[KS] [External] Skin whitening in East Asia

Boswell, Marlena Renee mrb4 at indiana.edu
Thu Sep 16 08:28:08 EDT 2021

Lynn Thomas's Beneath the Surface: A Transnational History of Skin Lighteners might help.

Kind regards,


On Sep 16, 2021 12:50 AM, Namhee Lee <namheeleeucla at gmail.com> wrote:
This message was sent from a non-IU address. Please exercise caution when clicking links or opening attachments from external sources.

Dear Koreanstudies list members:

This is an inquiry from a colleague who works at Google regarding the "use of skin lightening in East Asia/or historical beauty norms around skin tone." If you have done research or know someone who has done research on these issues, please kindly respond to this email.

I am currently working on a skin lightening policy proposal to limit the advertising of such products on Google platforms. The impetus for this change is multifactored -- partly due to the presence of toxic ingredients such as mercury and hydroquinone; partly to discriminatory and misleading marketing that suggest the life outcomes of people with lighter skin are superior to those with darker skin; and partly due to historical systemic discrimination against darker skin tones whether due to racial or economic factors. The research that I have conducted illustrates that at least some of these factors is present in every region of the world, but I am also looking to get a more nuanced perspective of East Asian beauty practices regarding skin lightening. Might you know anyone in-region in the medical field (dermatology) or social studies who can speak to the use of skin lightening in the region and/or historical beauty norms around skin tone? I recognize this is a very niche topic, but any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks in advance,

Namhee Lee
Professor of Modern Korean History
Asian Languages & Cultures
Director, Center for Korean Studies
she / her / hers

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://koreanstudies.com/pipermail/koreanstudies_koreanstudies.com/attachments/20210916/75797048/attachment.html>

More information about the Koreanstudies mailing list