[In the news] The Pinay in the whiteness, in the shadows -GMA News

The Pinay in the whiteness, in the shadows
by Katrina Stuart Santiago, GMA News
February 27, 2012

There is nothing right, nothing right at all, about the “FHM Philippines” March issue cover. And it’s easy to think: but what do you expect? it’s a men’s magazine!

Well I expect some sensitivity, if not some intelligence, thank you very much. I expect that a magazine like “FHM” which lives off – excuse me, makes money out of – women’s bodies would at the very least know where it must draw the line. One might say that the line was drawn at the fact of women’s bodies being sold, but that’s an argument that right now is beside the point.

Right now we grant the existence of an industry of men’s magazines across the world, its objectification of the woman’s body its bread and butter. Right now we grant that having a transnational brand that is “For Him Magazine” means a whole slew of limitations for its local franchise which, if one has ever leafed through enough of its issues, would easily be about skimpily clad women on the cover, sex advice, and conversations with women where they all just come off ditzier than they might be, or just dumb and dumber.

Right now we grant that the reason a magazine like “FHM” even survives On these shores is the fact that even the smarter women, ones who are in the business of show, models and actresses alike, cannot and will not take a stand against it. We grant that more than having a market of Pinoy males who will buy magazines like this, there is a market of Pinoy women who are just so willing to be objectified in this manner, maybe finding some power in it? Maybe just in need of that big break that apparently now depends on being the sexual fantasy of plenty-a-Pinoy-male.

But to layer that fantasy with skin color and race, to imagine the fantasy to be about a white-skinned cover girl stepping into the light and out of the shadows represented by dark-skinned girls? That is a clear line being crossed. It’s a line that’s about taste on the most superficial level, which fundamentally can only fall within the bigger discourses of skin color and discrimination, racism and white supremacist ideology. That “FHM” cover reveals how all of these are inextricably tied, as it shines a light on how we have deluded ourselves into thinking otherwise, and have allowed whiteness to take over the images of being Pinay with nary a fight.

Read full article @ www.gmanetwork.com

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