So this just popped up on my news feed and I thought it was an interesting read. I mean, most of the time you hear stories about Asian women using skin whitening products, but did you know that it is a growing trend among Asian men?
This article published on The Conversation was from November last year, but it provides a very interesting insight into why Asian men are more and more using skin whitening products. Apparently, this is a common thing in the Philippines, where young Filipino men lather themselves in various skin whitening products.
But this development is not unique to the Philippines either. A 2015 study found that the prevalence of skin-whitening product use among male university students in 26 low and middle-income countries was 16.7%. The figure was higher in many Asian countries: 17.4% in India, 25.4% in the Philippines, and 69.5% in Thailand.
In the Asia-Pacific region alone, the male cosmetics industry was estimated at $2.1 billion in 2016. Whiteners are likely to be a significant component of this figure; a 2010 study reported that 61% of all cosmetics in India had a whitening effect.
I guess this shows that Asian men can be as vain as Asian women when it comes to their physical looks. Remember having lighter skin is a mark of status – in the old days in Asia, those with lighter skin are not those who have to work hard and labour outdoors in the farms or rice fields. Darker/tanner skin is seen as more of a peasant class. There are also other theories which insinuate that whiter skin is equivalent to spiritual superiority, and yes the colonialist theory still stands, that having whiter skin is akin to being a “white caucasian” person, because in many parts of Asia, white people are still revered as “superior”.
Asian pop culture also promotes this whitening of the skin. Just look at all the famous male KPOP stars who have extremely light skin, championing the idea of the “new age” Asian man, which is all about being a metro-sexual. So really, it has become the norm. No longer are Asian men trying to adopt a muscle head approach to masculinity, but the whole metro-sexual is now the new and ideal alpha.
Agree? disagree? Feel free to let us know.
Image via The Conversation
If you would like to read the full article, please click on: Tall, pale and handsome: why more Asian men are using skin-whitening products