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Fashion Showcase Observer writes about the fashion industry issues

Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder: Pale Beauty Rages in South and Southeast Asian Countries

Asians Want to Look Great For Wedding During Extended Lunar Year: They are Marrying for Good Fortune

More and more Asian women are applying cream to their skin, face and neck. They are hoping to acquire white-skinned beauty. They watch TV and read magazines where white-skinned stars are displaying their God-given assets. They want to be part of everything that comes with having a white skin. So the demand for skin whitening products has gone up. That also creates the burgeoning of black markets which sell fake products. While talking about fakes, this is not the first time that the beauty and fashion markets get flooded by copycat products. Fashion designers who hesitated to have their presence on the Web have been suffering from the effects of fake products that claim to be from them in auction houses or on auction sites. For example, counterfeit handbags, watches, porcelain carried by Tiffany and other land-based shops such as Gucci, Dior and others can be found on many sites. In most cases, many of them are not the original products. eLuxury.com becomes the new place to shop for luxury products.

Let us go back to the light skin issues and phenomenon seen in Asian countries. Whiter skin is being marketed all over Asia. Customers can find a huge variety of skin-whetening creams on supermarket and pharmacy shelves. For many small businesspeople, the new industry has been fourishing. If you go to Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan, you will find out that four of every 10 women use whitening creams according to market researcher, Synovate. There are skin-whitening for various parts of the body. The primary part is the face though. Consumers can find creams that whiten darker patches of skin in armpits and other areas that are normally covered by clothing. Some of these consumers want to have a full white body. They want to look like the white person. They even invest in products that will give them "the pink nipple" thanks to products that bleach away the brown pigment they were born with.

Why Do These Asians Want to Pass for White so Much? Why Do They Want to Marry White?

Part of it has a cultural explanation. Through films and advertising, dark-skinned people mostly see white-skinned people on various covers of magazines and in movies. The glossier the magazine, the more likely they will find a white face on its cover. In addition, South Korean soap operas are becoming very popular all over Asia. Their lighter-skinned stars have come to represent the aspiration of Asian beauty. Well-heeled young men and women, teenagers want to look like them. So spending money on white-skinned products is the sure way to get what they want. Other sociologists and researchers admit that Asians share a deeply-held cultural preference for lighter skin. The rationale is that a lighter complexion is associated with wealth and higher education levels. The lighter skin indicates that the person does not have to be exposed to the sun that darkens the skin. It also indicates the person's social class and financial standings. Now it makes sense to understand why Asian females would rather marry somebody from their own ethnic groups or a white person. Asian-white interacial unions are growing all the country. Others are saying that the high level or comparable level of Asians' education is also very appealing.

Beauty at what Price? The Pain Behind all the white-faced Fronts

According to doctors, consumer groups and governement officials, there are dangerous consequences that result from the proliferation of fake skin-whitening products found on the black market. Keep in mind that the products have acids that remove old skin to reveal newer, lighter skin underneath. Some of the creams that most women are using in these countries contain powerful but illegal bleaching agents. Some of the users of the creams end up looking roasted. They look very different from what they looked before applying the creams. Others are suffering from the ridicule and mockery of others who start calling them "spirits, ghosts, zombies or vampires."

Tiffany wanted to be beautiful in her wedding dress. But she did not want to be disfigured. She wanted her fianc� to be proud of her when she decided to start applying face-whitening cream. At first, she started seeing the good results. She soon had some other ideas. She wanted to apply the cream all over her body. This time, she was in for a few surprises. Now Tiffany is wondering whether her skin will be healed enough to even get married to her fianc�. She starts doubting her beauty. She goes out less now. She is wondering whether she will be married in October as planned. Yet, she is under a lot of pressure by her parents who want her to get married during this extended lunar year in order to get good fortune. Until next February 27, Asians believe that the extended lunar year will bring them good omen, wealth, health and better chance if they get hitched. This new flurry of weddings has come to keep many restaurants, taylors and banquet owners busy. In the Bay Area and all over California, Asians are getting married in order to get blessed.

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Reese Witherspoon is wearing her fabulous burgundy Nina Ricci strapless gown at the 79th Oscar Award ceremony. This is the way it is done in Hollywood. This is beautiful as a glass of fine wine. How about Nicole Kidman's red gown? Who can miss it on the red carpet?

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