||The standards of beauty always change in every generation in Taiwan, but there is only one standard still has strong impact on people, that is:” having white complexion”. People say: “A white complexion is powerful enough to hide seven faults.” The reason of “whitening” is important because of the different powers which compete with each other to decide the meaning behind the discourse of “whitening”. |
The concept of “Whitening” is from the promotion of beauty industry. What’s more, this concept also made a strong impact through the media on people who live in Taiwan. Thus, to understand how the media delivery the “whitening” concept is very important, especially through the most important media--- Internet in this generation.
The main purpose of this research is to find out the process of developing the discourse of “whitening” within the on-line Beauty Salon community and the context behind the discourse in Taiwan. Another purpose is to seek out the minority discourse which seldom appear within the mass media and also provide the ability of reflectivity thinking.
The main structure of this research base on the critical concept of “Knowledge/ Power” from the post-modern scholars: Gramsci, Foucault and the post-colonialism scholar---Said to discuss how the “whitening” discourse is developed by the “center”(ex. doctor, expert and business ) and “margin”(ex.net pal)within the on-line beauty community.
This research choose qualitative research method to do the context analysis in the most popular on-line community which is also the biggest BBS in Taiwan---“PTT ” and choose “Beauty Salon” community within PTT as the research field. The results show that the “Whitening ” discourse is a knowledge system within “Beauty Salon” community and developed by the hierarchy relationship form doctors, skin-care experts, cosmetic businesses and cosmetic sales. What’s more, the role of “black skin” is “the other” and has the inferiority within this knowledge system of whitening discourse. And the voice of supporting black skin also disappeared within Beauty Salon community.
To compare with Beauty Salon community, there was another temporary skin-care on-line discussion bard founded by YAHOO in March 2008. And it has less limit and more open to express their opinions. This research found that there is the voice of supporting black skin appearing within this field and also using the strategy of different mimicry to “write back” the discourse developed by majority.
This research found that if there are only few powers to develop the discourse, the discourse will become one-dimension and hardly to see the different other opinion against the mainstream or the “center” opinion. This also tells us that the limit of structure from the oligopoly powers in the Internet will expropriate people’s chance and freedom to choose and contact the different voices, and this situation is worthy to reflect.