Who’s the Fairest of Them All

March 4, 2012 § 1 Comment

This essay was interesting in that fact that I was able to read the concept of light and dark in the community of African Americans. I had already known about the discrimination within the community because I have grown up and am apart of the black community. The fact that it was not seen or noticed among others outside the race was surprising to me but only because I felt it was very obvious. This must be because I am constantly around it.

The documentary that we viewed in class was so real and true and I felt myself just nodding  my head in agreement because I knew exactly what the women were saying. I have heard the constant teasing to little dark skinned girls but I have also heard the teasing to the light “fair” skinned girls as well.

Nicknames such as “light bright” or being told that the reason why they were light is because the were house slaves or that they are light because “Master” was involved. It is some jealousy between the two tones of skin but the teasing and ridicule is not at all one sided. It is a constant back and forth thing. I do not want anybody to think that the dark skinned individuals of the race are just constantly put down and hated on. It is a chaotic constant circular discriminatory war between both tones.

Advertisements

“Who’s The Fairest of Them All”

February 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Jill Nelson’s “Who’s the Fairest of Them All?” and the documentary “Dark Girls” brought up an issue that I did not even know existed. I had no idea that African American’s were judged based on how dark or light their skin was. I am absolutely appalled that this petty discrimination actually exists. Through all of the cruel acts in African American history from Slavery to Civil Rights, how can African American’s judge other African American’s on their color of skin? For all of the horrible things that happened through slavery, how can this judgment go on within their own race especially? Different races have discriminated against each other for years, but now it has gotten so bad that people within their own race can’t even have the right skin color. The obsession with “white beauty in a black face” and “marrying up” means that nothing Martin Luther King Jr. stood for was even heard. ALL people are meant to be equal; men, women, African American, white, Asian, Hispanic, pink, blue, orange were all meant to be equal. That’s what Civil Rights have fought for all these years.

The fact that African American women feel “ugly, outside, irrelevant, invisible” is horrible and demeaning. I personally am white, and go tanning quite a bit to always be dark. Whose dominant opinion even matters! Why is whiteness even considered the beauty norm? How did white even become the dominant color? I am a Psychology major and am constantly analyzing studies where children of all races are asked whether the African American doll or the white doll is smarter and prettier. Both African American and whites chose the lighter skinned doll. Our society raises even children to believe that the difference in skin color defines whom a person is. African Americans are not just black anymore they are dark skinned and light skinned. Whoever looks whiter is prettier. Africa Americans make the effort to have long smooth hair and a thin nose to look whiter. Self image and whiteness needs to stop taking over the world!! This is ridiculous!

 

Side note: In my opinion Tiana from “Princess and the Frog” is much prettier than Snow White in these Disney movies! (Tiana is African American for non-Disney lovers). And Tiana is dark skinned!

Too Good To Be True

February 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

 

In The essay “Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit,” Leslie Marmon Silko described every woman’s perfect world; a world of equality, beauty, and true kindness lacking all of the evils in our modern day world. Is this too good to be true? In reality, yes this story is way too good to be true. Or is this reality just how we were raised to believe the norm is? I personally believe that this story told by Silko’s grandmother is symbolic of what our world could become, if people would ever be able to see eye to eye. Whether this story is true or not, the grandmother definitely wanted to show her granddaughter that equality and kindness is possible and should be fought for. The normal should not rightfully be how our judgmental world is today. Women and men should be considered equal and be able to swap gender roles when needed. Single mothers should not be scrutinized; they should be loved and cared for because any life is a gift.

Growing up, I was always taught to look for the beauty inside and out. I do not really ever understand how people in our world act so judgmentally. In my mind I have always seen everyone the way the Pueblos saw everyone, by the beauty of their spirit. It is really sad to think that the Pueblo world is never going to be a possibility for us. It is scary to think that patriarchy could always hold dominance over our world, or people of different races will always be discriminated against. I wish there was a way to change the whole world’s view. Maybe little by little if grandmothers like Silko’s and parents like mine continue to raise their children to see everyone as an equal human being, maybe there could be a Pueblo difference. I see this story as a symbol of inspiration to make a change.

Is it really okay to be fat?

February 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Although one would applaud Christy Haubegger getting comfortable with her own body size, one cannot disregard the fact that in society today, how much you weigh equals how much you’re discriminated against. In fact, no one wishes specifically to become fat – no one wishes to become unattractive. Girls want to be slim, whether or not they’re straight. While on the other hand, even though guys would like a little more weight on their bodies, they wish for muscle weight, not fat. In fact, the only girls I’ve heard who doesn’t mind being fat, are those who are already somewhat overweight. And those guys who say they don’t mind having their girls more ‘curvier’, they only mean having those fats in all the right places. Aka, the boobs and butt. And finally, even celebrities who achieved fame while being overweight (and some even brag about being comfortable in their own bodies), mostly end up with some sort of diet scheme or surgery in the near future to get rid of their excess fat.

But why is being overweight looked upon as a bad thing? The most obvious reason is that people naturally assume that it is your choice to be overweight. Unlike coming into this world as the fairer sex or a colored person, there is no such thing as a fat embryo or sperm. Of course, that is not to say a person couldn’t inherit lower metabolism or a predisposition towards obesity in their genetics, but according to the normal person’s reasoning, everyone could become thin/slim as long as they put in some amount of effort. Therefore, being fat is translated into laziness and being undisciplined.

Being fat also means you get ‘hounded’ by dozens of health professionals in the world warning you of an early death. People don’t take obesity seriously enough, nothing can be more true than those who are unwilling to take action against their obesity. In fact, an obese man died of a heart attack last week and what was he doing? Eating an oversized burger... called the Triple Bypass Burger. The most ironic thing is that the restaurant who served the burger was named the Heart Attack Grill, who serves people who are more than 350 lbs for free. The thing is, the market would do whatever they want as long as they earn money from doing what they do, they could care not if you died from a heart attack in their restaurant (They’d most likely welcome it for the free publicity). It is up to you to make that choice whether you want to be healthy or otherwise.

What is wrong with conforming to the norm? To sacrifice a little of your self pride just to work out a little or eat a little less. To make yourself a better life with less discrimination and with less health risks. What is wrong with setting an example for others that just because you’ve accidently grown wider, doesn’t mean you cannot do anything about it. What is wrong with wanting to become thin?

A Broader Horizon to A Public Disease

February 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Although “A Way Outa No Way” was quite longer than the rest of the essays, I found it to be intriguing and something of a different nature than what I was used to reading. When I saw that it was about eating problems amongst Black, Latina, and White woman, I was shocked to see the Black and Latina. I was one of those people blinded by the media and society, and thought that eating problems only occurred in model and white woman who wanted to become slimmer because they didn’t love themselves or like the way they looked. I was unaware of the many factors that caused eating problems and how it also affected other cultures. It was a stereotype that was embedded in my mind because of the way society always portrayed it and talked about it.

After reading about the different testimonies of the 18 women, it opened up my eyes and gave me a greater sympathy for those who go through this. Sexual Abuse being one, the logic behind it made sense on why the women tried to use binging in order to “leave their bodies” after what had been done to them. Also I always thought of eating problems as people just trying to become anorexic or binging. I now know of bulimia and people who have an extensive eating problem, who go to food to comfort themselves and numb the pain.

I find it very sad that women go through these things. I also would like to know more on the origins on why women resorted to food for comfort or punishing themselves. What about food attracted them to it? It is a disease that can be cured but an ongoing process in the life of someone with this problem.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Week 6 Readings category at genderculture.