Thai Beauty in Advertising and Productions

Written by Patrick Harney
| 5 MIN READ |

Key Content

  • How Thai beauty is promoted
  • Failed Advertisment
  • Thai Beauty Standards

How Thai beauty is promoted

With Roughly 70% of Thailand’s population connected on various social NETWORKS it’s safe to say that advertisement is, indeed, part of the day-to-day life of Thai citizens. So much so that on any day, almost anywhere in Thailand, one can find themselves constantly being bombarded by advertising agencies. Production houses in Thailand put together images of advertisements, and  products collaged together to create a very specific portrait of how the ideal person should be, what products they should take, how she or he should behave, how they should dress like, the tone in which a person speaks to even the shape of her or his nose. In Thai culture, appearance matters, and beautiful appearance matters more. Having light skin in Thai culture is recognized as an indicator of a higher social class; thus making Skin whitening products be able dominate the market and make it almost impossible to find a product that doesn’t have whitening additives to it.

Advertising agencies, together with production houses, advertise to consumers a beauty standard that the majority of Thai people don’t meet. L’Oreal describes the norm of this standard of beauty to translates into “brighten skin, fulfill emotional need, uplift self-esteem, and social status”. For decades, global companies have exploited these ideals into advertising, feature films and music videos. With the use of social media, it reinforces the standard of beauty to have a certain look and that’s how Thai beauty is promoted through productions and advertising.

Failed advertisment

Although skin whitening is popular in Thailand, just recently a Thai advertisement for skin whitening had drawn criticism online for perpetuating racism. This ad showing 2 asian women, one with white fair skin while the other woman, whose skin turns black advertised “Just be white, you will win”. This ad received many negative comments on the video and about the company’s promotion of being white. Seoul secretly ended up pulling the video issuing a statement that they never intended to promote racism but aimed to convey self improvement through physical appearance. 

This cultural influence argues the fact that the beginning of Thai beauty standards relate to social class. Socially higher families placed their values of physical features who were slim, with fair, radiant skin. In contrast with lower classes who had to work hard outdoors all day tend to have a darker complexion,.

Thai beauty standards

This standard of beauty in Thailand has established itself as a reputation of what the image of an ideal Thai woman is supposed to look like. This aesthetic ideal for women to look “healthy” with fair radiant skin and smaller noses have made Thai women believe it will give them better job opportunities in their fields. As this may be so, in Thailand these perceptions of beauty are very specific, where a lot of models you see that pose for production houses, advertising agencies, music videos, feature films, and TV series are perceived to be slim, youthful, fit with long silky hair, pale white skin and big chest sizes. This portrayal of an ideal Thai national woman creates an unrealistic benchmark that can damage younger generations confidence and self worth. 

With Thai directors, advertising agencies and production houses accepting society’s portrayal of the ideal Thai woman, these media groups are just giving the people what they want to see. Cosmetic surgery to reach these ideals features is actually popular in Thai society. This fulfillment to become what is considered to be beautiful in Thai society is not frowned upon but brings refined confidence toward women. It is a confidence that Thai women bring into their careers make them feel like they can achieve their goals and hopefully we will start seeing a new, more ethical and less superficial, Thai beauty , through productions and advertising.

Although the norm has its standards, many Thai women and men included are  starting to challenge the Thai perceptions of health and beauty. This increased awareness will allow women to realize that they are all beautiful and each one of them can maintain a good level of self-esteem in their own ways that deviate from the way it is perceived in advertisements.

If you want to know more about the advertising industry in Thailand then you must read our The Advertising Industry in Thailand article.

Thumbnail Photo by The Honest Company on Unsplash
Promotion of Thai beauty photos on Production Paradise

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