Thai beauty ad: ‘Just being white, you will win’

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Videos on 2016-01-09 01:39Z by Steven

Thai beauty ad: ‘Just being white, you will win’

Cable News Network (CNN)

Wilfred Chan

(CNN)—It’s hard to imagine anything more blatant than this.

A new Thai beauty ad claiming white skin is the key to success has unleashed a storm of criticism in Thailand, especially online, where people complain the ad perpetuates damaging, racist ideas.

“Just being white, you will win,” says Cris Horwang, a smiling pale-skinned actress, in the 50-second spot by Seoul Secret, a Thai beauty company.

Without the advertised pill, “the whiteness I have invested in, will just vanish,” she warns.

On screen, the actress’ expression turns despondent as her skin is digitally altered to turn black.

Horwang promises that the product, called Snowz, “will help you not to return to being dark.”

“Eternally white, I am confident,” she adds.

On Friday evening, Seoul Secret pulled the video from its online platforms and issued a statement.

“(We) would like to apologize for the mistake and claim full responsibility for this incident. Our company did not have any intention to convey discriminatory or racist messages,” it said.

“What we intended to convey was that self-improvement in terms of personality, appearance, skills, and professionality (sic) is crucial.”…

Read the entire article and view the ad here.

[Note from Steven F. Riley: See the article, “Skin Bleaching and Global White Supremacy: By Way of Introduction.”]

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Baby Gammy and the Sexual Politics of Mixed Race Asians

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Law, Media Archive on 2015-02-28 02:29Z by Steven

Baby Gammy and the Sexual Politics of Mixed Race Asians

Multiracial Asian Families: thinking about race, families, children, and the intersection of mixed ID/Asian

Sharon H. Chang

A couple years ago young Thai mother Pattaramon Chanbua agreed to be a surrogate for Australian couple David and Wendy Farnell. It was a disaster.

Last week Thailand legally banned commercial surrogacy, which is now a criminal offense.

The law comes after many abusive surrogacy arrangements exploiting Thai women over the years. But the Chanbua-Farnell surrogacy in particular expedited legislation after snowballing into an international scandal that garnered the attention of the world and spotlighted inescapably the controversial ethics and regulation (or lack thereof) of global surrogacy. Chanbua’s 2013 fertility treatment in Thailand was successful and she carried mixed race Asian/white twins Gammy and Pipah to delivery for the Farnells by the end of the year. But while Pipah was born healthy and typically developing, Gammy was born with Down’s Syndrome and severe health challenges. Shortly thereafter he was left behind with Chanbua when his Australian parents took his sister back to Australia without him. Gammy’s story was internationally publicized summer 2014 when Chanbua, aided by fundraisers, worked to crowdsource financing for his expensive medical care online. The tragic story coupled with a plethora of images of surrogate mom and left-behind infant living with disability exploded across the media, touching the shocked hearts of millions…

…Consider also, very importantly, that “who gets left with the consequences” is not just Asian diasporic women but a vulnerable population arising from the exploitation of Asian diasporic women — mixed race Asian diasporic children. It is of natural consequence that multiracial offspring would result from western dominance over Asian female bodies. Such children have historically often been the carnage left behind, “the casualties of war,” an afterthought quickly unremembered, swept under the rug and discarded. What is happening to Baby Gammy has happened before and keeps happening because global systems of sexual-political dominance are still in place. As I just wrote about last week thousands of Asian/white children have been abandoned throughout time by their white fathers; left impoverished, homeless, sick, sometimes crippled, susceptible to discrimination…

Read the entire article here.

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Ethnic Identity Problems and Prospects for the Twenty-first Century – Fourth Edition

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, South Africa, United States on 2013-07-13 22:27Z by Steven

Ethnic Identity Problems and Prospects for the Twenty-first Century – Fourth Edition

AltaMira Press
June 2006
436 pages
7 x 9 1/4
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-7591-0972-8
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-7591-0973-5

Edited by:

Lola Romanucci-Ross, Professor Emerita of Family and Preventive Medicine
University of California, San Diego

De George A. Vos (1922-2010), Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley

Takeyuki Tsuda, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Arizona State University

In this thoroughly revised fourth edition, with ten new chapters, the editors provide thought-provoking discussions on the importance of ethnicity in different cultural and social contexts. The authors focus especially on changing ethnic and national identities, on migration and ethnic minorities, on ethnic ascription versus self-definitions, and on shifting ethnic identities and political control. The international group of scholars examines ethnic identities, conflicts and accommodations around the globe, in Africa (including Zaire and South Africa), Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, the United States, Thailand, and the former Yugoslavia. It will serve as an excellent text for courses in race & ethnic relations, and anthropology and ethnic studies.

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Rice Outside the Paddy: The Form and Function of Hybridity in a Thai Novel

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2012-02-12 21:14Z by Steven

Rice Outside the Paddy: The Form and Function of Hybridity in a Thai Novel

Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
Volume 11, Number 1 (1997)
pages 51-78

Jan R. Weisman

This paper examines some of the problematic issues of racial hybridity in contemporary Thailand through an analysis of the fictional portrayal of Thai hybrid individuals in the archetypical story, Khao Nok Na. I argue that the modern Thai treatment of hybridity—both fictional and real—privileges some forms over others as it 1) reflects Thai Buddhist concepts of the phenotypical expression of accumulated religious merit, 2) reflects and creates audience desire and anxiety as it reminds the nation of its actual, perceived, or feared loss of control over the course of its development and globalization, and 3) insists on Thai control of its various images as a means of  alleviating the anxieties so created.


Thai popular conceptions of hybridity—in particular, the genetic hybridity expressed in individuals of mixed Thai-Western ancestry—have undergone significant changes in recent decades. Eurasians occupied a neutral social category for much of Thai history. Their numbers were small; their parents were of high socioeconomic status; and their Thai lineage was usually a paternal connection. This situation changed dramatically with the influx of American military personnel into Thailand during the Vietnam War. Though the Thai government does not maintain records on the subject, it is estimated that as many as 7,000 Amerasian children…

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Beautiful beasts: Ambivalence and distinction in the gender identity negotiations of multiracialised women of Thai descent

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Women on 2009-09-24 04:29Z by Steven

Beautiful beasts: Ambivalence and distinction in the gender identity negotiations of multiracialised women of Thai descent

Women’s Studies International Forum
Volume 30, Issue 5 (September-October 2007)
Pages 391-403
DOI: 10.1016/j.wsif.2007.07.003

Jin Haritaworn, Assistant Professor in Gender, Race and Environment at the Faculty of Environmental Studies
York University, Canada

This qualitative analysis of interviews with women of Thai and non-Thai parentage throws into question the current celebration of Eur/asianness and multiraciality.  The study describes multiracialisation as an ambivalent and differential process of categorisation which mobilises essentialist ideas of ‘stock’ and ‘breeding’.  A far cry from historical notions of ‘mixed-race degeneracy’, interviewees emerged from this process the ‘best of both worlds’. However, beside the ‘good mix’ there ran the spectre of the ‘bad mix’, and some had more access to celebratory identities than others. Celebratory notions of Eur/asian femininity were further qualified by the competing discourse of the ‘Thai prostitute’.  The precariousness with which interviewees could access normative ideals of desirability was especially visible in narratives of masculinity, non-white parentage, gender variance and childhood.  The article ends by advocating, in the place of a power-evasive celebration, challenges to the multiple overlapping power relations which underlie all acts of evaluation.

Read or purchase the article here.

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