Monday, January 31, 2011

Will Miss #282 - arm stockings

I have been asked on occasion to speculate about the motivations behind certain cultural differences between Japan and other countries. One of the questions I've been asked is why the Japanese value white skin so much. The usual answer I get from Japanese people is that they think it is more beautiful than darker skin tones. They say no more than that. I've heard many foreign people speculate that brown or tanned skin is associated with working the fields and paleness is the product of a life of privilege and leisure. I can't say if this is true or not, but I can say that the battle to avoid a "farmer's tan" is being waged with the aid of "arm stockings". Apparently, parasols alone aren't protection enough for the extremities.

I'll miss seeing women who are so focused on keeping their arms white that they'll wear long socks on their arms in the stifling hot summer.