August 4, 2012

"A woman should always have fair skin... Otherwise people will think you’re a peasant."

Tanning is so disliked in China that some people wear a head and face covering — ski-mask-style — to go out swimming.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the infamous "tanning mom" has de-tanned somewhat.  

21 comments:

Chase said...

the infamous "tanning mom" has de-tanned somewhat.

The effects of gravity are also evident in the picture.

edutcher said...

No surprise. In Red China, they want to look like they've made it.

The same was true in Western society a couple of hundred years ago. A tan meant you worked for a living; a fair complexion said you were a lady of leisure - something of which to be proud.

After WWI, women all wanted to look like proles again.

Unknown said...

As pointed out, a hundred years ago the same was true with the US. Most work was done outside, so if you did not have a tan, you were indicated as a person of leisure.

Now, most work is done indoors - in offices or factories. This is why tanning has become popular. Tanning indicates that you do not spend all your time indoors, and thus are a person of leisure.

Colonel Angus said...

A woman should always have fair skin... Otherwise people will think you’re a peasant.

So much for that classless society.

Quaestor said...

Not for no reason was the parasol invented in China. The umbrella (Italian, meaning "little shadow") as a thing to keep the rain off was an afterthought.

Sorun said...

A Chinese-American woman I knew in college told me about a trip to Hong Kong to visit relatives. She said she was instantly identified as an American by her relatively dark skin.

Starfish said...

It's so funny that one of the ladies says, "Does it look like I care what people think?" The whole point of the ridiculous mask is to influence what other people think about them!

Sorun said...

Notice how the ski mask she wears has round eye holes. That's going to leave a mark.

Wally Kalbacken said...

She's looking much better in that "In Touch" photo. But not good enough to make anyone forget her ability to go way out of bounds in obsession. Anyone who could go that far with one thing go go that far with another. Look out. You have been warned.

bandmeeting said...

That's an Asian thing. Tokyo, Hanoi (OK, wait, that's mostly about the horrible air)tons of people wear masks. Wanna see people in the USA wearing masks? Go to Fort Lee,NJ. Must be as many Koreans there as on The Peninsula.

ignatzk said...

In graduate school you could always tell the education majors because they had the best tans.

Foobarista said...

Dark skin has been the marker of laborers in numerous societies throughout history.

I've always had a somewhat "Marxist" definition of beauty: it's whatever a healthy, young, upper-class person from the time period in question would look like.

In most of the world and throughout most of human history, this meant you didn't spend much time outside, so you were lighter-skinned than people who toiled in the sun.

bagoh20 said...

Yes, this is important to me. I don't want anyone to think I actually know how to do work or be useful outside of my cubicle. I will take great pride in looking like I sit around all day eating cake and discussing the plight of the working class.

The other day I was on here commenting for a minute during a break at work. I was responding to a post about some obscurity of politics and taxing people like me to pay for slackers, when I realized that I was doing it with a welding helmet on my head and hands far blacker than the first Black President has probably ever looked down upon.

I suddenly felt a combination of pride and disgust.

furious_a said...

That's an Asian thing.

Learned from Asian (Chinese) friends while living in San Francisco that their old-school Han Chinese elders looked down on darker skin because their "barbarian" (Vietnamese, Cambodians, Burmese, Mongols, etc) neighbors tended to darker skin.

sleepless nights said...

I asked an asian friend once (when I was still young enough to ask things like this) if and how she and her family differentiated between white, black, brown? IOW, was there a preference or were we all just undifferentiated heathens?

"Are you kidding? We prefer white people to the others. White people have that skin," she said.

Pale skin ages a lot better if you're white. I'm mystified when I see a Jennifer aniston type who has been tan since the beginning of time, but still manages to maintain skin condition.

Synova said...

A lady I knew in the Philippines explained that she was applying for domestic work in either Saudi or Kuwait (I don't recall) and we talked about what it was like there for domestics, having only a few hours a week off and not being allowed outdoors and the risk of mistreatment and how the employer held your pay and papers...

But, she said, when you came home you were wonderfully pale.

Synova said...

The woman in the Song of Solomon mentions being looked down upon for her socio-economically derived dark tan.

Robert Cook said...

"Now, most work is done indoors - in offices or factories. This is why tanning has become popular. Tanning indicates that you do not spend all your time indoors, and thus are a person of leisure."

Yep. But when I see tanned women or women out sunning themselves, I just think what dopes they reveal themselves to be, as I assume they would not continue to tan so diligently if they knew:

1) They are putting themselves at high risk to develop skin cancer; and
2) Assuming they don't develop cancer and live long enough, they will successfully "tan" their skin, (in the sense of tanning leather or hide), and will look terrible and aged many years earlier than they would otherwise.

If they do this knowing the greater and lesser risks, they're more than just dopes, they're idiots who are intolerably vain.

Jose_K said...

Blue blood and redneck came from the same way of thinking

wef said...

Tan or no tan, it's a safe bet that most of the madding crowd you meet today will be peasants. Servility is so widespread these days.

Luke Lea said...

Colorism is a worldwide phenomenon. There are no exceptions anywhere as far as I know. Look it up in Wikipedia. That said, some Chinese have beautiful white skin, quite different (more like parchment) than the white of Northern Europeans. I don't blame them for wanting to preserve it.