Filipino Culture and the Obsession with Light Skin

Soon after moving to the Philippines, I noticed that many Filipino and especially Filipina are obsessed with skin lighteners, one could say it is part of Filipino culture. Now any time I write about Filipino culture, I run the risk of making someone angry because it doesn’t apply to them. Of course it doesn’t apply to everyone. I often also don’t understand why someone would say about a culture and be personally offended.

I asked Jessie about this light skin obsession soon after I arrived in the Philippines. She said “I like the color of my skin.” She seemed a little defensive about the question so I let her know that I did too. That I was curious because of what I was seeing on television commercials.

There are many commercials on TV about the skin whitening abilities of their products such as lotions. Lotions and cosmetics by the same companies that advertise in the USA. Watching companies from the West advertise on Philippines television was a real eye-opener for me.

It told me that these companies will do as much to sell their products as they can get away with. I couldn’t believe some of the claims I was hearing. They seemed absurd to me then and they still do.

Today I learned that the Philippines FDA is issuing a warning about people using a drug designed for the treatment of cancer to whiten their skin.  The drug is called glutathione. This drug can cause kidney failure and blood poisoning that leads to death!  The FDA says that they have had reports of people becoming ill from the use of it and they suspect that medical professionals are using the drug for this purpose and that it is illegal to do so.

Light Skin and Thin Noises Often Equal Beauty In Filipino Culture

I have had Filipina comment on my thin nose and my light skin. One little cutie would just go on and on about my thin nose and light skin. She couldn’t speak very much English but she managed to get her point made. She’d stick out her finger just to touch my hands so she could touch white skin. She sometimes lives in the compound where I live. I had learned the word for dark through her but now I have forgot it.

As an experiment just now, I searched the net for “Filipina beauty queen.”  Sure enough, they all hadFilipina Beauty Queen light skin. Some noses might be a little bigger than others.  They all looked just fine to me! They would look just as fine if they had dark skin. It is a Filipino culture obsession, it is not mine.

Many Filipina have a golden brown color to their skin and I love that color. Tiny women are just hot to me. Oh there I go again, some Filipino is going to be angry with me because I think the women in the Philippines are hot.  Well, I do think Filipinas are beautiful on the outside and if you get to know them most are the most loving creatures on earth.

And you know what is even nicer about it, many of these beautiful and adoring women are actually interested in us older guys. We wouldn’t have a chance with such beautiful women in the USA. Well 95% of them anyway.  Well, unless you have money.

Awww, he said it, Filipina are all about the money. First, that is not completely true. Is money or a better life for themselves often at the root of the attraction?  Honestly, I think it usually is. But that is the root of it and not the tree of affection and love that springs up and makes itself available for us to see. These ladies usually do really love their guy. That is true if they are pinoy, white or Martians.  I don’t think the same is true in the USA.  There it isn’t just the root its the entire tree. I do know of Filipina that actually support their foreign boyfriends. No it is not all about the money. And this money motivation is limited to Filipino culture, it is true all over the world. The only difference is that in a poor nation, it takes less money to improve the life of a Filipina and thus it is easier to be “rich” in the Philippines especially in the eyes of Filipina.

I have seen critism on my blog from pinoy that objected to my frankly talking of one of the benefits of living in the Philippines is the low cost of living and the beautiful Filipina that we could actually have some hope of attracting. I started to reply on one such blog to ask, do they prefer ugly women and higher cost of living? I decided not to do so.

Now while these things are present in Filipino culture that doesn’t give you a free ride. If you open your  mouth and say the wrong things you’ll turn that Filipina off faster than a light going out with the flick of a switch. It is very easy to do that if you have no understanding of Filipino culture. Saying the same kinds of things you might say in the West to flatter a girl could end up insulting her here.

Filipino culture amount the upper class is another story, upper class women will make it a point to make sure you know that you don’t even exist. I’ve seen it many times. They often will avoid eye contact with you. I’ve read a good deal on this subject and there are often intense pressures on them from family  about who they can date and interact with.

The light skin craze seems to be even more obsessive in the upper class Filipino. It is not limited to that though. There is a comment on this blog some place of a pinoy that mentioned that he didn’t find the girl in one of my pictures to be pretty at all. Her skin was too dark and her nose too big. Though he did word it very carefully, as it is common in Filipino culture to be polite, that is what he meant.

I’ll say one last time, though a trait might be common in many people of a country that does not make it true for all. One should never assume a specific person has a certain characteristic just because it is common in the culture.  Filipino culture is diverse and does not apply to an individual but to a group.

If you’d like to read other stories about Filipino culture you can find them at that link.

Now that I have finished up with this article, I think I should go do more exploration of the light skin, thin nosed beauty queen of the Philippines.  You know, just to further educate myself on Filipino culture.

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Filed under: Filipino Culture

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