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Is Skin Whitening a Racist Concept?


“An advert for whitening pills by supplement brand Seoul Secret has caused outrage worldwide after using the tagline “white is winning”. The advert promotes Snowz pills which Seoul Secret says will lighten skin within two weeks of use.

The video clip, uploaded to YouTube and Facebook yesterday, features 35-year-old Thai model and actress Cris Horwang. In the video she says:

“If I stopped taking care of my body and white complexion, all that I have invested will be gone”.

After she says this, her skin is shown darkening until it is completely black. A second pale model then appears smiling next to Horwang who looks on enviously and adds:

“A newcomer will replace me and turn me into a dark star.”

The ad ends with a narrator using the slogan: “white is winning!””

Originally published at:

On a scale of 1 to 10 how cringe-worthy is this? I’d say, close to 9.5.

Sure, the company removed the clip and apologised: they didn’t mean to convey any discriminatory or racist message. I’d still say they’re at fault, but maybe there’s something I am not getting? Would you call it racist?



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