The Ideal & The Desirable: What China’s Beauty Ads convey

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I chose these two advertisements above because each represent qualities that show up the most when looking at beauty trends in China.From beauty products, to hair styles, China brings a lot of Western trends into their culture. However, how come certain trends  translate while others do not? For instance, you see the huge desire for larger eyes in China. So much so that eyelid surgery is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedure in China. Why does that trend get picked up, while say, the Western obsession with self-tanner does not? These are the big questions that we were able to examine, review, and ultimately answer.

good questions raised

“White Plus Renew” & “Lightening”: Both of these photos have the messages “lighting” and “white plus renew”. Both models display very pale almost white skin. The emphasizes on white skin dates back to when poor people would work in the fields and as a result get dark skin. Versus wealthier people who wouldn’t work would remain far skinned and pale. This “white” skin is a representation of high class and good social standing. This demonstrates the class differences and issues that exists in China.

The Zipper: The zipper creates a contrast between the desirable and the undesirable. The left shows a tan, spotty face, and the zipper revealing a pale, soft, and white face. This is showing that with the face cream you can achieve an even, white tone on your face. This zipper is very significant because it shows that Chinese beauty culture sees the tan face with freckles as undesirable and thus, not attracting. It shows the pale white face that the zipper, thus the cream, creates and reveals. The most interesting part of this image is that in Western culture, the more desirable face on that ad with the zipper would be the tan face with the freckles

The Natural, Clean, Youthful Look: In both images, the advertisement highlights the female faces that look very youthful with almost no additional makeup on. This “natural” look is a significant trend in China and is clear in the majority of advertisements that you will see. The significance of having this trend present in both images is so that the consumer will purchase the product (why). In addition, that fact further proves that it is the ideal look for a Chinese woman to possess. It begs the question of how did this come to be? It could represent what men in China hope to see in their women. This is also a signficant difference between China and Western culture. Western culture’s advertisement’s usually consistent of models will very heavy makeup. It looks natural but its is articifical natural by using this product.

These three connotations as well as their denotations demonstrate a whole lot about China’s ideal beauty. Furthermore, they show a lot about what the consumer is looking for and perhaps what male wants in a female’s looks.

return to the questions that you have raised at the beginning and see if you have offered explanation/response