The white ideal: origins?

I've recently had a chat with some friends of mine where we ended up talking about the Filipina desire to have light skin; hence the ubiquity of whitening products. While I do admit that a large part of this desire to be fair probably came from the colonial mindset of Filipinos, I believe that this want has been a part of our culture, and others', for a long time.

For example, our East Asian neighbours also express an ideal of a woman with pale skin. This is probably because the white or pale skin indicated wealth as these women did not need to be out in the sun. Incidentally, current trends seem to promote an "Asian fairness" instead of a Caucasian type.

I believe that in the Philippine's past, further than the Spaniards, the fairer sex of the tribes of the Philippines probably aspired to be - well - fairer than the rest. I do think though, that during that time, they would have found Caucasian skin alien instead of appealing. I wonder if there is any proof that that is so, or otherwise?

Whatever the reason for this preference, I do not believe it will be going away soon.

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