Women in India, Africa and Asia buy skin-lightening cream to whiten their skin. In many of those cultures, lighter skin is associated with a higher social/economic class and is highly desirable. Here in North America, we've got white girls frying themselves in tanning beds to become darker. Why can't we just be comfortable with the skin we're in?
Here's my theory: If women were happy with their appearence, cosmetic companies and tanning salons wouldn't make money. In the 1950's, advertising executives firgued out that when women feel shitty about themselves, they'll spend money to try and fix the problem. Advertising uses a technique that I like to call "create a problem, offer a solution." It works like this: First, they make you aware of some "problem" such as wrinkles around the eyes. Wrinkles are NOT a problem, they are a natural part of the aging process, and something we can do nothing about. But once the advertisement has convinced you that wrinkles are a serious problem that you CAN fix with anti-wrinkle cream, you'll go out and buy it. That's how they suck you in. Low self esteem equals big spending.
My advice: Stop reading women's magazines that feature these ads. Mute the commercials while you're watching TV. And don't ever let any stupid fucking advertisement make you feel shitty about yourself. You are a divine creation, beautiful in every stage of your life. You don't need anti-wrinkle cream, anti-cellulite cream, make-up, tanning salons, skin-whitening cream, hair dye, hair extensions, breast implants, lip plumpers or any thing else like that. Instead of spending money on that crap, spend a little time learning to love yourself, and I guarantee you'll develop REAL self confidence and save money.