It is fairly easy to differentiate Asian students who have recently come to the US from American-born Asians by their skin tone. People may say “no way, they all have beige skin.” But the truth is that girls who have just come from Asia tend to have ivory skin while girls who are born and raised in California have tanned skin.
I have to say, girls in Southern California, no matter what their original skin color is, are crazy about getting tanned. If you have heard the pop song by Katy Perry called “California Gurls,” she sings about how desirable California girls are with their “sun-kissed skin” and lives lived on the beach in bikinis.
It is indeed a revolution on the ideas that I have held for 23 years about beauty. Should I change my aesthetic taste a little bit and even try sun-kissed skin on myself?
It may not be a bad idea. The shared goal of international students studying in America is to harmonize western and eastern minds inside, so why don’t we try to get changed on the outside as well? If how you feel on the inside really is influenced by how you look on the outside, maybe we can feel better about adapting to the US if we get sun-tanned skin like the California girls.
Besides, let’s look at skin color from a practical perspective. Even if you want to preserve a light skin tone, keeping fair and light skin in Southern California is not easy.
If I hold an umbrella or wear a large hat to block the sunshine, like I would in China, people here will think something is wrong with me. So there is actually no way to block sunshine here, except for putting on sunglasses, which isn’t helpful for maintaining light skin color. You can definitely apply sunscreen, but we all know that it is more for the prevention of sunburn than for protecting fair skin.
Also, Southern California lacks cosmetics designed for Asian skin. The colors of foundation or powder offered by the brands that you find on the first floor of a department store, like Bobbi Brown, MAC, or Bare Essentials, are either too yellow or too brown. They are designed for Caucasians who desire a naturally tanned skin tone. Traditionally, what we Asian girls need is something that can create a fair and light coverage with a refined texture for our poreless skin – if we’re keeping the skin tone considered beautiful from the conventional Asian viewpoint, that is.
Changes happen all the time and everywhere, why don’t we start with trying out sun-kissed skin like Katy Perry suggests (maybe not “bikini on top” at first)? It might unconsciously turn us into California girls, with that perfect harmony of eastern and western mindsets, and ideals of beauty.