It’s no secret that one part of Asian beauty standards involves valuing, even coveting, light skin—a look that’s promised by countless products pledging to brighten one’s pigmentation. The combination of existing biases and commercial exploitation translates into negative attitudes towards dark-skinned people remaining a serious problem throughout many Asian countries. But this new commercial from the Chinese laundry detergent brand Qiadobi still manages to ratchet up the shock value by doing what
The ad begins with a Chinese woman doing the laundry when a black man covered in stains appears on the scene. As the two exchange flirtatious glances, the woman beckons for the man to come closer. Stopping short of embracing one another, the woman suddenly grabs him and forcibly stuffs him into the washing machine with the detergent at hand. Once the wash is complete, the black man emerges transformed: he is no longer a black man but a freshly-scrubbed Asian man.
The woman is visibly delighted with the results.
The ad has since gone viral, and American media companies are joining the chorus of condemnation of the company, not just for the offensive ad but for the entire premise behind it.