Skin lightening is a HUGE thing is Asia — see Fair and Lovely — and it has less to do with self-love and more to do with actual material and social benefits & pressure.
I work in the media and performance realm and have done a fair bit of work that involves my appearance. I am way too “dark-skinned” to be considered for any kind of forward-facing media role in Malaysia, where I come from, or Bangladesh, where my parents come from.
Meanwhile I’ve had a gig on Australian TV, a double-paged spread in an Australian mainstream fashion magazine, and a good amount of success performing in Australia and the US.
Racism is still rife in all of the above places, but it’s interesting that I’ve had better luck being considered for roles in Western White media compared to the media of my “people”.