Tag Archives: culture

Cultural obsession with the white woman

16 Mar

Her beautiful fair skin touched by the glistening rays of the sun, she walks by with the wind drifting through her long, straight, flowing blonde hair. Her beauty is immanent, as you gaze, wishing that a day will arrive when you can stare into her sparkling, crystal blue eyes. Make her cheeks blush with a tint of rose, while you brush her freckled face with your hand. To you, she is the most beautiful woman in the world…

Well not just to you, in fact many cultures would deem this description as the ideal picture of beauty. This description describes the features of a white woman.  I would even go as far to argue that in many cultures there is an obsession with the beauty of the white woman. You’re thinking this is a interracial dating rant aren’t you? No that isn’t the issue at all, the issue is the inferiority complex many cultures have that are linked to the ideals of beauty being defined by the beauty of an Eurocentric image. I’ll begin with what led me to make this post. The other day I was on my way to work when I overheard this conversation between a two black women, one of which had her child with her:

Mothers friend: “She looks exactly like you except she’s got dark skin…where does she get the dark colour from?”
Mother: “Her Dad”
Mothers friend: (Turns to child) “Why are you so dark?  Why couldn’t you be fair like your mum”
(both turn to her with a sigh of disappointment)

I have had friends from Indian Asian backgrounds, and in my youth witnessed them try out all sorts of creams, lotions and potions to lighten their skin, and had always wondered why. Why do they want to be light? What’s wrong with their colour? In particular where did this desire to be light come from? Why were their parents buying it for them? I knew that there was a cultural preference but I had never personally experienced to understand the severity of it. As soon as I heard this conversation, it made sense to me, its the people closest to you who also have this complex, a chain of people feeding their issues to their children.

A day later I was in a shoe shop, there were two little black girls, whom I assumed to be twins as they looked a similar age and had identical features, however one was lighter in complexion than the other. The two little girls were looking at themselves in the mirror, while the lighter skinned child was confident and posing, the darker skin girl was looking at her sister and then at herself, she then said “I look ugly, don’t I?” bare in mind these two 6-7 year olds looked the same with only skin colour differentiating them. This made me think what does she see that makes her feel less beautiful than her sister? Either way I stopped her just to say “No, you are beautiful”. When I walked out, I considered how that may of seemed a bit creepy, a random women telling a child that she’s beautiful, but I needed her to hear it, she was only 6 or 7 years old and she was already believing that she is ugly.

Later that day on the way home, I was sat next to an Indian man on the train, which shortly became evident he was not very well mentally. Amongst the things he was pulling out of his bag were several hand written notes to himself entitled “white women exist” with a further list of steps to take, finished with now you have a white woman. Which just made me think and then led me to this post.

I have always noticed it within Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities I had been around growing up, skin lightening creams, blue or green contact lenses, dying hair blonde and light brown, relaxers and straighteners, weaves and extensions. Risking skin burns, hair loss and all sorts to meet a specific criteria of beauty. The features that people were trying to adapt are features most prominent in white women. Yes there are people within those racial groups who naturally have light hair, light eyes, straighter hair, fair skin and freckles and they are put on pedestals for it. However I perceive this desire to change what we naturally are as an inferiority complex, our world boasts an array of different features that define our heritage and culture, why can’t we embrace our differences? Yes the blonde woman, with the blue eyes and freckles is beautiful, but so are you! Embrace your natural beauty, your deep brown eyes, your wild curly hair, and the many variations of smooth chocolate skin that we come in. Remember that the ideals of beauty are just a cultural mind set, is there only one type of beautiful? Change the mind set, change YOUR mind set! Don’t let your daughter grow up thinking she’s any less than the princess that she is, let her see the beauty in features she has, there is always positives in features we have that others might not.

We will not change our culture!!

9 Aug

Okay, I’m not quite sure where my haphazard blog is going right now, but another opinion inspired by an article.  My Aunt sent me an article in French, which I had to get translated by Google Translate, my good old buddy. Going off on a tangent, so she sent me this article: http://www.dreuz.info/2013/01/soutien-a-jean-leonetti-maire-dantibes-il-refuse-de-supprimer-le-porc-dans-les-ecoles/nm_298167_px_512_/

untitledI may be wrong, correct me if I am, but what I got from it was that it is an article about the refusal to remove pork from schools. This refusal is linked to the protest from Muslim parents who either do not want pork served in schools or do not wish for pork to be served to their children, making the situation rather different if one or the other, but I am not entirely sure to confirm either. The refusal comes from the mayor Jean Leonetti, who apposes these changes for immigrants as religion should be a private thing and immigrants who come to France should adapt to the Judeo-Christian country they are choosing to immigrate to, if they wish for their own culture they should stay in a Muslim country where they can be accommodated. Basically to summarise that they are not going to change their culture.

That is fine and dandy, I agree that a whole nation should not have to change for immigrants that come in. People should understand that they will need to adapt a bit to live in a new society and it may not fit their social norms. However if it is refusal of accommodating a significant number of the population, its not something I agree with. So I don’t see why pork would need to be totally removed from a school unless it was full of mainly Jewish and Muslim children, but if the argument is to accommodate Muslim children in schools, for example having a halal or vegetarian option then I believe they should be considered. If there were French nationals that wanted a vegetarian option, should their belief’s be shunned and be given meat because it part of the generic culture to eat meat? No of course not. Maybe I live in a society where we are overtly accommodating which is why I don’t have a “have what is given to you” mentality.

People are so often mistaken that all Muslims are immigrants, if all the non-French Muslims left the country there would still be ethnically French people who are Muslims, its just as diverse of a religion as Christianity, which people often do not consider. Religion is often a lifestyle choice, should we not all be entitled to that? And not have a generic lifestyle of the country forced upon people. This applies anywhere, the right as a human being to choose how we live our lives as long as there is no harm to others. Whether it is pork being forced upon Muslims in France or non-Muslims not being allowed to eat during Ramadan in a Muslim country, I disagree with imposing beliefs and practices on anyone. Before anyone goes down the “but you couldn’t do it in their countrpaintemy” route or “they wouldn’t give you the rights” is a bit of a silly statement, its like saying oh this person is a twat so I’m going to be one too. I believe in being the bigger person regardless, I believe that we should treat other people how we want to be treated and therefore give the rights to others that we would want for ourselves. How can you create a better environment whilst pointing the finger at someone and then doing exactly the same thing, we must be the best people we can be first.

Yes everyone can just go back to where they came from and live the life they wish with ease, but that promotes racial and ethnic segregation which I do not believe in. Should we not all be able to interact with each other and appreciate our differences, different beliefs, values and lifestyles and be able to live amongst each other, why not? Stringency of culture doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest, after all how long has that specific culture lasted? Cultures, languages, dress, food, social etiquettes,  have always changed over the years in accordance to the changes within the population. You may think that can be used as an argument for people to change themselves, but in history most, if not all countries have changed from external influences and even internal adaptions. For example if we even look back in  recent history merely 60-100 years ago it was a very different lifestyle having an Italian, Indian or Japanese restaurant in the UK was unheard of. Miniskirts and skinny jeans would have looked completely ridiculous and immodest etc. What is acceptable and normal now would probably not have been then, or vice versa, change is inevitable.  Which is why I don’t understand this newfound need to hold on to culture exactly as it is out of fear of change, things will always change. At the moment the west lives in a culture of choice and individuality, so why then is there a need to impose our views on others if it doesn’t fit ours.