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There are two aspects of Racism in China that bother me and although most Chinese may not agree that they are racism, they are at the least - insidious and damaging to China.|
Watch any Chinese TV channel or go into any department store in China to see this for yourself.
I am speaking about the - to me - very strange idea that a Chinese woman, to be considered really beautiful in China, must have as white a face as possible.
One could call this reverse racism but I just call it strange.
Women all over China are spending millions - and that's in USD not RMB - to try and change their natural - and again to me beautiful - skin color.
Meanwhile of course, in the west, women (and men) are all trying to be as brown as possible (suntanning, using coloring) so it isn't a restricted phenomena.
In China though this is getting worse. Companies will hire a less qualified worker if she has a whiter face than a qualified worker, some of the cosmetic factories are using dangerous chemical bleaches (and not just domestic manufactures either - ones from Japan and France are among the biggest offenders in this area), there are also dangerous herbs being used, lasers, and the list goes on. Women without a "white' face are looked down on by other women with a natural skin color and yet - to me anyway but I'm not Chinese - a Chinese woman with a very white face looks sick. In medicine, a skin that looks unnaturally white is cause for concern.
This occurs in Hong Kong as well so it isn't only in Greater China that it happens.
As a point of interest, would one of the Chinese women that have posted a few times post on her views of this?
The other, is racist treatment of Chinese people by Chinese people.
I find it offensive that a foreigner is treated better than a Chinese person in their own country. It used to be that for example a foreigner paid more for certain things but those days are gone and that is not what I meant.
A case in point has already been made about foreign English teachers being paid more than qualified Chinese teachers, I know there are many companies that will pay foreign worker more than an equally or more qualified Chinese worker - and this does not have to be a westerner either. In many factories in South China, workers from Hong Kong, many with lower educations than their counterparts in the company, will be paid more; especially if the factory or company is owned by a Hong Kong or Taiwan company.
I have seen this form of self-racism in my daily life - and regularly. I have seen a highly educated, well-dressed Chinese person go to a 5 star hotel and get treated with terrible service and then seen the same hotel staff fall over themselves to genuflect in front of a foreigner. In fact, it has happened to me and I don't like it.
I've been in a post office for example and the clerk will not smile at a Chinese person (unless a pretty girl with a white face) but if I approach the desk they will smile. Why? Of course I usually smile in such situations anyway but that's not the point.
I know there is a lot of dislike among some groups of Chinese that is not so much about racism as just dislike - some Shanghai people tend to not like Hong Kong people, some Hong Kong people don't like anyone from Greater China, some people in Beijing don't like people from Guangdong Province - and vice-versa; but this is common all over - some of my friends in Houston think people from Austin or Dallas are weird and vice-versa, some people in Vancouver think people in Toronto are too American and vice-versa, but in each of these places they will not mistreat the person because they are from the city with which they have what some call a "friendly rivalry" - but the outright mistreatment of a Chinese person by another Chinese person and then giving a foreigner better treatment - this I don't understand.
Foreigners are NOT more important than Chinese people in their own country and it is unreasonable that some Chinese act as if they are. Especially as this form of treatment has the obvious result of the person being so ill-treated having a natural resentment to the person - and even race - of the person getting the special treatment.
I would again be interested if one of the "real" Chinese posters had an educated comment. Is it the perception that all foreigners have money? (I certainly don't).
What is it?