Cosmetics companies are beginning to withdraw their "whitening" as the movement to eliminate discrimination against blacks spreads. Eiran Unilever will abolish names such as "White" and "Whitening" and will revamp the brand name of "Fair" & Lovely, which is being developed in India and other Asian countries.
L'Oreal, France, also announced that it would remove words such as "white", "fair complexion" and "bright" from skincare products. Johnson & Johnson also said it would stop selling whitening creams in Asia and the Middle East.
Does whitening promote racism based on skin color? White skin orientation in non-Western women is sometimes pointed out as a manifestation of a white body's desire to imitate the body. It can be pointed out that there is a deep-rooted longing for many white models still being used in fashion magazines in Japan.
As for the color and expression of the skin, "whitewashing" has also been a problem in recent years. It is criticized for promoting a white-centered view of the world by making white actors play characters with colored race settings in movies and other events. Last year, in an animated commercial for "Cup Noodles," Nissin Foods apologized after being criticized for the whitewashing of Naomi Osaka's skin color.
However, in The Case of Japan, the history of white skin orientation is old. For example, in the Edo period beauty book "Miyakofuzokuwaiden", there are many whitening methods that are "putting white of color first" as a condition for beautiful women. In the background, the consumption of white powder increased with the prosperity of the town people's culture, and the white skin was a symbol of the "privileged layer" that did not need to engage in hard work outdoors.
Should the traditional sense of beauty be revamped by globalization? Certainly, the value of making white skin beautiful is likely to dress the skin color of "other than that". On the other hand, it should not be criticized for having a whitening intention as an individual's preference, and the intention to avoid skin trouble caused by sunburn should also be respected.
However, it is necessary to keep in mind that it is not possible to remain indifferent about various problems that spread from putting the center of the beauty of the skin in white in the present world. Personally, I hope that "any skin color is beautiful" will be free from all political issues and taken for granted as beauty of each.