Ultra Nadinola (1966)

Not a contest entry, but sort of fits with the theme of it. That tag line seemed like a good idea at the time, but there's no way that would go over today. From Jet magazine:

Dimatron sounds like a TV that automatically adjusts to room lighting. 
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The entire continent of Africa is full of these products, and a lot of them contain things like lead, arsenic and lye. D-: I saw an interview with one woman who said that she couldn't get a job anywhere in Nairobi until she lightened her skin. Darker women are considered too "bush" to fit into city life.
Same where I live (in Vietnam) though I think the really poisonous stuff is less widespread than in Africa... Nevertheless I've had a couple young students whose parents apparently tested heavy-duty skin whiteners on them. Really horrible; they'd have these permanent peeling white patches on their faces where the stuff had been dabbed on. Poor kids!

The funny thing, though, is that even though I'm really pale even by Caucasian standards I still was given loads of whitening products for Teacher's Day last year. Gave most of it away, except for a half-gallon of shower cream in which the "skin whitening agent" turned out to be goat's milk! Because Cleopatra used it so it must be legit... right?
Right. It's important also to keep in mind that the Rwanda genocide, at least in part, was caused by racism. The European colonists favored the tribe that had lighter skin and more European features while discriminating more against the tribe that looked more "African." It's really sad that this problem still exists anywhere in the world. This attitude still exists in the U.S., too, but advertisers can't be so blatant about it anymore.
Just another thought on this subject: there was a time when white women were also constantly prodded to make and keep their skin as white as possible and this continued until tanning became chic. Ultra white skin didn't become popular again until the vampire craze of the 90s, but even then I don't know any women, or men, who purposefully used skin whiteners. Why bother when makeup will do the trick?

Weird how something that is by genetic standards a mutation is preferred by so many. Evolution favors darker skin. I wonder what it is in human nature that makes us fight it so?

Too much thinking for a Monday morning.
On the contrary, as long as a tanned skin was evidence you slaved away in the fields all day, evolution favored a paler skin, since it was attractive by showing off how wealthy you were.
Societal and cultural preferences may support a paler skin, which proves evidence of wealth and leisure, but evolution has tended to benefit darker skin.
Right. If were talking about social evolution instead of biological evolution, we are talking about two completely different things. Genes for darker skin are dominant, but for some reason, many humans prefer lighter skin, which is actually a genetic mutation.

Think about how the Nazis wanted to propagate people with blond hair and blue eyes--all of which, though mostly harmless anomalies, result from mutated genes. In other words, the Nazis were trying to breed a race of mutants!

I'm pretty mutated myself as far as that goes, only my eyes are green, not blue.
*gasp!* A mutant! *hides*

All kidding aside (haha), something that I only learned recently had to do with skin and evolution, and how we humans get vitamin D. Those with lighter skin developed a mutation to help them more easily generate it in climates where vitamin D-rich foods are limited and with lower amounts of sunlight at certain times of year. As long as they could get some sun exposure, their diet (think nordic populations... mmm, fish!) worked in tandem with the minimal sun exposure to keep the population going.

Those of us with darker skin *waves* can still get it by exposure to sunlight, but our ability is limited compared to those with lighter skin; the foods we eat (fatty fish and dairy) still play the largest part in getting enough of the vitamin. More so, now that being out in the sun is OMG DOOM.
Hmm. I never thought about it before, but the fact that Europeans are one of the few ethnic groups who can tolerate dairy as adults may be an evolutionary adaptation to compensate for the decreased sunlight in northern latitudes. Adapt or die, baby! I'm sure someone has researched this.

Science is cool!
i'm finnish and in my country, getting the proper amount of vitamin D has finally become a health concern.
it's officially recommended that everyone should take an extra dose of the vitamin during the (long!) sunless times of the year. dairy products don't naturally contain vitamin D, but it's added in them to fill this need easily by a common-used product. and finnish people sure are heavy milk-drinkers!
when i first got interested about veganism, it occurred to me how much of this phenomenon is actually run by propaganda. people are taught in schools that it's essential to well-being to drink cow milk and people will until the day they die.
i agree it's healthy, but the finnish society tends to think it's The One And Only source to get calcium. i don't think anywhere else in the world people would get so upset and worried about someone not using dairy products :|

well, who am i to say as i'm a heavy user of oat-based "dairy"... with added vitamin D and calcium and all that jazz found in cow milk, too.
Oh, as for being a mutant, I promise I won't zap you with my heat vision--unless I really need to.
There is no such thing as "evolution" is the sense you are using here. It does not exist

Societal and cultural preferences exert evolutionary pressure, and therefore evolution favored a paler skin.
As Warren Beatty says in "Bulworth", we all just gotta keep fucking each other till everyone's the same colour...

is this better or worse than people who go to tanning booths once a week to make themselves look more "exotic" and slowly give themselves cancer?
I guess it would depend on whether the skin cream causes cancer. I have no idea what Dimatron was or whether it was harmful. When I Googled it, the hits were not related to the product at all.

TBH, I'm a bit torn on this either way. On the one hand, I don't think people should abuse their bodies, but I also think people have the right to do with their bodies what they choose whether it's lighten, darken, tattoo, pierce, etc. Frankly, I think people of color should be able to change their skin tone if that's what they want to do, but I also understand the social implications of this. It would be nice if we could all just say "what I do with my body is my own damned business," but we know it doesn't always work out that way in real life.

What I do know is that American advertisers can't promote a product in this way anymore, or at least be so obvious about it.
i agree completely.

skin-lightening may be racially- (or ethnically-) charged at it's very root, but i know plenty of people (indians and south-east asians, mostly) who are always complaining how dark their skin is, avoiding the sun, etc., but would have choice words (if not worse) with you if you implied they were doing it to look more "european."
I know caucasian men and women who use bleaching cream now. I don't really discuss beauty stuff with my African American friends, so I have no idea if they do or not.

In keeping with the "vintage" aspect here, I had a shorts outfit just about like that in the late 1960s. I was ten. It makes sense for a kid, but I don't think I ever saw an adult wear anything like that, much less one who was trying to be glamorous.