look tiresome or older. Whiter skin makes a girl look younger and prettier.
      We want to be whiter, it’s true. But to be pale is another story.

      Your wife is lucky. The natural “Chinese white” skin is wonderful. We don’t really want the same white skin as some foreigners’. But if we can choose to have a whiter skin or darker one, I think most of Chinese girls would choose the former one.

      Maybe the only good thing of yellow skin is that we have less chance to have freckles because of sun or other reasons. Or maybe it’s only because we always use anti-ultraviolet umbrella or hat to hide ourselves from sun.

  • Chris

    Great post! I’ve always found this topic to be very interesting. I’m in the same boat as “Teacher in China”, even by British standards I’m pale, but while living in China so many people told me how jealous they were of my skin. I always had to remind them that having such a white colour is more of a curse than a gift. I burn if I go out in the sun within a very short time, meaning I’m also incredibly vulnerable to skin cancer. Whereas people with darker skin have more protection the darker the skin is — that’s the gift.

    I guess in Western countries many people (not me included) see a “tan” as a sign of wealth as it means you can obviously afford to travel to exotic sunny locations…something like that. It was the opposite in Victorian Britain: if you had tanned skin then it meant you must be a poor labourer or farm worker who has to work outside all day.

    Funny how things change. I wonder if people will be buying tanning products in China in years to come?

  • Crystal

    The comments of foreign guys so far are very encouraging!
    Seems that no matter how tanned Chinese girl is – there always will be someone who will like her skin :mrgreen:

  • Erik

    A tan also means tan lines! ;-)

  • Jim

    Interesting subject. I remember watching a TV program about cosmetics when last in Australia. The program included an interview with a renowned Skin Specialist and his comments were interesting. He said that there is no product on the market that holds any scientific proof that it stops or turns back ageing of the skin. He said Sunblock to prevent sunburn and Moisturiser to prevent skin dryness are the only two cosmetic products that serve the skin any healthy useful purpose. He added that the cheap Moisturiser from the Supermarket is as good as any. I am inclined to agree with him.

    Woman buy these expensive anti ageing products but never seem to put them to the test. What they should do to ensure that they are not wasting their money is to scrub their face, take a photograph of it, pin in a calendar for 12 months time. In 12 months do the same and compare the pics. My view is that any natural blemishes and wrinkles in the first picture will be still be present in the second one. The only way I can see a variation is if a wrinkle goes away or reduces because of a fatter face from weight gain. Or a blemish fades from exposure to sunlight.

    As far as skin whitening goes, bleach is about the only thing I think could work and that would be unhealthy for the skin.

    The Cosmetic companies are the big winners because people believe them.

    So Crystal, how about you do the picture test and post the before and after pics here :-)

    Welcome to prove me wrong.

  • Jim

    I should have added that I support the other comments.

    Real beauty lies in the personality, not the skin color or anything else.

  • Crystal

    Hello, Jim.
    Thanks for your comments.

    I have to disagree with you regarding the effects of cosmetic products.

    Not being a renowned skin specialist myself ;-) I happened to read quite a lot about the mechanism of skin peeling. There are bunches of different peeling products and techniques: light and medium chemical peels, phenol peels, scrubs, microdermabrasion etc.

    All of them work in the same way by removing the aged skin and triggering the production of new cells. The only difference is in the depth of skin affected: the more layers of cells are removed, the stronger is effect, but also the longer and more painful is the healing and more possible are complications.

    Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I can’t serve as the model for “before” and “after” shots since I don’t use medium or deep peelings.

    Also regarding the skin whitening I believe, that just as sun is able to stimulate the production of skin pigment in special cells – there might be some products that have the opposite effect, and it is different from bleaching which indeed doesn’t sound healthy.

  • http://CQEXPAT Musicman4069

    Ha ha Crystal, I will leave you to be the believer and but I will stay the skeptic.

  • Jocelyn

    Great topic, Crystal! You remind us that beauty standards sometimes come from very practical realities (and, in other cases, from culture or history).

    This also reminds me of the way many of my Chinese girl friends will not lift weights — one girl told me that “softness” is a standard of beauty in China, and therefore she doesn’t want her arms to be too “hard” by working them out a lot.

    (BTW, if you’re ever looking for good lightening products in the US, you might try Paula Begoun’s lightening formulas. I like her cosmetics a lot — she’s the “cosmetics cop” and as such, makes sure her own line works as advertised. She also sells now in China.)

  • TLB

    Jocelyn, PLEASE don’t encourage this! :roll:

  • Marie

    This is very interesting – I didn’t realise anyone would try to whiten their skin (except MJ)
    All the products advertised in the west seem to have asian girls the ideal (and i agree, to me they seem much more beautiful than western women, huge generalisation i know, but i am just talking general body type)
    Darker, thinner, smaller, less hair, straight hair!
    We are being sold fake tan, diet products, ‘unsightly hair’ removal products, expensive hair smoothing products and straightening irons – i have always thought how much money and time i would save if i had been born an asian lady – they are so lucky!
    I think a lot of people are making a lot of money trying to convince us to be different from what we are – does anyone remember the Dr Suess book – The Sneetches?
    I agree with most of the posters – all skin colours are beautiful :)

    • China Shark Mike

      As much as I dislike MJ as a human being I have to say in his defense he was bleaching his skin because he had that disease which takes pigment out of the skin. The disease is really noticable in black people. He didn’t want to be viewed as a physical freak so he underwent treatments to minimize the blotches on his skin.

    • human

      You’re going to have to speak for yourself, I’m afraid. Many western women are small and thin with straight hair and little body hair. In nothern and eastern Europe, those traits are actually so common that they are considered boring.

  • James Roberts

    Amazing eye opening article :shock: I have just one question Crystal and please stop and really think about it.
    Does the new 2010 Ford Mustang Convertible, really make the man with white hair(except for his big bald patch)look young and cool :?:
    I guess this is a Worldwide phenomenon. Everyone trying to be what they are not. I gave up long ago (you have seen my picture :lol: )
    I know physical attraction is very important, but please always remember a woman is like a great painting by a master. The more one looks, the more one finds the little subtleties that attracted him to the painting in the first place. The little gap between her front teeth-maybe her teeth are crooked, in just the right way- maybe one boob does not quite match the other….who knows
    I do know that if we all were perfect,it would be a very bland World indeed. So please don’t change and thanks for the great article. James (Farmer tanned) Roberts

  • Crystal

    Haha, James.

    Though not exactly answering your question – maybe you will find the following article interesting enough.
    Just take in account that it was published on April 1st ;-)

  • CaseyOrourke

    When I met my wife Ying in China, her skin was very light. It was still light when she first got here in Texas, At first she covered up but began to realize that under the Texas sun she soon overheated. She also egan to notice that the women here in Texas had very dark tans because they ran around in shorts, t-shirts and halter tops and usually swam in a two piece swimsuit. She started dressing like the locals, hung out at the pool in a cute bikini and begun to tan. Now she is so dark she is sometimes mistaken for a Native American. She loves the way she looks and so do I. When we went back to China the first, her friends said she looked like a farmer, to which she replied, No, I look like a Texan.

  • Crystal

    You are very lucky, Casey!
    Your wife seems to be much more confident than an average Chinese girl :smile:

  • will

    i feel like the more western they are the more they like a tan. i had one gf in china that would hide from the sun, and now i have another who can’t wait for the hot weather and the beach so she can wear less and get darker. personally i prefer the lightly tanned look most chinese girls have naturally. when they whiten they look like a ghost and when they get too dark they just look strange. I wish they had more confidence in their natural color. it is usually a consistent golden golden color with no blotches, spots, or veins showing. i hate my skin color. it is either white or pinkish like a pig. so if i at least get a little sun i can look more uniform. i wish i had crystal’s skin color. the color from the picture you have up here is perfect. it looks so healthy. so far here in china if a girl likes a tan she also likes the more wester style underwear and seems to have a higher chance of having a tattoo and liking sports, as well as, late nights out with friends and less time studying.

  • Brian

    Hi Crystal, as an Asian American, I want to point out the differences I notice between foreign-born and American-born Asians.

    I’ve noticed that every foreign-born Asian girl works very hard to keep their skin white and pale because of the reasons you stated in your post.

    In America, the middle class tends to all work in office buildings, which makes our skin pale and “unhealthy” looking. Having a tan or darker skin shows that we have some free time to catch the sun’s rays and relax on a beach. Most American-born Asians try to get tans and darken their skin.

    Culture is a funny thing, eh? All of the American-born Chinese I’ve dated have wanted to darken their skin while all the foreign-born Chinese want to remain pearly white.

    • flare

      what you on about? american born chinese ARE foreign born

  • Crystal

    Haha, that’s true.

    By the way, one very funny thing I noticed in your comment – being an America-born Asian – you refer to “Asian born Asians” as “foreign-born” :lol: ;-)

    • flare

      he has got things mixed up.

  • TLB

    Casey, I loved your comment “I look like a Texan” — here in Austin, if I DON’T get at least some tan (soon now!), I’ll feel very self-conscious at the beach or pool, or anywhere I take my shirt off. There is so much sun here, being tan is indeed part of the culture, at least in the Southwest. I’m going to remember your wife’s comeback — it’s perfect. :smile:

  • Brian I

    haha when I seen another Brian on here I thought I had wrote that for a second ;p then I realized that Brian was asian-american haha…

    Well I can say as a black american here in the US I can say it’s nice to not have to worry about tanning haha and also I never have to worry about getting sunburned when in the sun no matter how long I’m out there haha :cool:

  • TLB

    “Well I can say as a black american here in the US I can say it’s nice to not have to worry about tanning haha and also I never have to worry about getting sunburned when in the sun no matter how long I’m out there haha”

    well, rub it in, Brother! You’re right, and I’m deeply bitter about it. :cool:

  • Crystal

    Hey Brian,

    Please take one minute to set up your avatar and then you will have a picture near all of your comments. And after that, you will never be confused which Brian you are. ;-)

    Read here the explanation how to set up avatar.

  • will

    i just wanted to add i caught my gf secretly using some l’oreal (however it is spelled) self tanning skin lotion last night. again trying to make her skin darker. i had been asking her for the last week or two why she seems to keep getting darker while working in an office all day. even darker than when we came back from vietnam a couple weeks ago. one question for you crystal cause i have asked some girls in shanghai this but none seem to have an answer. the girls will wear sun screen and whitening cream. then wear a large hat and also carry an umbrella. but for some reason i can’t figure out they also wear dark colored stallings/pantyhose/ leggings what ever the correct name is. i’m not talking about the tights or spandex stuff. just the stockings that are supposed to make your skin a more uniform color. and i know they have ones that make your legs look whiter. so why don’t they wear those. why do they wear ones that make them look darker?

  • TLB


    If you’re not aware of these tests on this kind of product, I think you should be; and I hope you share the concerns raised with your friends. (from the Chicago Tribune, 5/18/2010)

    “Some creams promising to lighten skin, eliminate age spots and zap freckles contain high levels of mercury, a toxic metal that can cause severe health problems, a Tribune investigation has found.

    The newspaper sent 50 skin-lightening creams to a certified lab for testing, most of them bought in Chicago stores and a few ordered online. Six were found to contain amounts of mercury banned by federal law.

    Of those, five had more than 6,000 parts per million — enough to potentially cause kidney damage over time, according to a medical expert.”

    The samples included some from China.


    And this, from several years ago (New York Health Authority): recommendations for users (note that the sale of products containing mercury is illegal in the US).

    “Immediately stop all use of “skin-lightening” or other products that are labeled as containing mercury;
    Immediately stop all use of “skin-lightening” or other products that do not have ingredients printed on the packaging;
    Seal the product in a plastic bag and discard with the household trash;
    Thoroughly wash hands and any other exposed body parts that have come in contact with the product(s)”

    I’d hate to see some of world’s most beautiful young women do permanent damage to their bodies in the pursuit of supposedly becoming beautiful.

  • Crystal

    Thanks for your care, Tim.
    To say the truth – although not satisfied with my skin – I am not very crazy about trying to whiten it by all means.
    When buying the cosmetics or skin care product, I definitely take in account its quality. Of course, it is almost impossible to know whether the manufacturer followed all prescriptions – so the only way is to choose a well-respected brand…

  • John

    This is really a question of the grass being greener on the other side of the fence. But I never could understand why beautiful Chinese girls had such an urge to look like Hollywood tarts. Not just the skin whitening, but also the blondeness, which on Chinese people looks just ridiculous, not to mention the unfeasibly large bosom.

    Personally I find honey-coloured skin beautiful beyond words. It always used to depress me to return to UK and see such fat, white people (both sexes) with pierced and tattooed wobbly bits.

    My [Chinese] gf told me a legend. I’ve forgotten the exact details, something about the dragon who lives in the Yellow River, but the upshot was, Chinese people should be proud of their yellow skin and black hair.

  • Crystal

    John, the legend you mentioned reminds the motives of a song “Descendants of Dragon”:

    I grew up under claw of the dragon.
    After I grew up I became an heir of the dragon –
    Black eyes, black hair, yellow skin,
    forever and ever an heir of the dragon.

    • China Shark Mike

      Very cool poem, thank you.

  • keius

    Be careful of skin whitening products. The vast majority have chemicals that are considered harmful and even carcinogenic. To be honest, there are studies that will tell you that all these products have some kind of harmful chemicals. Minimize your risk and just go with the more expensive brand names like Shiseido. Make sure it’s not a knockoff (especially if your in china). Last thing you want is to be smothering your face with mercury or something just as harmful.

    Anyway, my personal take is that it’s more important to have healthy youthful skin. Exposure to western standards and culture sure have messed up Asia’s perception of beauty…..

  • John

    Oh yes, the eyes, I forgot. They’re nearly always black, although one time I did meet a girl with green eyes.

    And then there was a student I had a couple of years ago, with tinted lenses. When the light caught them, her eyes flashed dark blue. That and the scorpion tattoo on her hand made her very scary!

  • Mike_In_Zhengzhou

    Some Chinese girls I see seem to have over-exposed themselves to whitening products. They seem powdered or heavily painted. Almost corpse-like. Its a real turn off. There just isnt any life in their skin. Pale. Unattractive.

    • Mike_In_Zhengzhou

      I recieved a ‘thank you for posting’ email from the web author,and had tocome back and reread my post. Inoticed somethingintheabove article that I wanted to add another comment to.

      “Therefore, here is one more tip for dating: even if you think that your Chinese girlfriend’s yellowish skin is beautiful – never make compliment about her tan. It will only make her unhappy!”

      Pale is unattractive. Tanned skin is better. Trust me, I’m white.

      • Mike_In_Zhengzhou

        “One might argue that the reasons for preferring the lighter skin are historical. In ancient China darker skin was usually a sign of lower social status: while rich people could stay indoors, the farmers had to work in the rice fields under the scorching sun.”

        Those days are gone, aren’t they?

        • Chen

          Mike, you’re assuming that the current desire for tanned skin is not an evolution of the trend for pale skin caused by urbanization. If you really look at the commercials for tanning products you discover that having a good tans means that you have enough leisure time to work on a tan and do not need to have a 8-5 job. Then again with the right setup you can probably do some tanning in rush hour traffic since you’ll only need to show your faced and arms most of the time.

      • Crystal

        The only advantage that I see in tanned skin is that it can mask different pigmentation irregularities. That is, in my eyes white skin is more beautiful but also harder to “maintain” :!:

        • john

          I don’t agree. I think white skin – chalky, pasty white as sought by Chinese girls – is so unnatural and unattractive. One thing I hate when I go back to UK is seeing so many fat white bodies, with pierced and tattooed wobbly bits. Men and women. (I live by the seaside).

        • Chen

          Don’t forget that white skin reflects more light, giving the appearance of less definition. Which is why body builders are all tanned and oiled.

    • China Shark Mike

      Yeah, I’ve been noticing that myself lately. As much as I like the milky white complexion sometimes it does appear almost deathlike. Usually the legs are chalk white, looks strange, abnormal.

  • dean

    every skin colour has its beauty.i am white and quite happy being white.if i were chinese i would be ok being chinese.I suspect alot of men dating chinese girls are yellow fetishists.One wrote that he hated his own white skin.I think tanning may look good or it may not.Alot of british girls thinking looking orange is very chic, but it looks a bit odd as people arent generally should really respect your natural colour.not envy other skin cant dye your skin the way you can your hair.And blonde blacks and asians look a bit silly.If you are naturally pale you are risking your health by overexposure for cosmetic purposes.Lightening the skin artifically also poses risks.I just think w e often want what we ourselves are not.

    • Crystal

      In this respect I want to tell a joke I once heard.

      Two men met: French and English. Frenchman – being a well-mannered gentleman – flattered: “English are a great nation! If I wouldn’t be French, I definitely would want to be English”.
      To what the Englishman answered: “Thanks. If I wouldn’t be English – I also would want to be English…”

  • mei nan

    Last year while visiting China I met one of my Chinese friends friend who had totally over-done the use of some whitening chemicals, she looked so pale it looked even unhealthy even for us westerners who have white skin, she really looked like a ghost. I hope the Chinese girls would use these whitening stuff with a bit of caution. :)

  • dean

    To me the most attractive thing about an asian girl are the eyes.Am asian girl can be very beautiful like crystal, but no race can capture as it were the whole range of potential female beauties.Black women can have a unique beauty too and I like their chocolate skin and some blonde women have a porn star quality only they have which explains their continued popularity in the genre.I just think also that while it is natural to be attracted by difference as well as similarity(as humans we are more alike than not )there is a danger of objectifying too much.Some western men say they only desire asian women so where is the individual behind the race in their desire?There is a strong genetic impulse to widen the gene sharing maybe that is why interracial sex can be so hot.But racism and fetishism are at extreme ends of a bizarre human interactional scale.Arent we all a bit obsessed by appearance?I remember a chinese girl was abused racially by two whites and i apologized to her for having gone through it turned out she was so wrapped up in herself she hadnt heard.She laughed very goodnaturedly and I found that the most attractive thing about this conventionally geeky girl.Ther are inner beauties we should not forget in our obsession with surface appearance.

    • Crystal

      I agree that men who exceptionally prefer Asian girls over other races have a sort of fetishism (some call it “yellow fever”). And just as you – I see it as obsession with appearance over inner beauty.
      But is it different from how 99% of men judge women? And actually, taking in account that there are so many Chinese (Asian) women in the world, I guess that men do not just randomly pick the first Chinese/Asian lady they stumble upon. That is most do apply additional criteria (including common interests, compatibility etc).
      In this sense, if my boyfriend is a bit of fetishist it doesn’t bother me too much…

      • China Shark Mike

        Crystal you’re selling yourself short. It is just like prefering Vanilla over Chocolate. Nothing fetish about knowing one’s own preference. I know I like dark hair, dark hair therefore a woman of Asiatic descent is the most likely choice. I was once married and later divorced with a Chinese woman. After we split up I didn’t even really consider marrying a western woman. Just did not feel the same. Physical attraction is the initial thing that brings two people together, face it if she wasn’t attractive you probably would have not talked to her in the first place.

        • human

          Your dark hair excuse is just that, an excuse. And it’s a stupid and transparent excuse at that. Most Europeans have dark brown or black hair, All Latino people have dark brown or black hair, all people of African descent have black hair and so do Indians, Native Americans, etc. These people together far outnumber the Asians on our planet.

          Western women are much, much better off without you. There are very high quality men without creepy and disgusting race fetishes who they marry every year.

  • dean

    The spread of the internet and the differences in first world and third world living standards has meant that many rich or even not so rich western men go internet trawling for asian women realizing that these women will consider their pot bellies and advanced years favourably in return for a life in the west.This is not about yellow fetishists though among them there would be some no doubt,but it concerns wstern men seeing asian women as available.It is a kind of trade.One wishes that these women could choose the husband they really would have had if they had been say a western born asian.Alot of white women seek out richer white husbands over poorer ones but this is not so normative.I think asian women are not a single entity.Japanese women do not need a life in the richer west the way a thai bride might.I know most white men feel it would be easy to find an asian woman to marry them and in fact what deters alot is the stigma of having a “catalogue bride”.I guess its an economic issue and a sexual one.I read that in ancient times women would exchange sex for meat from hunters who returned with surplus.Maybe things have not moved on all that much?

    • China Shark Mike

      Unfortunately trolls will always patrol the internet.

  • Kaz

    Hi crystal,

    I used to have a korean friend who’s skin looked like white people’s. I thought she looked beautiful but she tried to have a sun tan on an extremely hot day, her skin looked horribly burnt, turned crusty and peeled off eventually. She look like she had been in the furnace attacked by the hell fury of fire!

    I also found out why she was so white because she has low iron levels. High iron levels also causes the skin to wrinkle like paper and age more and more likely to be proned to skin damage if staying out in the sun for prolong hours.

    This is total bs. the experts are wrong. there are oils and things you can use to heal skin damage or reset the programming of age in skin. Do your research more closely. those big corporations don’t want you to know about it. instead they put in dangerous toxic chemicals in their products that damages the skin cells in the long term and could be a cause in getting cancer! Do not be fooled and be persuaded by artful advertising just because they ‘ve got gweneth paltrow or cindy crawford posing for a large billboard beside the roads.

    Aragan oil is from Morroco and known to make hair smooth and flat and also works wonder on the skin as it heals on surgical scars or diminishes freckles to a great degree caused by the sun. do a search on yahoo engine and you will find lots of testimonials from users who has greatly benefited from using the oils!

    • Crystal

      Thanks for your referral.
      I have searched for “Argan Oil” from Morocco. Indeed, it seems to be a popular ingredient in cosmetical products. But does it have a whitening effect?

  • Kaz

    You can’t change the colour of your skin but you can change the way you look at yourself as a person. True beauty is not defined by having a certain skin colour! maybe by a large number of shallow people who judge solely on external appearances

  • john

    This whole thread is about perceptions (of self) and gullibility.

    Generally, Chinese self-esteem is pretty low, and girls are always ready to believe the worst of themselves. So when an idea is floated that white is good, not-white is bad, they all rush to become white. Same fixation as the Hollywood pneumatic blonde. It’s all hogwash, but they won’t accept that for a moment – just look at Crystal’s replies, and she’s educated.

    The same thing happens with photographic studios. First of all they slather thick layers of make-up on the victim, to cover every wrinkle and blemish that individualises the girl. Then they stick on huge false eyelashes, so heavy the girl has such difficulty opening her eyes that they also have to use adhesive tape to keep them open. Any features which manage to escape this treatment are then obliterated with photoshop. The nett result is what is called art. Personally, I think the girls are completely deluded: their natural beauty is quite stunning. If only they’d listen to a connoisseur such as myself!

    Similar thing too with their enormous false bras. I have learnt how to recognise whose figure is genuine, whose is rubber.

  • dean

    When I read discussions on racial dating or race I realize for some race and identity is very unimportant for others it is crucial.Are asian men hot or not?Do black guys have the largest penises?Are white men the best partners for a girl looking to escape tradition?You could answer yes or no to virtually every question you raise like this.Asians are a bit more materialistic than they like to admit,forget the buddhist crap they want gucci.Hence old white guys can easily find an asian girl to marry.Do asians have small penises?Well alot do.I am bisexual so I can say from experience but you know there are exceptions to everything.Not all blackj guys have a snake to fear either.The thing is that the world has changed and will continue to change.Since the advent of international travel racial purity will begin to dissolve and while now we have various camps defending a certain racial line in blogs etc in a few hundred years we will be a bit like brazil..very mixed….then it will be like caucasians now argue about brunettes or bl;ondes.

  • cindy

    You have to be happy with who you are. No one else will celebrate you until you begin celebrating yourself. Society will always offer labels of whats attractive and :grin: what is not. But at the end of the day what really stands out in a person is their character-thats what really makes a person truly beautiful.

    We all grow up with insecurities wishing to be like someone else. But I have come to realize that the most attractive and happy people are those who realize that they are unique and special the way they are. They were not created to look like anyone else but to simply be who they are.

    We can not change the whole worlds mentality, but we can impact the lives of people around us when we love and accept ourselves the way we are and instead of complaining we use our energy to be thankful and reach out to love others.

    I have made up my mind to live as I believe and not to live my life based on what others think about me. :grin:

    • Lily

      To be confident is right. To have some make-up is like to use toothpaste to brush teeth or shampoo to wash hair which can make a girl feel more confident. It’s not to pretend to be someone else.

  • namenotgiven


    A number of months ago I came across an ad campaign featuring an Asian model. No double eyelid surgery, no rhinoplasty. I was overjoyed. I feel bad that many Asian women don’t embrace the beauty that God gave them, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with the way Asian women look. I hope that someday Asian women will begin to see themselves in a more positive light, and will embrace the natural beauty they already have.

    • HT7228

       Please what about all the western models that have gotten plastic surgery

      • human

        There is a massive difference between the two. White models who have surgery fully intend on keeping their ethnic features, even exaggerating them is preferred. Even the tanning trend in White people (which has been dead for years in LA, everyone is pale, now), was done so that they looked like they got back home from a cruise and looked more “Mediterranean”, it was never done to look like a non-White ethnic group.

        White people want to look like other White people. Some Asians want to look like other Asian people, but there are quite a few Asians out there who want features that their race/ethnicity does not possess.

  • paul k

    when i was in china this march my wife wanted to look pretty for me she put some sort of scrub or mask on her face and it started to burn !!!

    after a day i told her dear lets go get some cold cream to put on her face !!! we went and got a name brand cold cream and that helped her feel better !!!!

    i kissed my wifes sweet lips and told her please do not do that to yourself again !!!!
    i told her she is my beautiful super model and needs nothing else !!!!

    she said in her broken english yes my husband i will remember your words!!!

    i think chinese women need to stop listening to all the western bs and cosmetic company propaganda and just accept the fact they are some of the most beautiful creatures in the world !!!!

  • Kidfjsdkfsdfsdfds

    You guys make it sound like having white skin is like owning an LV bag. Honestly, I think they just want whiter skin because it looks nicer. We all have different taste. Many girls prefer to have a tan but I rather have lighter skin. I’ve always felt that way even when I was young. It just makes one look more gentle, feminine, and youthful. Before you get offended, I’m sure a lot of you automatically judge just the same way. Example: If you saw an Asian guy with pearl white skin, you’d probably think he looks too girly, or didn’t even know he was a guy till you see his boner. Also, a lighter complexion makes it easier to apply makeup without ODing it. And if your skin is whiter AND clear, even better because it gives off the impression you clean and take good care of your skin inside and out. Its harder to hide flaws with lighter skin.

  • Psdjhbfjhebfwej

    It’s not promoting. Asians want lighter skin not because the magazine, or the media said so. It just looks better. Some people are obsessed with tanning. Some people are obsessed with pink hair. Its just a matter of preference. People want it, the industry is selling it. The only thing the industry is trying to promote is that their product is better. The whole white skin issue is all personal preference. Ancient asian poems even have certain ways of describing a girl’s skin, such as, pearl white, snow white, ect

  • trintrin

    basically lighter skin meant you were wealthy enough not to work in fields in the sun.

  • Sapiness

    Interesting article. Personally, even though my skin may not be as pale as some Caucasians, I like how I have a warm, yellow undertone instead of an overexposed pink one. You and your friend should not be afraid of bright colors! Actually, most Asians are Deep Winters, which means that we look great in colors like true/deep red, blue, and purple!

    I like to keep “pale” too, mostly out of fear of the effects of UV rays, but be careful of using whitening creams. Some girls in Asian and Africa (whose skin turns gray from it over time) have died from them. Most dermatologists caution against them: There are much healthier ways to maintain pale skin: If you do continue to use them, at least check the ingredients before you purchase them.

  • Max

    Chinese people are generally proud of their yellowish skin – they even have songs about it. They only don’t like to be tanned (in the meaning of brownish or dark). My gf likes her skin color as long as she wasn’t exposed to the sun for too long. She just doesn’t like to get a tan and always tries to find the shade (which is much healthier anyway). I think a tan also looks beautiful on her – it’s kind of bronze or even golden, different from the tan of white people. But she doesn’t believe me ;) She still likes her yellowish untanned skin color, and I make many compliments on that.

    So I just wanted to add these points to the discussion.

  • Blah

    I hope they enjoy they skin cancer…..

  • Accuracy.

    First off a desire for pale skin isn’t some form of cultural inferiority and insecurity. Pale skin as a standard of beauty has been in East Asia for centuries since ancient times. It does not derive from European contact. Accuracy please.

    • Myra Esoteric

      Yeah Chinese beauty standards like light skin and double eyelid are historical, and go back to the Tang dynasty at least.

      It’s not related to ‘colorism’ in African American culture which is based on race mixing and blood quantum, slavery etc. Trust me people want to be fair not yellow, the term ‘yellow’ was imposed upon people in Asia by white colonialism (that, is one thing you can blame the white man for).

      Also if you want to whiten go for it. 2-4% hydroquinone or Kojic Acid is safe don’t use anything with neoprosone or steroids. BTW not only East Asian folks are into lightening but India and Africa as well.