Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bein' White

Here it's a compliment if someone says, "Wow, you're so white!" Back home that is, um, not a compliment.

Everywhere sells whitening stuff- face wash, creams, etc, to make you look more white. As big as the self-tanner section is at home, the whitening section is here. When I first came I had trouble buying non-whitening stuff- like it would say "Light Cleanser" and I thought it meant not heavy. And the whitening stuff feels like burning chemicals so I didn't like it too much. I have caught on now though.

Chinese people are always asking me, how do you make your skin so white? I acknowledge that, you know, being white is a big help, but I always tell them that I use SPF 45 sunblock everyday. But they don't belive in sunblock. They're like, no, I don't think it works. Now that it's summer I have visible proof- I tell them that I'm diligent about sunblock on my face but not so diligent about my arms, and look how much darker my arms are than my face! They are still like, no, I don't think so. Boy does it make me crazy. It's like back home when I would tell people how much snow tires help, and would recount my own experiences of sliding around the roads on all-season tires and then getting winter tires and driving fine, and they would say, no, I just use all-seasons, I don't need winter tires.

I will say that Chinese skin seems to get dark much more quickly than my skin does. I think it looks nice but it's definitely a cultural thing. And when people do too much whitening it really looks crazy- patchy colorless skin.

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