Who was that Masked Woman?

“Black is Beautiful

White is Wonderful,

Grey is Nice Too”,

A sign in my cousin’s woman’s clothing store in the 1960′s

In Vietnam, people think that White is Beautiful.  When I first saw young women wearing facemasks while working, motorbiking, or just walking down the street, I thought: Ah! Just like China and Japan where people protect themselves from air pollution.  I was wrong.

In Vietnamese culture, pale, fair skin is considered beautiful.  The “whiter” you are, the more beautiful you are.  This also is one reason that women wear those conical hats while out in the fields.  It keeps the sun off their faces.  Even in the hottest time of the year they will wear gloves to cover their hands and arms – all in the name of beauty

In Vietnam, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder – No different than most other places around the world.