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Vostok Magazine will try to unveil the truth and learn about true standards of beauty among Chinese, Korean and Japanese women.
For sure, you have heard or read somewhere that some Asian societies value white skin. Or maybe someone told you that Asian girls are afraid of getting tanned? But is it true or is it another stereotype created by the Western society? Vostok Magazine will try to unveil the truth and learn about true standards of beauty among Chinese, Korean and Japanese women.
Imagine an Asian girl. Most likely you imagine a refined, cute, fragile girl with pale skin. She looks like a china doll with beautiful almond-shaped eyes and thick dark hair.
We'll say this at once: "china" of the Asian skin is a stereotype because it's commonly known that every representative of a Mongoloid race has yellowish skin.
The fact that Asian girls do everything to escape the sunbeams isn't completely true either. There are lots of men, women and kids on the beaches of East Asia who sunbathe without trying to hide from the sun. However, you can meet girls in odd clothes that protect their skin and see a lot of whitening creams in the shops in East Asian countries. So some Asian girls are in fact afraid of suntan. Let's try to figure out why.
A blast to the past
This phenomenon can be partly explained by the history of Asian countries. Asian people have always been paying attention to the skin tone. It was thought that snow-white skin is a feature of a high-class girl, who spends her time in a closed place, as she doesn't have to work under the sun, and the dark skin is a feature of a poor peasant woman working in the fields all the time. Of course, this interpretation is not suitable today, because skin shades don't correlate with person's social standing, which also is less important than it was before.
Asian fashion trends are one of the rational explanations of Asian womens' fear of getting tanned. What's important here is the mimicry of the European style, and also the Eastern standards of beauty.
Western influence is really clear: Asian girls try to copy the image and behavior of European girls. That's the reason why plastic surgery on widening the eyes and changing the shape of nose, using the contacts that enlarge one's eyes and change the color of eyes' iris, whitening of the face and using a ton of makeup are really popular among Chinese, Japanese and Korean girls.
So the absence of a tan is a question of fashion.
Chinese women care beauty and other people's opinion more than about their own comfort. To preserve "china" skin, Chinese beauties wear long-sleeved shirts and gloves even when it's 40ºC. Some of them try to cover their necks by scarves or wear really big hats that hide their shoulders from the sun. Legs do not stay "unarmed" either. Chinese girls often wear eccentrically colored stockings that, as they believe, protect them from ultraviolet. Though Korean and Japanese girls aren't really fond of such weird fashion trends.
The essential part of a fashionable Chinese girl is an umbrella. Umbrellas are as popular there as a lady's handbag is. Girls carry their umbrellas with them everywhere: taking a walk on a sunny day or riding a bicycle, steering a wheel with only one hand.
Another common and simple way to achieve white skin is using beauty aids. Cosmetics stores in South Korea, China and Japan are full of various whitening creams and face packs, offering a wide choice of "natural ceruse". This cosmetics is used by every fashionable girl, and the more the better. The girls are sure that such makeup can help their skin become lighter and younger.
The health is more important
Another explanation of a "sunbeam's fright" are concerns of Asians about their health. Japanese aged women really look after their skin, fearing that excessive xanthopathy will turn them into Dalmatian dogs.
Japanese are also afraid of skin cancer, as it's commonly known that excessive staying under the sun leads to the increase of a possibility for cancer diseases.
Some Chinese women found a rather radical way to save the whiteness of skin: they use nylon masks or, figuratively speaking, "masks of Fantomas" (the masks look like the disguise of a hero of the French movie of the same name). By wearing those masks Chinese women try to get rid of acne and spots that appear because of sunbathing. Nylon masks are in no way dangerous to one's health, because they let air in and let the skin breathe. Women don't even take them off while swimming and lying on the beach. Maybe those masks have a tightening effect but this is only a wild guess. Despite the advantages of these masks, their looks remain to be the main disadvantage. Chinese girls from Qingdao beaches are now known worldwide as "Chinese Fantomases" because of that.
We visited beaches of China, Korea and Japan and can tell you that there are crowds of sunbathing people on those beaches. And yet pale skin is highly valued in Asian countries.