Why has the representation of ‘fair skin’ for South Asian women been seen as a beauty ideal and has the influence of westernisation impacted this?

Wimalasuriya, Sabrina (2011) Why has the representation of ‘fair skin’ for South Asian women been seen as a beauty ideal and has the influence of westernisation impacted this? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Underlining ideologies of ‘fair skin’ have been a living formation for women in Asia for many centuries. Whiter or lighter skin has become a prestige look for women in countries like India, Japan and Korea. Specifically looking at South-Asian women in India and Asians in Britain, the definition on beauty is apparent that ‘whiter is better’. This investigation will reveal how this beauty ideal was created, looking at historical content from South-Asian traditions. Historically ‘whiteness’ has affected South-Asian women in their status, marriage and job prospects, although in Britain the concept of skin colour is not heavily considered an issue compared to India. However it is apparent through representations in South Asian media within the U.K such as magazines, films, soap operas and television that the ‘white’ beauty ideal is visually practised. It can be said that women can feel inferior to beauty representations shown in the media, yet on the other hand, the issues some women have with self-esteem, body image and potentially body modification; cannot be blamed on media representations, as the media (specific to South-Asian societies) have been created to ultimately give a true representation on that society, but we question if this is the case and do South-Asian women feel a need to conform into what they see in the media.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2012 09:51
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:58
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/7006

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