Media create the image of “the lighter the better”

by Yoon Jee Hyun (Jee Jee)

With my iPhone and unlimited 3G services, whenever I feel bored, I unconsciously surf on the Internet to check updated Facebook newsfeed, look up at my Kakoatalk messages, and search for time-killing YouTube videos. As usual, as I was checking updated Facebook newsfeeds, I came across contents regarding skin-lightening issues that caught my attention. The contents were about famous celebrities who have light skin color. Furthermore, videos were posted teaching people how to make “even” skin tone by doing “natural” make-up. In YouTube, over 108,000 results about skin lightening can be discovered when typing in “skin brightening.” However, when typing in “skin darkening,” only 13,900 results can be found in the same social media. To be specific, most of the results found when typing in “skin darkening” related to the opposite of the search word. In my perspective, in today’s world, the media possess such power that affects and surrounds people’s daily life.

Among the effects of the media, it is definite to find traces of the media among Filipinos in terms of skin-lightening issues. To elaborate, wider access to the media resulted in the increase of desire to have lighter skin, as Filipinos became to admire celebrities showing up in the media. For example, K-pop and J-pop are famous pop culture in the Philippine society such as Girls Generation and AKB48. The increase of commercials and advertisements are also alluring Filipinos to buy skin-lightening products by advertising that people can have flawless skin like celebrities on the media.

Skin Lightening issues in the Philippines exemplify how the media can hold huge impact within the society. In other words, people can be tricked and attracted by the words that the media says. Eventually, the easy access to plenty of information all around the world contributes to the notion that “light skin is the better.” White people have abused the media as a means to create a false image of white skin such as portraying white people more intelligent and innocent, while people with darker skin are less educated and evil. There is no doubt that the advancement of media will brain wash people thinking that “the lighter skin you are, the better” which would increase more consumption on skin lightening products.

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