Skin Deep

Skin whitening is big business in the Philippines – in fact it is pretty difficult to find beauty products such as moisturisers, anti-perspirants and even soaps, that don’t contain bleach or some other whitening agent. All over Manila there are giant billboards expounding the whitening properties of scientific-sounding products like “placental protein” and “glutathione”, all featuring smiling local celebrities with ghostly pale faces. Continue reading “Skin Deep”

Hey Joe!

The trick to good street photography, explained the photojournalist leading the workshop, is in blending in to the point where you aren’t noticed by the people you’re photographing. For you, she said turning to address me directly, this might be quite hard. Continue reading “Hey Joe!”

Identity Shock

Since arriving in the Philippines I have had to come to the surprising conclusion that, for the next six months, I am going to be tall. A veritable giant in fact. It may seem odd that this presents so much of an issue to me, but alongside the other adjustments that I need to make to the local culture in order to settle in it is this challenge to my bodily perception of myself that has come to signify much of the way that “culture shock” when travelling is about the impact that being in a new place has on your own identity. Continue reading “Identity Shock”