From all the readings I have
done on racial stereotyping and cultural norms in the fashion industry, I find
myself thinking about a general idea of the two words, ‘fashion’ and ‘beauty’. Is
fashion an individual’s personal style of living or is it the conception of modern
day faith or belief? Is beauty a combination of qualities one possesses or is
it a perception generated from an individual’s faith or belief? How does
society conjoin the whole concept of the word ‘fashion’ and ‘beauty’?
Race, ethnicity and
culture are three main expressions when looking at formation of norms. We as a
human are naturally attracted to people alike us and share a mutual background
or history. This attitude probably arises a sense of classes’ difference between
society and therefore leads to the formation of cultural norms and stereotypes.
For Asian, especially in India, the idea of ‘fashion’ initially comes a lot
later compared with the west (the United Kingdom). With considering the words describing
‘beauty’, there are terms that being used gives people a sense of classes’
difference. For example, in Indian culture, when we talk about beauty, the
desire or unhealthy obsession with fair skin is so extreme that people consider
being pale white prettier than being dusky or suntanned, and the fair complexion
gives other people in the same society impressions of upper classes, being well
educated and considered as ‘superiors’. Dusky or dark complexion gives the
impressions of lower classes and thus considered as ‘inferiors’ in the Indian
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Coming from an Asian
background (India), I trace back to my memories when I was in my childhood living
in a culture obsessed with fairness, there is no way to not be affected by the
life you live in, and the culture that surrounds you, as well as all the
stereotypes and norms formed within it. With the idea of ‘being fair is better’
became immensely popular and commercial, all kinds of fairness skin products sprang
out. According to Dr. Thuy Linh Tu’s investigation, skincare products dominate most
of the cosmetic market and fairness creams are among the highest selling
cosmetic products in Asia that even topmost Bollywood actors and actresses appear
regularly in advertisements endorsing fairness skincare products.