The controversial March 2012 issue of FHM

It's an old, old war. White skin versus dark skin. In popular media, white is thought of as pure and expensive, while black/dark skin is considered dirty and plebeian. When will it end? When will Filipinas, specifically, finally be free from the all-consuming idea that only white is beautiful?

Well, FHM is not helping for sure. Their cover shows a shining white Bela Padilla in the midst of grasping black-skinned women. She is "stepping out of the shadows", that is, stepping out from the undersirable status of being obscure. I guess? I haven't read the cover story yet so "shadows" can mean any number of things, but one thing is for sure - no one wants them, no one wants to be in them.

I'm not over-sensitive when it comes to white vs dark-skinned girls as I think that everyone has the right to define what they think is beautiful. But I think this FHM cover is vulgar and overtly racist. You can't spell it more clearly than this: that white women are perfect while black women are second-class. It goes beyond the perception of beauty, really, and ventures into racism.

I don't know if this is just a publicity stunt by the publication or if they are just truly ignorant in publishing this cover. Either way, it is wrong. Someone needs to take responsibility and apologize for it.