OK. the real reason is probably because of Geisha’s makeup and Disney didn’t know the difference between Chinese and Japanese culture and didn’t bother to do proper research on Mulan. So Geisha makeup is rooted in Tang Dynasty women’s makeup. I say rooted because Geisha makeup had since taken its own evolution to be what they are today.
Traditionally farmers and laborers had tan skin, so the upper-classes donned white facial makeup to display their status. The association between fair skin and wealth remains today. During the Sui and Tang dynasties, women applied red lipstick and white powder to their faces to have a pure white facial appearance.
Now in this new movie, Mulan fought trespassers and won battles again and again with her excellent “武术 (wǔshù) martial arts ,” which attracted the deputy commander’s attention. She was eventually promoted to be a General for her tenaciousness and “无畏 (wúwèi) fearlessness, ” which are highly valued in traditional Chinese culture.
The original Ballad of Mulan was written during the North Wei period (386~534 AD). That’s about 500 years before the Tang Dynasty. And North Wei people weren’t Han people. The poem called out the title of their government leader as “Khagan“. Mulan was most likely Xianbei – Wikipedia people, a nomad people from inner Mongolia and northern China.
How do women keep their skin light in China?
In modern China, many women keep their skin light by liberally applying sunscreen, using umbrellas on sunny days, and wearing face masks at the beach. Skin lightening is also common.
Pale skin is a long-coveted sign of beauty in China, and skin whitening is an $18 billion-a-year industry in Asia. Although there are many modern companies competing in the industry, skin whitening is a tradition that dates back to the Han dynasty.
In a recent survey, 40 percent of women in China, Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan said they have used a skin lightener in the past year. Dermatologists offer facial peels and laser treatments, which aim to lighten the skin.