I'm pretty much glad that the literature subjects we have this semester are a great change from the previous ones we had. Not just we discussed about the regular literary elements (y'know, the usual character, theme, setting routine. blehhh), we also discussed what makes the genre.
In Asian Literature, the primary focus is not to study asian written literature but to study what makes them Asian. Discussions get more intellectual as we drop the secondary school routine of analyzing text; into studying and scrutinizing cultural backgrounds. One of them is the Asian Norm.
One part of the discussion has taken me in great interest: the asian beauty. If we look at our own society, the most prominent aspect of one's beauty (women, specifically) is the fairness of one's skin. It depends on how "white" you are. Don't believe me? Try asking someone. Try asking a makcik.
"Wah, cantik anak si anu tu. Kulitnya puuutiiih melepak.....blablablabla and so on".
See? Most of the time it goes like that. Fair skin seems like number one the TOP 5 what-u-shd-hv-to-be-called-pretty criteria. Why? I'm not sure but it can be attributed to mass media (again). Commercials, especially. Take that Fair and Lovely commercial per se. A girl with a slightly dark skin was sitting behind a ticket counter and this "gorgeous" dude didn't notice her. Until.....she used the cream and became fair. The shallow son of a basket. This a total counter-situation to our western counterparts. Westerners perceives the tanned to be hotter than the usual pale ones, which explains why they love sunbathing naked. And the tanning booth. And the tanning coat spray thing.
Yes, you might say "Beauty is just skin deep". It seems that one's looks can function as an initiating mechanism for infatuation. Most "interactions" starts with infatuation whether you like or not which worries me because of my puny interest in cosmetics and fashion. Too bad, I could only care less. The important part is just to stay clean and smell fresh.
Back to topic, what we think and how we behave seems to be influenced by subliminal messages embedded into the things we see in television, magazines, and the people around us. In such arguments on an abstract entity that is beauty, it would be favourable to take the easy way out by saying "beautiful depends on who is looking at who".
Whats my idea of beauty? What do I think for fair skins?
Yeah, fair skin is nice but I prefer the ones who are slightly dark. Its a personal taste, yes.
What's your idea of beauty?