White privilege is while at a predominately white school, learning about our school’s namesake as a benevolent Christian missionary who brought Christmas to the Maori people, when Samuel Marsden was actually a brutal racist who beat and killed the native people of New Zealand.
Ahhh this is exciting because this was submitted by my friend, and I went to the school in question (*shame*).
No I am not sitting around and reading Pork while wearing a shitty fake “native american headdress” with a bindi on my forehead and “wite powr” tattooed across my knuckles.
However, I am white. This means I benefit from whiteness, no matter what I do. This means I contribute to the system of whiteness, no matter what I do. I was born and bred and raised and fed by whiteness. I was taught to love my white skin and white body and all I see when I open a book or magazine or turn on a tv or the computer are white skinned bodies or whitewashed bodies. And I don’t have to be a white supremacist to be racist. All I have to be is white.
I am inherently racist.
Racism isn’t just waking up one day and saying to yourself “I’m gonna go be a shithead”
(although thats what whiteness/white culture/white media/so on and so forth basically did and does)
because racism is so much more than that.
I won’t ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER experience racism, nor will you, fellow white folks. The closest we’ll get is being disliked. And aren’t we lucky that all we have to do is open a book/magazine, turn on a tv, look at an ad, turn off the computer or walk away, and then life is a-okay again?!
This doesn’t mean we can’t have shitty lives
This does however mean that we are inherently racist.
Fellow white folks.
We wont ever experience racism.
So why the fuck are we sitting around telling PoC what is and isn’t racism?
Or if we are or aren’t racist.
The study and discourse surrounding societal privilege (in any context, of which there are many), does not exist for you to take offense to.
It is simply a way of understanding inequalities and the institutionalization of oppressed groups.
When discussing privilege and social inequality, one is not in the practice of trying to determine which groups have it “better” or “worse” than others.
When discussing privilege, there is no blame-gaming amongst groups of people.
The blame lies with society.
So stop taking it personally.
Casual racism is automatically assuming I’m white because I seem intelligent.
In case your small minded enough to think these women are the same, let me explain their personalities. The brunette is tough and street wise but once in a while she is vulnerable and sweet. Where as the blonde is vulnerable and sweet but sometimes she is tough and street wise. Two TOTALLY different people.
Saw some of the shows/movies coming up in the fall… and for the past 25 years of my life.
Until today I’d assumed “whitewashing” (the practice of bleaching one’s skin to alter its color to a lighter and thus more appealing tone) had all but died in most parts of the modern world.
Holy fuck was I wrong.
This year, British Vogue’s November 2011 cover features none other than Rihanna (aka, the sexiest woman I’ve ever known) posing in one of her classic fierce stances in a blonde wig. When I first saw the cover I was a bit confused why Rihanna looked so different; but, knowing Rihanna’s penchant for unconventional hairstyles, I was initially able to naively overlook her seemingly Marilyn Monroe-inspired do; but a doubletake of the whole ensemble made me realize something a little disconcerting. Rihanna doesn’t just have Marilyn’s hair, but also her eyes, her pose, even her skin. “But Vogue is a fashion magazine, that look is chic, sexy, couture.” Vapid fashion vocabulary aside, it certainly sells, right? Now, I definitely don’t want to deny or minimize the blatant and subliminal sexism the fashion industry is chronically rife with; given fashion magazine’s long history of blatant sexism, it might not be immediately disconcerting to the average reader. But what is disconcerting to anyone who loves the Barbadoan babe like I do is how fucking white Rihanna looks.
As colorlines.com so eloquently put it:
It could be the actual lighting on set, it could be that we’ve gotten used to her wearing a fire engine-red wig, or it could be that someone forget to tell Vogue’s retoucher that Rihanna is in fact black.
Now before you chime in with “what’s so wrong with white skin?” I’d like to point out that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. However, there’s certainly nothing wrong with black skin, either. And call me cracked, but in my mind a few red flags go up when I see an international organization that claims to decide what’s hot and what’s not is photoshopping a world-famous superstar in the name of fashion sense.
Apparently Rihanna hasn’t been the only one “touched-up” with the desaturation tool either. Back in January of this year, ELLE India went with a lighter-tinted version of Aishwarya Rai, the sensational Star of Bollywood making headlines all over the internet and the world, and named by 60 Minutes as the Most Beautiful Woman in the World.
So why does the supposed “Most Beautiful Woman in the World” need any photoshopping? Isn’t she already the pinnacle of perfection? Thankfully, not everyone agrees. Especially Miss Rai, who stated to The Times of India that the former Miss World is “furious with the bleaching blotch-up” and is considering pursuing legal action against the magazine.
But unfortunately Miss Rai isn’t the only celebrity ELLE’s taken to the light room. Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe also miraculously changed colors on the cover of U.S. edition of ELLE back in October of 2010.
And judging from some more photo shoots taken in 2009, L’oréal isn’t above whitewashing either. Just do a double-take of international stars Beyoncé and Freida Pinto. Any red flags yet?
As colorlines.com journalist Julianne Hing points out:
It’s a common, tired practice, and the routine is well-practiced: beauty companies and fashion magazines regularly lighten women’s skin (and darken the faces of black men), pissed off consumers shout back, and sometimes an apology is issued. But come the next fall collection or election season, photo retouchers are inevitably back to trying to make women of color more attractive by lightening them, and darkening the skin of men of color to make them seem more dangerous and suspect. Color, still, is everything.
At some point you have to stop and wonder just what the fuck is going on.
Fortunately, in the case of Aishwarya Rai at least, Change.org has begun a campaign asking the magazine to issue a public apology. However, in light of the situation (no pun intended), why should a campaign be necessary? Shouldn’t ELLE make a statement free of coercion by activist groups, regretting the mistake they knowingly made? I mean they do regret their “mistake,” right? Which brings me around to my point: Why the fuck is this still occurring?
In July in India, Vaseline launched a facebook app that allows the user to lighten their profile pictures to a more “appealing” tone. In 2005 Indian cosmetics mogul Emani began a new product campaign aimed at both men and women’s insecurities, launching their new skin-whitening cream for men called “Fair and Handsome” (the women’s version of course being called “Fair and Lovely”).
Closer to home, a study conducted by Dr. S. Allen Counter of Harvard Medical School in 2003 showed some pretty frightening findings:
96% of over 300 patients in the Southwestern United States that have higher than normal mercury levels were female and all had used skin lightening products; likewise 90% of women tested in clinics in Arizona who were Mexican-American had been using the same products (2).
Women more often try to whiten their skin and as a consequence poison their bodies. These lightening creams such as ‘Crema de Belleza-Manning’, which is made in Mexico, contain mercurous chloride and is easily absorbed through the skin.
As you may or may not know, toxic levels of mercury lead to mercury poisoning, which causes neurological and kidney damage, as well as being a possible cause of psychiatric disorders. It can also cause birth defects. So it’s some pretty serious shit.
Aside from the horrors that survey alone should instill, there’s more where it came from:
Doctors in the UK were confused by symptoms presented by a woman when no reason for her weight gain, stretch or stripe marks and inability to conceive could be found. It was only after further questioning that she admitted to using a skin lightening product (1).
The product, which is illegal in the EU, was clobetasol. This is a cream containing high levels of the steroid corticosteroid. Typically this cream is prescribed for skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis, and is only to be used for up to two weeks at a time.
The UK doctors reported that the woman far exceeded the recommended usage, using two tubes of clobetasol a week for over seven years.
Such products are being increasingly used by people in a number of countries in an attempt to lighten the skin. Older people as well use skin lightening to remove age or liver spots and other skin darkening conditions.
However few people are warned of the dangers of the toxic ingredients which, as well as containing steroids, includes hydroquinone. While hydroquinone is allowed in the US by the FDA, it is banned in Europe because of the potential to cause cancer.
The list of side effects of the steroid corticosteroid is long. The most serious is Cushing’s disease, a malfunction of the adrenal glands leading to an overproduction of cortisol. Other side effects include:
* increased appetite and weight gain
* deposits of fat in chest, face, upper back, and stomach
* slowed healing of wounds
* muscle weakness
* thinning of the skin
Kind of ruins that old saying “beauty is only skin deep,” doesn’t it?
So yeah, there’s that. If it wasn’t already alarming that people are getting whiter on paper, in reality the lightening products themselves have some terrible, toxic side affects. If you’re willing to lighten your skin color for the sake of appearing more attractive, you’re also willing to risk a myriad of other much more devastating skin problems (if psoriasis, eczema, acne, and thin skinning weren’t enough of an indication). In the end, the real cost of lighter skin is often paid in irreparable or even fatal damage to the user’s health, mind, and body—and often the products themselves advertise much better than they actually perform. So why does the fashion industry support this? Why, despite not only obvious health risks and the even more obvious fact that dark skin is beautiful all by itself, is lighter skin encouraged? Maybe it happens because people don’t really know all the serious risks behind skin whitening; maybe fashion companies are simply more concerned with a better quarterly statement than the health of their customers. Or maybe skin lightening is a symptom of the stigma that remains after hundreds of years of oppression, colonialism, and racism latent in our still very segregated and unequal world today. Maybe it’s all true. Whatever way you choose to view it, it’s a grim reality and a heavy price to pay, all for the ‘right look.’ But in our world, it’s the price of beauty.
How difficult it is to say “you’re an adorable kid”, “you’re a beautiful child”?
Honestly, there’s no real reason for a white person to come up to a child of colour and use the word “colored”. It’s traumatizing to grow up knowing that in the eyes of some derthly ignorant white people you’ll be qualified as a “colored” and are expected to take it as a compliment. that’s shit children remember for the rest of their lives.
Honest to goodness, I cannot take serious ANY non-Black person that is still using the word “colored” AT ALL. Stop it.
And no, it’s not a compliment. Because what she was saying is “she’s a beautiful child, despite being one of those people” and “oh, I’m so surprised that one of those children could be beautiful”. This is not a difficult thing to understand. Flip it, and ask yourself how it sounds. If I walked up to you and said “oh, what a beautiful little white child you have!” would you think it was a compliment? I mean, really, I think some white people are just so used to everyone telling them their children are beautiful (it’s sorta a white past-time like mentioning the weather, from what I can tell, but I think it’s weird) that they wouldn’t notice. But I do think there are a lot of white people who would pause and be a little confused why I’d feel the need to point out the white factor. And maybe even be a little creeped out. But in any case, if you can at least understand that it’s not necessary for me to point out that your child is white while saying they are beautiful, then you ought to be able to understand why it’s not necessary or helpful in any way for you to point out that my child isn’t white.
The absurdity of telling someone you “think their little white child is beautiful” illustrates this perfectly.
The LA Times has dug in and talked to 89% of Academy members and to no one’s surprise the Academy is old, white and male.
Here are the stats:
- The Academy is 94% white
- The Academy is 77% male.
- The median age is 62.
- Only 14% are under 50 years old.
Also we learned that women make up just 9% of the directing branch and 19% of the screenwriting branch.
This is why we need more women (and people of colour!) controlling and contributing to media.
Filed under shit people of colour and many white women already knew. Every couple of years something like this pops up. It never changes and likely will never change.
Fellow feminists, what is your opinion on this?
The mission is simple: to fill in the gap in the scholarships offered to prospective students. There are scholarships offered for almost any demographic imaginable. In a country that proclaims equality for all, we provide monetary aid to those that have found the scholarship application process difficult because they do not fit into certain categories or any ethnic group.
Scholarship applicants should be caucasian, male, demonstrate a commitment to education, and substantiate financial need.
I HATE when girls act like they get pressured to look a certain way, when guys are really the ones that have to look one way. Guys like girls that look all different kind of ways. But typically the good looking guy looks ONE way. Tall dark and handsome. Everyone wants to be tan, tall, and muscular. That is what men are supposed to look like. But girls get mad when guys want them to have flat stomaches? get the fuck outta here.
I totally agree that there are expectations of men which are unfair. One thing I notice is that if a man is short, his manhood is literally put into question. That’s extremely bizarre to me. A good example of that is actor Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter). He’s short, and a lot of people worry about his acting career because of that alone. His decade of quality acting was not enough to silence people’s concern for his height. The tall, dark, and handsome archetype is definitely present these days. At least we can say that men are usually more physically inclined to be tall and muscular, as opposed to short and scrawny. Women are typically more inclined to be soft around the edges, not flat-bellied. Still, strict beauty expectations are rough on all people.
As a woman, I disagree with your statement that women can look many different ways. Firstly, my main issue with this is that you fail to notice a woman’s value is usually placed in her appearance (particularly her weight) ALONE. If you’re an “ugly girl,” your opinion is invalid, should quit on your dreams, and will have no romantic prospects. Men, though pressured to look a certain way, do not typically have their entire value determined singularly by their appearance.
Let me share some of the demands of girls which you didn’t mention. These demands don’t solely come from men. We have other women and the entirety of media/capitalistic industry to contend with.
THE LIST OF FEMALE BEAUTY DEMANDS
(which hardly scrapes the surface)
- Be white.
- If you’re not white, have a firm, plump ass and a sassy attitude.
- Don’t be too white, though, or you’ll look like a sickly ginger, YUCK!
- Be tan.
- But not too tan, or we’ll forget you’re white.
- Be skinny.
- Be blond.
- If you’re not blond, dye your hair blond.
- But don’t be blond, because then you’re stupid.
- So be brunette.
- Unless your hair is nappy, in which case, get a weave or wig.
- But don’t admit to having a weave/wig.
- Natural red hair? Gingers are gross!
- Unless they’re being fetishized.
- Be skinny.
- Have big boobs.
- If not, they better be perky.
- If not, forget about it, grandma.
- Flat-chested? Get breast implants.
- While you’re at it, get some botox, a nose job, liposuction, a tummy tuck, a face lift, a butt lift, and some lip plumpers. And some more breast implants.
- Have smooth skin.
- If not, take meds or use make-up. LOTS OF MAKE-UP!
- But not too much, or you’ll look like a whore.
- At least wear mascara and some eyeshadow, geez.
- If not, you look too dull and unnatural.
- Have long legs.
- If not, be dainty.
- If you’re not, it had better be because you’re athletic.
- But don’t be too sporty. Muscular calves=NASTY!
- Be shorter than men.
- If you’re not, hunch over or pray for the day you meet a guy who’s 6’5”.
- Be skinny.
- Don’t wear glasses.
- Unless they’re ripping off geek culture in an effort to be cute.
- If not, just EW, right?
- Why’s it even on the list? Shaving’s the LAW!
- And I mean shave EVERYTHING: pits, legs, and, YES, you’re nasty girl parts.
- Pussy hair? GROSSSSSSSSS!
- If you have even one hair on your body, you’re nasty as hell, OR WORSE, A FEMINIST (because “feminazis” don’t shave according to society, and being feminist is only okay if you meet all of the demands on this list and most importantly are SKINNY AND STILL SHAVE).
- Wait, you’re a girl, but you don’t have a vagina?
- You have a tally wacker? You’re a boy then? Trans* woman? WTF is that?
- EW, TRANS DUDES ARE SO NOT WOMEN.
- Be born woman WITH A VAGINA.
- Most importantly, be skinny. No girl, trans or not, is allowed to be fat EVER!
- If you’re not skinny, gtfo or starve yourself/exercise until you can’t stand, because you’re worthless without this quality.
- REMEMBER: BE SKINNY!
None of the above-mentioned qualities are bad to possess, but those qualities being the expectation and demand is frustrating for women who are different. That would literally be 95% of the world population if we’re comparing women to a Victoria’s Secret model, for example. Though not exactly about beauty, I also wanted to mention the annoyingly contradictory expectations of a woman’s sexuality:
- Don’t have sex because that makes you a nasty slut.
- Don’t NOT have sex because that makes you a frigid prude.
If women play by today’s beauty rules, most women will never be deemed ‘beautiful’, and will therefore never be deemed ‘valuable’. That’s pretty fucked up, so let’s be real. It’s nowhere near as easy for women.