...It's disheartening, almost chilling to think that Filipinas (Filipino women) think that the end-all of being "perfectly beautiful" comes from the chemical ingredient called "glutathione." Never heard of it? Me neither until early this year when a friend of mine based in L.A. came back from a Philippine vacation telling me, " Oh, I hardly recognize most of my friends there....they all have white skin you'd think they were just pulled out alive  from caskets." Also, I heard they ingest gluthathione to magically transform their brown color into the "color of no color".  Women as young as 14 take part in the whitening bandwagon.

But that's not it. Some Filipino women inject (invasive treatment) themselves with glutathione because ingestion takes a little more time to see the results. They clamor for  instant whitening. So everywhere you go here, images of the ideal Filipino beauty discarding the color they were born and trying to acquire the skin color other nationalities possess is very apparent. Department stores and supermarkets' shelves are filled with whitening soaps and lotions. Actually, only 10 % are non-whitening and most of them are germicidal, the rest are marketed to whitening-crazed people.

Billboards, TV commercials, and print ads, of course depict the state of beauty phenomenon Filipinos yearn for. Salons and spas include skin whitening in their services.  I am often pitched by salespeople to whiten my skin and I would respond by saying "No, thanks , I'm happy with my color."

In the US, the tanning craze doesn't match up with the white-mania in the Philippines. Of course, there are tanning beds and tanning sprays and lotions, but women don't alter their skin color completely for the rest of their lives. It's a seasonal trend, especially in the summer, when American women want to show more skin and display their "golden luxe, fabulous color," trying to convey the message of "a luxurious lifestyle."  And in America, the African-Americans don't try to change their skincolor though their color is labeled "black." I've never heard of a black person in America wanting to change skincolor through gluthathione or any whitening ingredients or products. Despite being known as the most "discriminated-racially-stereotyped" race, blacks are not known for changing their skintone.

Yeah, the obsession for lighter whiter skin is regarded in the same way as "cosmetic surgery" in which women go under the knife to attain beauty. However, medically altering physical features in America are limited to a few and not a widespread national fixation. In a poor nation like the Philippines, the whitening madness has caught even the cash-strapped populace. It's so funny that in America, tan color signifies "luxury" but in this country, our own tan color is looked down  by our own people as " the color of the destitute."

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