Narcos

White Skin

White Skin is a project about the “cover-up style” worn by the scooter drivers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I was very interested in the original colorful, modern, individuality of each driver. Vietnamese love to keep their white skin and even in the humid tropical heat, they wear many layers to keep out the sun. In order to not expose an inch of skin to the sun, girls especially, cover their entire body with all sorts of materials: masks, scarves, fashion sunglasses, long sleeves, gloves, tight trousers, socks with flip flops and even hats under their helmets as they drive their scooters around in the heat of the day and the pollution of the streets, which are mostly congested by scooters.

Here, like in most of South East Asia, to be white denotes the social status and class of a person. In fact, people in Asian countries look down on dark skin not because of racism, but because they don’t want to be perceived as poor. TV, Bollywood stars and models are traditionally only white and this cult lately is grown more and more with the proliferation of electronic media. Today, more than ever, advertisements for white skin as a social ideal have powerful influence, to the point that all the new lotions, creams, body and baby soaps, even deodorants contain whitening agents to help lighten the skin. 

This cult of whiteness for the youngest generations has given rise to exciting, colorful, and modern expressions of scooter fashion – “cover-up style”: a mix of Japanese Hello Kitty accessories, hipster western jeans and sweatshirts on which any logo is welcome. In this communist country the recent access and attraction to western globalized consumerism of new products, especially in big cities, are completely changing the culture and the traditional Vietnamese dress style.

Woman with a colored %22Cover-up Style%22 and her dog driving on the street of H.C.M.C. Vietnam. June 2015
Woman with a colored %22Cover-up Style%22 and her daughter driving on the street of H.cC.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Woman, her kids and Minnie Mouse with a a vivid colored %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C
Girl with Burberry plaid accessories %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C.,Vietnam, June 2015
Woman with Burberry plaid %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C.,Vietnam, June 2015
Woman with flowery mask %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C.,Vietnam, June 2015
Woman with a large flowery mask %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C, Vietnam, June 2015
Girl with a colorful flowery %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., June 2015
Girl with a colorful and flowery %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., June 2015
Girl with a casual and flowery %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Girl with a pink flowery %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Girl with a pink flowery %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Girl with a white flowery %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Girl with gloves and flowery %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Girl with gloves and white flowery %22Cover-up style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Girl with Burberry and square plaid %22Cover-up style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Girl with a double flowery %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Girl with jacket and pinky %22Cover-up style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Girl with black and white %22Cover-up style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2105
Girl with red flowers on beige %22Cover-up style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Young girl with Hello Kitty-Burberry %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Teen-ager with a pink sweater and flowery mask %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Teen-ager with a pink mask and gray sweater %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Girl with pig mask %22Cover-up style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Girl with gloves and flowery mask %22Cover-up style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Teen-ager with gloves and white sweater %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Teen-ager with gray sweater with flowery %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Teen-ager with black and white strips sweater %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., vietnam, June 2015
Teen-ager with simple decorated %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015
Girl with a modern leather motorcicle %22Cover-up Style%22 driving on the streets of H.C.M.C., Vietnam, June 2015