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To Tan or Not to Tan

Exploring the beauty standards of different cultures

· Taiwan,United States,Culture

I always wonder what makes a culture decide it's beauty standards. Or what makes them change throughout time.

One difference I've never gotten used to here is the opinion of skin care products and their goals. Walk into a cosmetic store in America and you see shelf after shelf of bronzers, creams, tan enhancing suntan lotion, sprays, I don't even know what else. Everyone wants that healthy sun-kissed look. We have entire salons dedicated to the tan.

Here though, the sun isn't necessarily your friend. Usually I see shelves full of whitening creams and masks. I usually walk down the street seeing loads of people using umbrellas to avoid the rays. Once and a while I'll have someone (usually the older generation) come up and poke my arm, muttering the words "beautiful" "pretty." Nobody really goes to the beach just to lay around and soak up the sun.

I can't say any idea of "perfect" beauty is really for the best, they all have their flaws, the biggest being trying to put everyone in the same box. It does make me wonder though, who decided these and how they catch on.