Phillip MartinNovember 25, 2009 06:25Updated May 30, 2010 12:14
HSINCHU, Taiwan — Walking along a rushing stream in Hsinchu, Hilda Chu balanced an umbrella in one hand and textbooks in the other. Her skin was ghostly white. “I try hard to make my skin white,” said Chu, 18, a student at National Tsing Hua University. “If my skin is lighter, I will be happier because I think I look good. It makes my emotion better, yes.”
She's hardly alone. Asians spend an estimated $18 billion a year to appear pale.