Previous scholarship on the immense popularity of skin-whitening frames this practice as revealing women's desire to emulate whiteness and upper class white populations (Burke 1996; Peiss 1998; Hall 2005). Others have focused on whitening practices to highlight the working of racialized color hierarchy and European/Euro-American hegemony in local and global contexts (Hunter 2005; Pierre 2008; Glenn 2009;). This article breaks away from these established theoretical trajectories by arguing that desire for “whiteness” is not the same as desire for “Caucasian whiteness.” Examining advertisements for skin-whitening products in the Indonesian version of Cosmopolitan and skin-tanning products in the American version of Cosmopolitan, I point out the construction of “cosmopolitan whiteness.” Whiteness is not simply racialized or nationalized as such, but transnationalized. Whiteness is represented as “cosmopolitanness,” embodying transnational mobility.

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