This Pepsi advertisement with Beyonce has sparked up some conversation among some of my black friends here in Thailand and apparently other people have criticized it as well as mentioned in an article from Bangkok Post (where I got the photo from). The advertisement of the “whitened” Beyonce are all over Bangkok Sky Train stations.
I believe it’s an issue here because having “pink white skin” (one of my Thai friends told me this term) is generally the preferred skin to have in Thailand. It’s rooted on the basis that darker skinned Thais work outside where as white skinned Thais work or don’t work inside. This is still such an important part of their society that you will see people working outside on a 95 degree day with a turtle neck, hat, and face mask; this is not as much to protect themselves from sun damage but more so to not become “dam” or dark. I have heard co-workers mention being upset about getting a tan on the beach and happy about it clearing up. Where as in the US people show off their tans as a badge of hey I just went on vacation.
So as a person of African decent here in Thailand you are constantly bombarded with “whitening” advertisements: spas for skin whitening, lotion with whitening, deodorant with whitening, face wash with whitening, nipple whitening cream, even anal whitening cream. So, as you can imagine some Black women (including me) in Thailand can be particularly aware of these things when you have to search for lotion without whitening products in it, because hey there is nothing wrong with my brown skin.
So my question are, is this advertisement in the USA and has it sparked the same conversation? What’s your opinion?
Side note.. Tanned and brown skin Thai people you are beautiful.