‘ “A woman should always have fair skin,” she said proudly. “Otherwise people will think you’re a peasant.” (Levin)’

The "Make up" of Beauty

It is no secret that many countries around the world (the West tends to be an exception) prefer lighter skin tones over darker ones. In the past, it was thought that if you had darker skin, you were a worker – someone who spent time outside in the sun, performing manual labor of some kind (Verma, 465). Therefore, those with lighter skin tended to belong to the wealthier classes, making the presence of pale skin an ideal of beauty and wealth. This, however, continues to hold true in many countries and cultures around the world today, including India and China.

In Western societies – especially the United States from which I will be basing my observations – the ever-changing beauty trend now favors tan skin on white people over their natural, pale skin. It seems as though the tanner you are, the healthier you are perceived to be. Whilst tan skin arises from spending time outside…

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