A Bollywood film’s song about Beyoncé has earned the ire of many online for its racist and sexist lyrics.
In East Asia, it’s not uncommon to find people fully-dressed on beaches, carrying umbrellas on sunny days, or wearing full face-covering masks in parks. Women in particular go to extreme lengths to achieve pale skin whether it’s through obsessive whitening skin care routines or melanin-reducing injections. But where did all of this come from?
Some western media outlets like to report that this desire to have clear, white skin is a reflection on East Asians wanting to look more European. However, these hypotheses barely scratch the surface when discussing the origin of the pale skin beauty standards.