Greetings!

We designed this site in order to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away and in order to communicate with other adoptive families from around the world.

When we first started researching this wonderful way to become a family we read everything we could get our hands on. Even though there are a lot of great books out there, nothing was as informative or touching as the blogs we found by adoptees, biological parents, and adoptive families. So we are writing this blog now in hopes of returning the favor. We hope that if you are dear to us you will enjoy keeping up with our adventures. If you are someone out there involved in a part of the adoption triad we hope you will find information and comfort here and provide us with some of your own!

If you would like to get in touch with us we can be reached at: becomingafamily@gmail.com
Feel free to stop by anytime. We're happy to share our family story.

Take care,
Brian and Rosemary

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oriental Princess


Jet lag really hit me hard this time. I guess that's a sign of getting older. When I first started going back and forth from Thailand I was 21 and just bounced back like rubber as soon as I got off the plane. We've had a busy work and personal week as well so that has slowed me down quite a bit too. I've also managed to loose our USB cable so I can't share any of my fun pictures from the trip until the new one arrives.

For a while I couldn't even think of a place to start talking about 2 weeks in Thailand. I'm sure you can all understand when I say, "There's just too much to say." However, I'm going to try to remember everything and describe it as best I can. One of the most interesting little moments from this trip occurred on the last day we were in Bangkok. I was out shopping on my own and I finally found an "Oriental Princess" store! For those of you who have never heard of this brand, it may quite possibly be the world's best skin care and makeup. It is a Thai owned and operated company, which produces all natural products from locally grown herbs and vegetation. As far as I know there aren't any stores outside of Thailand. However, I think it may now be possible to order it on the website. I'm not sure about that yet so don't hold me to it.

Their website is a fun find though especially if you're into girly-girl stuff. They even have an English setting which makes it easily navigable. The small differences really make it a cultural delight. They have a seasonal makeup package but the seasons are: "Rain, Winter, Summer". All of the models are truly gorgeous Thai women which will make you think "What convent can I pre-enroll my daughter in?". Since it's a cosmetics company the women are, of course, wearing the most up-to-the-moment hair, clothes, and make-up trends in Thailand so that's kind of fun to check out. They also have a section where you can watch a bunch of their television advertisements. Again, I just think it's a kind of cool way to get a glimpse inside Thai culture, trends and feminism and femininity.

Here's the real point of my story though. I was wandering around the lovely, air conditioned, mint green store searching for my favorite moisturizer and I suddenly thought, "How come I never buy cosmetics here?" Despite the fact that they have a wide variety of colors and I have loved each of my purchases, all I have ever purchased are skin care products. I started to really think about the oddness of that as I looked at the delicious smelling body sprays. I am a fairly confident person and, due to having spent so much time overseas, I'm also pretty familiar with the experience of being a minority. However, I don't think I have ever been aware, as a consumer, of experiencing marketing for "the other" before.

Every picture in the store was of a beautiful asian woman wearing vibrant colors on her healthy, glowing skin. Meanwhile, I am a slightly chubby, PALE, white girl. All of the other customers were Thai women and the employees, who were modeling Oriental Products, were all Asian as well. Subconsciously, I had decided that this makeup was not right for me. That my face could not really reflect the look of the faces I saw in the ads around me. I toyed with the lipgloss display and allowed myself to feel grateful. Grateful that I had been given this chance to understand, on some small level, how my children may one day feel watching commercials full of white people and attending a predominantly white school. How my daughter might feel buying L'oreal from all white spokemodels. How my son may feel eating Wheaties with a parade of never-ever Asian guys on the box.

I bought skin care, lipstick and eyeshadow. The girl behind the counter said, "This color very beautiful on you." I thanked her profusely. My purchases came with cute little booklets detailing their product line and showing more beautiful Asian models. I will keep buying "Oriental Princess" as long as I can. I want to make sure my kids know that not all products are marketed to white people, nor should they be. I will be more vigilant in searching for reflections of my children's race instead of mine.

- Rosemary

5 comments:

Yoli said...

I am so glad to hear you say this, you are one of the few who gets it.

Jen and Jeff said...

Very good post, Rosemary! Well said. I am eager to look that one up to...for me and for Ruby!

blackbelt_oma said...

Hi there! Thank you so much for this post. Thank you for "getting it." Thank you thank you thank you.

Mireille said...

Slowly I find more and more people are getting this, and some products already are using more and more colored people in their advertising. So at least we are on the right track. But more will be better, great post Rosemary!

Lora said...

thank you for this post. I used to buy higher end cosmetics, like Chanel and Dior. I LOVE their stuff (and I love a good splurge from time to time), but noticed that the darkest person on their ad campaign was Nicole Kidman. Yeah...
She's practically an albino.

I have switched to MAC for the stuff that I don't buy in Maybelline and Cover Girl, and the sole reason is the whole whiteness thing.

Thank you for this post!