Feminism | Posted by Sharmee S on 04/13/2015

Why I Bought Skin Lightening Cream At 11 Years Old

One brand of fairness cream

I was 11 years old when I succumbed to buying my first tube of “fairness” cream. It was right after a popular boy teased me by calling out “Weh blackie” to me.

Before he teased me, I internalized most of my negative feelings about my dark skin. As a second generation Indian, I felt the influence of the inhumane Indian caste system which idolizes those with fairer skin. Lighter skinned individuals are considered superior within this system and those with darker skin are regarded as dirty, useless and — especially in the case of darker women — less desirable. This boy’s remark, though, was the first time I felt so deeply humiliated. I felt hatred and disgust towards my skin.

Although I was lucky enough …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Shavon M on 05/6/2013

Bright Like a Diamond, White Like a Princess

In recent years, Disney has been toying around with their “Princess” brand, making their popular films and characters even more marketable to children–namely, to young girls. This isn’t really new: Disney has changed the designs of their princesses to fit with market trends numerous times since the first princess, Snow White, debuted in 1937. Controversy arose, however, when Disney began retooling their princess brand for new products last summer, tweaking their make-up and outfits, and changing other, more integral aspects of their characters.

The redesigns are noticeably more glamorous and more bedazzled. Princess Aurora (from Sleeping Beauty, 1959) and Belle (Beauty and the Beast, 1991) no longer have the visually-flat hair of their movie counterparts, and are instead featured with the shimmering, flowing locks frequently seen in magazine …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by YingYing S on 09/14/2012

Skin Is Just An Organ – But Insecurity Sells

The whitewashing of Beyonce

I am not white.

Yeah, I know, stating the obvious, but in fact, even for someone of Chinese ethnicity, I am decidedly not on the pale end of the spectrum. And every time I flip open a fashion magazine here in America or visit my home city of Beijing, decked out with all its skin-lightening billboards, I am reminded that because of my skin tone, the world wants me to change.

Previously referenced as “the Snow White complex,” the pressure to be white has overtaken most of the world as an indisputable standard of beauty, despite the fact that every standard of beauty we try to mold ourselves to is culturally constructed.

In Asia and India, skin lightening has soared into popularity thanks to …

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