Brown is beautiful; Binay slams cosmetics firms over whiteners
By Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—“Love your color,” said Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay. “Don’t use whitening products.”
Binay issued the statement on Friday, criticizing cosmetics firms for allegedly distorting the Filipino’s concept of beauty.
The statement came after the Bureau of Food and Drugs ordered the banning of China-made whitening products found to contain high levels of mercury and steroids.
“We are brown and we should be proud [of it],” said Binay, United Opposition’s (UNO) vice presidential candidate, who is quite happy with his dark complexion.
When he was still eyeing the presidency, Binay was teased that if he won, he would become the “first Philippine black president,” a snide quip in reference to President Barack Obama, the first US African-American president.
In his provincial sorties, Binay would always greet people in the crowd who had the same dark hue. “I call them my kasins, short for kasing-itim (just as dark),” he said.
Before leaving for Singapore to attend the three-day Asia-Pacific Boy Scouts Meeting, of which he is chair, Binay said beauty-product firms were “distorting the concept of beauty by pushing the use of whitening and other cosmetic products.”
While Caucasians would flock to our beaches to get a tan, he said, many Filipinos would use whitening products hoping to get a lighter complexion.
“The idea being peddled [in advertisements] is that we are not beautiful because we are not fair-skinned. That is not true,” the opposition leader said.
Matter of choice
Cosmetics firms had been selling their products by “subliminally promoting distaste” for our natural brown complexion, Binay said.
“Unfortunately, those who cannot afford the high-end [whitening] products resort to using inferior substitutes which contain toxic substances,” he added.
Binay, however, said that lightening one’s complexion was a personal choice.
“I respect those who aspire for lighter skin. But again, they should be careful about the products they use,” he said.