Welcome to my world…
All right ladies and gentleman, lets get into it. For the past few days, I have been in the books, in project meetings, and making phone calls. Nothing about that list is blog worthy. But yesterday, my school prepared what they called a Food Festival where the students, staff, and faculty had the opportunity to make Kimbap, which is Korean Sushi. They had gloves, the ingredients, bamboo thingy to make the rolls, oh and plenty of cameras. I was surprisingly good at it, check out my face. Unfortunately it was the nastiest thing I ate… that day. The rice was kinda tangy, the seaweed was kinda tangy, the pickled radish was tangy, the whole thing was mess. Which really upset me, because I hate wasting food I make, I definitely put it the trash. Honesty, all the food that has been served to us at our school has been nasty (I guess nasty cafeteria food is universal), that’s what I get for trying to save a few bucks for lunch. Never again. All is not lost, when I get back home to Hawaii, I will learn how to make it right and teach you guys on my YouTube channel.
Lets fast forward to after classes were done for the day. Background information: I am (WAS) a recovering “Product Junkie”. Emmanuel Webster’s dictionary defines a product junkie as someone who loves and purchases products even if they do not need them. They collect products because they smell nice, cute packaging, trendy, on sale or seek out free samples. Currently at home I have boxes and bags, and a sink full of beauty products, which is a shame because I only use 3 products daily (Dr. Bronner’s Soap, Shea butter, Vera Wang Princess Perfume). Earlier this year I told my best friend that I was no longer going to buy beauty products for the year, because my habit is a waste of money and space in my home.
Now lets get back to story, I have learned that beauty in the Asian community is extremely important. How you look on the outside is far more important then how you are on the inside. With that said, there are about 50 million beauty shops outside my dorm, and I have been purchasing new items everyday, check out the nail polishes I almost bought (I settled for a purple color, but I plan on picking up the rest). So yesterday, we walk into a beauty shop named Etude, and I purchased some Essence masks. After paying for my items the lady gives her sale pitch in Korean of course, and I am nodding my head like I understand, and she starts dropping free samples in my bag. So each item that she is drops in my bag she explains, but I still don’t understand. So we leave the shop, go to more beauty shops and finally make our way home.
Later that night, I spread out my new products on my bed, giggling like idiot gawking at the glamorousness that is before me, until I peeped the samples that the lady at Etude gave me. She has had given me a “Whitening Essence Mask”, and “Whitening Moisturizing Cream”. I am immediately shocked then angry. Now, I know in many Asian cultures (just like EVERY culture) lighter skin is considered more beautiful. I live in Hawaii so I have seen the great lengths Asian women go through to dodge the sun. BUT I am not Asian. What makes this lady think, I have traveled all the way to South Korea in search for the perfect skin whitening product. Seeing these products in my hands brought forth a whole bunch of negative emotions. God has blessed me with the skin color I am suppose to be, and no cream, lotion, cleanser or procedure will take that away from me. When I was younger, I have had 2 experiences skin lightening products. The first time I was in middle school, and my sister and I had terrible acne. So my mother invested in Proactiv products. After a week or so of using it, my father looks at us and says you guys look lighter. Come to find out, it was the cleanser, toner, and lotion that “brighten” our skin. My father ran in the bathroom and threw the acne medicine in the trash and said “you are black and beautiful don’t you use that no more.” Second time, happened when I was in high school, still suffering from acne, but this time around I had really bad acne scars and my friend had “scar fading” cream. So every weekend I would spend the night at her house and spot treat my face with this product. After a while, I got tired of spot treating my face (because I didn’t see any results) and started rubbing the product all over my face. And what was happening was my whole face was getting lighter at a faster rate then my scars. I assumed the product was not working, until one day I was at school and one of my home boys, looks at me with an unhappy face and says “Vicky, you’ve gotten lighter”. Lucky for me my face returned back to normal in about a month or so, but after that experience I have done my best to stay away from all skin lightening/whitening/brightening products let alone have them in my presence. Has this experienced turned me off from shopping at these places?… NOPE, I know now to decline free samples.