Thais have slammed a whitening supplements brand over its new racist advert that comes with the appalling slogan “white is winning”.
A one-minute video released yesterday by Seoul Secret on YouTube features local superstar Cris Horwang speaking about how she owes her success in the entertainment industry to having white skin.
“You know something? To get where I am today, the competition was tough,” Cris said, “If I stopped taking care of myself, everything that I worked for, the whiteness I invested in, would be all gone.”
The video then shows another light-skinned model, in the role of a new “It Girl” who would supposedly replace Cris if she didn’t keep whitening her skin.
“The new girl who replaces me may make me stop shining,” Cris says in the advert as her skin turns completely black.
The narrator then joins in with the slogan “White is winning!” before quickly promising that the supplements guarantee white skin within two weeks.
The video, which began to spread on the web last night, has been heavily criticized among Thais, particularly on the popular Pantip forum, for its awful, racist message promoting white skin.
“Sick logic. An attempt to build a white skin obsession. Isn’t this just racist?” the user who started the discussion wrote.
Seoul Secret has not responded to the criticism, but the brand switched off the comments section under the video on YouTube this morning, where it had received a lot of angry criticism.
While Thailand has always been known for its obsession with white skin and the crazy methods people undergo to achieve that look, traditionally perceived as a sign of wealth, Thai society has increasingly developed an acceptance for natural tan skin in recent years.
Last year tan-skin beauty Maeya Nonthawan became a media sensation for being the first darker-skinned woman to win the Miss Thailand World pageant. She was constantly bombarded with requests to discuss her skin color on television.
Last month, “TAN Magazine” the first publication in Thailand that specifically celebrates tan skin and beach culture, was launched, challenging the dominance of the whitening craze era.
However, Seoul Secret is not the first whitening product that has built its brand on racism. Unilever Thailand previously held a white skin pageant for university students to give away scholarships.
Beauty drink Verena L-Gluta Berry Plus also came under fire for an ad that was criticized for being racially insensitive to the African community.