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mirandashell
12-19-2011, 09:39 PM
Hey Kitty,

Nice one on taking the responsibility for this! You're a brave girl!

Now, sometimes I get questions pop into my head. I know they're dumb questions but... I don't have anyone I can ask. So... is it ok to ask in here?

I'm not talking offensively stoopid questions but ... well, remember the watermelon conversation we had a few months back? Me and all the rest of the Brits had no real idea about the watermelon and chicken thing.

So I thought maybe a thread where we can come and ask questions of each other without getting laughed at or our heads kicked in could be a good idea. For everybody.

So... I'll start.

You know how white people often see MCs as white people by default. Do people of colour do the same? Or is your default your own colour? Or do you not have a default?

I'm interested in how this works.

Bubastes
12-19-2011, 09:47 PM
You know how white people often see MCs as white people by default. Do people of colour do the same? Or is your default your own colour? Or do you not have a default?


Speaking only for myself (I'm Chinese), I have to confess that I do see MCs as white people by default, both in stories I read and stories I write. I think it's a result of the world I'm used to, which is mostly white. I think I don't think of my own skin color as a default because I see other people much more than I see myself in the mirror. Does that make sense?

ETA: I reread my post and am appalled at the number of times I used the word "think." Sorry about that.

escritora
12-19-2011, 09:48 PM
You know how white people often see MCs as white people by default. Do people of colour do the same? Or is your default your own colour? Or do you not have a default?

I'm interested in how this works.

When a character isn't described as a person of color, s/he is faceless. Though I do assume the character is white. The only time I have a vivid picture of a white character is when the character is a young girl. She's always Laura Ingalls, no matter how she's described.

mirandashell
12-19-2011, 09:50 PM
Speaking only for myself (I'm Chinese), I have to confess that I do see MCs as white people by default, both in stories I read and stories I write. I think it's a result of the world I'm used to, which is mostly white. I think I don't think of my own skin color as a default because I see other people much more than I see myself in the mirror. Does that make sense?

Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

So how you (generic) see a character is more a result of cultural conditioning than anything else? Hmm.. interesting. I wonder if it's the other way up in societies that don't have a white majority. I expect so but....

alessahinlo
12-19-2011, 10:00 PM
So how you (generic) see a character is more a result of cultural conditioning than anything else? Hmm.. interesting. I wonder if it's the other way up in societies that don't have a white majority. I expect so but....

I would say so. There's been a lot of discussion about anime & manga and why all the characters in those media formats "look white." Except that's only from the POV of people from English-speaking countries. To the target audience of anime and manga, which is the Japanese audience, these characters are viewed as Japanese unless they're explicitly stated to be not. (They're said to be from the U.S. or Chinese, etc etc.) You don't see Japan casting white actors to play the character roles in the live action Rurouni Kenshin movie, for example.

missesdash
12-19-2011, 11:33 PM
Another thing I take into account is the author. So if I pick up an author who I know write "black" books, I immediately picture the characters as black, even without descriptions. Besides that, white is the default.

This reminds me of a study I read (I use this phrase on AW several times a week) where white children showed preferences for white dolls. When asked about the others, they ranked they generally said the darker ones were "more bad" than the lighter brown skinned dolls.

A lot of immediate reactions were "oh well, we all show an innate preference for those similar to ourselves." Except they did they same test on children of color and they STILL showed the same preferences. They didn't cite the brown dolls as bad, but did describe them as less pretty than the white dolls.

So a lot of times white people have the privilege of assuming none of their racial preferences or habits are due to internalized racism. But when POC have the same views, we're forced to confront it.

Alpha Echo
12-19-2011, 11:41 PM
You know how white people often see MCs as white people by default. Do people of colour do the same? Or is your default your own colour? Or do you not have a default?

I'm interested in how this works.

Good idea for a thread, miranda!

And...I'm white, and I've often wondered that same thing. Interesting question. I agree that for me, admittedly, I don't think a character is anything other than white unless it's mentioned in the story specifically.

Is that horrible?

mirandashell
12-20-2011, 12:09 AM
Hmmm... I don't know. And maybe it's not for me to say. I'm hoping it's not horrible because when I first saw this subject, my immediate reaction was 'I don't do that!' But on thinking about it, I realised I do. And never thought anything of it. Like most other people on the thread, I do default to white, only seeing a character as POC if there is reason to.

Hmm... this is tricky. I sincerely don't believe it's because I'm inherently racist. I think it's a cultural thing. I am white and I live in a culture that's mainly white. So maybe it's natural for me.

The mention of anime and manga is interesting. The fact that the audience see them as Japanese although they look European to me. Strange how culture informs perception.

Alpha Echo
12-20-2011, 12:14 AM
Hmm... this is tricky. I sincerely don't believe it's because I'm inherently racist. I think it's a cultural thing. I am white and I live in a culture that's mainly white. So maybe it's natural for me.



I think this is the case. I don't think it can be a racist thing because I honestly don't think about race when meeting new people or anything. I never have. I mean, I may describe someone by using their race, but only to distinguish them if necessary. Like when telling my husband a story,

"You remember her? The sweet, Asian girl?"

or

"the mean, nasty white girl?"

But, yeah, I've never given race a thought. I grew up in an area with almost equal ratios of white to black, and now I'm in Northern VA where, if you cross from one neighborhood to another, you could go from a mostly Asian street to mostly Hispanic.

But at work and among friends and family, we're mostly white.

So for me, I think, it's the default, so to speak.

escritora
12-20-2011, 12:16 AM
The mention of anime and manga is interesting. The fact that the audience see them as Japanese although they look European to me. Strange how culture informs perception.

I see anime and manga as Japanese. I'm a Puerto Rican born and raised in the States.

Do you guys remember Herman Cain's mistress, Ginger White? The white people I've spoken to see her as white and the people of color see her as mixed race.

It's interesting.

mirandashell
12-20-2011, 12:16 AM
No, I don't know her. Herman Cain isn't really big news over here.

Is she mixed race?

missesdash
12-20-2011, 12:17 AM
There's a difference between "inherent racism" and "internalized racism."
We're all a little bit of the latter. It's not a horrible thing if you're aware of it.

escritora
12-20-2011, 12:22 AM
No, I don't know her. Herman Cain isn't really big news over here.

Is she mixed race?

I think she is, but don't know for sure. Here's a link (http://www.punditpress.com/2011/11/former-friend-of-ginger-white-white-and.html) to her picture.

mirandashell
12-20-2011, 12:29 AM
There's a difference between "inherent racism" and "internalized racism."
We're all a little bit of the latter. It's not a horrible thing if you're aware of it.


Thank you. I'm aware of it but try not to let it change the way I treat people. If you see what I mean. I don't want to be walking on eggshells all the time just cos I'm talking to someone who's not white. And I don't. But if I do say something clumsy, it's just that. Clumsy. From ignorance of a person's history usually. Like the whole watermelon thing.

mirandashell
12-20-2011, 12:32 AM
I think she is, but don't know for sure. Here's a link (http://www.punditpress.com/2011/11/former-friend-of-ginger-white-white-and.html) to her picture.


Ahhhh.... I see her as white, from that one photo.

But I guess it depends on the mix of races!

escritora
12-20-2011, 12:45 AM
Ahhhh.... I see her as white, from that one photo.

But I guess it depends on the mix of races!

This exchange makes me question the way I interpret character descriptions in books. I wonder if there have been times when I thought a white character was mixed and vice a versa.

mirandashell
12-20-2011, 12:47 AM
Possibly.

alessahinlo
12-20-2011, 01:29 AM
I think she is, but don't know for sure. Here's a link (http://www.punditpress.com/2011/11/former-friend-of-ginger-white-white-and.html) to her picture.

Interesting. I've never seen a photo of her. Looking at her, I think I'd peg her as mixed although if she identified as white, I'd think maybe she had something further back in the family tree (like a grandparent or great-grandparent).

thebloodfiend
12-20-2011, 01:39 AM
Whenever I'm a reading a book, I imagine the characters as mixed or hispanic (probably because I grew up in a Puerto Rican neighborhood and now in New Mexico) unless something stereotypical about their behavior pushes me in the opposite direction or the author says otherwise. And even then, based on names I tend to get an image of character stuck in my head.

alessahinlo
12-20-2011, 02:05 AM
I see anime and manga as Japanese. I'm a Puerto Rican born and raised in the States.

Yeah, I was born in the Philippines but grew up in the US. I've always seen most anime & manga characters as Japanese. Growing up, most of my peer group was nonwhite so that perspective changed. It wasn't until later when I encountered more white anime & manga fans that I realized many people didn't see them as being Japanese. I've always thought the anime & manga characters intended to be white were pretty distinct & identifiable (e.g. big noses, jutting chins, pronounced cheekbones, curly hair, etc).

missesdash
12-20-2011, 02:13 AM
Yeah, I was born in the Philippines but grew up in the US. I've always seen most anime & manga characters as Japanese. Growing up, most of my peer group was nonwhite so that perspective changed. It wasn't until later when I encountered more white anime & manga fans that I realized many people didn't see them as being Japanese. I've always thought the anime & manga characters intended to be white were pretty distinct & identifiable (e.g. big noses, jutting chins, pronounced cheekbones, curly hair, etc).

I don't read manga or watch anime so I didn't know the characters weren't white. I just saw blonde hair and blue eyes and knew Japanese people don't come in that variation.

So without context, it definitely makes sense to assume they're white. A lot of them don't actually look Asian.

thebloodfiend
12-20-2011, 02:22 AM
I've always thought the anime & manga characters intended to be white were pretty distinct & identifiable (e.g. big noses, jutting chins, pronounced cheekbones, curly hair, etc).

Same here.

alessahinlo
12-20-2011, 02:52 AM
I don't read manga or watch anime so I didn't know the characters weren't white. I just saw blonde hair and blue eyes and knew Japanese people don't come in that variation.

I can't remember the specific term right now but there's a particular tradition in the anime and manga industries to indicate character traits and roles by the color of their hair and eyes. If you ever look at the live action counterparts of anime & manga (because many are adapted into films or television dramas), the characters are always portrayed by Japanese people. (Or Chinese or Taiwanese, if the anime/manga gets picked up in those countries.)

kuwisdelu
12-20-2011, 03:09 AM
I've always seen most anime & manga characters as Japanese. Growing up, most of my peer group was nonwhite so that perspective changed. It wasn't until later when I encountered more white anime & manga fans that I realized many people didn't see them as being Japanese. I've always thought the anime & manga characters intended to be white were pretty distinct & identifiable (e.g. big noses, jutting chins, pronounced cheekbones, curly hair, etc).

Yes. Those who think anime and manga characters look more caucasian than Japanese either need to see more real-life Japanese people or watch this informative video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKTvFhRbBt8). Hint: not all Asians look alike.

mirandashell
12-20-2011, 03:10 AM
That's interesting. What are the character traits associated with hair and eye colour?

Edit: the above was in answer to Alessahinlo, BTW.

kuwisdelu
12-20-2011, 03:12 AM
That's interesting. What are the character traits associated with hair and eye colour?

One example is Red Oni, Blue Oni. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RedOniBlueOni)

kuwisdelu
12-20-2011, 03:15 AM
Yes. Those who think anime and manga characters look more caucasian than Japanese either need to see more real-life Japanese people or watch this informative video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKTvFhRbBt8). Hint: not all Asians look alike.

As an addendum, I'd like to point out that no one thinks the Simpsons are Asian just because they're yellow.

mirandashell
12-20-2011, 03:23 AM
Ok. I'm about to reveal myself as someone who knows nothing about anime or manga.

I read your link on Red/Blue Oni. Did a/m grow out of traditional Japanese stories?

backslashbaby
12-20-2011, 03:29 AM
I would have thought Ginger White was part NA if I knew she were from certain states like GA or NC or the deep south. Or Black + NA + White, which is also common.

But if she were from Italy or NYC, etc, I'd have no clue. Mediterranean?

She doesn't look completely white to me, if that makes sense. I'd have no idea whether she felt that way or not about herself.

In reading, I don't default to White, but I seek out books from so many places and points of view that it would be silly to default to it. I'm sure I did default to white younger.

kuwisdelu
12-20-2011, 03:29 AM
Ok. I'm about to reveal myself as someone who knows nothing about anime or manga.

I read your link on Red/Blue Oni. Did a/m grow out of traditional Japanese stories?

I'm not sure what you mean. Anime and manga are written by Japanese, so it's natural they would use tropes from their traditional stories, just as Western storytellers call on tropes from traditional Western stories.

alessahinlo
12-20-2011, 03:30 AM
Well, anime & manga are products of Japan so they contain references to folklore, history & culture? I'm not sure I understand your question...?

CACTUSWENDY
12-20-2011, 03:32 AM
Many years ago I had a conversation with a black girl friend of mine and made the comment that I wanted to meet a guy that was 'tall, dark, and handsome'. She swooned and said 'oh, me too.' For a few seconds I stopped and had the thought that what she meant was she wanted to meet a black guy and here I was talking about a dark haired, tanned guy. It gave me a chuckle at the time. Then in later life I found out she was drawn to white guys. So I guess the joke was on me.

From then on I did not assume anything when folks make those type of statements. I think each of us has our own 'mind picture' of statements when it comes to races.

I know when I was real young and went to a black persons home the first time I kind of had a mind opening experience. I was 'amazed' that they had the same type of house that I lived in. I know that sound stupid but when you consider that many other countries have different styles it made sense at the time. Needless to say, I was brought up in a very small world with very slanted views.

I have beta read some work for some on here that stressed the color of their MC and even to the degree of what nationality of even the sales clerks. I pointed out that that was a bit much as it really makes no difference what color the sales clerk is. I guess we take things to extremes in our efforts to be correct.

Look at how for years the good guys wear 'white hats' and the bad guys wear 'black hats' in westerns. Who came up with that? When we write about the 'hired help' what do you think of first off? Or the Asian restaurant. (One of the best ones in Tucson is owned and run by a Mexican family...lol)

Some where along the line we have been set up to see things a certain way and since 'white man' did most of the early visual things we now seem to see that in most of the other venues of things.

All this is my two cents and is only worth about that much. Interesting thread.

mirandashell
12-20-2011, 03:33 AM
Sorry, I should have explained that better.

It's not so much tropes but the fact that, to me in my ignorance, it seems extremely layered. And it's something that has to be learned to be really appreciated if you're not Japanese. That right?

kuwisdelu
12-20-2011, 03:36 AM
Sorry, I should have explained that better.

It's not so much tropes but the fact that, to me in my ignorance, it seems extremely layered. And it's something that has to be learned to be really appreciated if you're not Japanese. That right?

Yes, there are a lot of anime and manga tropes and Japanese cultural conventions that are very difficult to translate for a Western audience.

missesdash
12-20-2011, 03:48 AM
Yes. Those who think anime and manga characters look more caucasian than Japanese either need to see more real-life Japanese people or watch this informative video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKTvFhRbBt8). Hint: not all Asians look alike.

Eh this video doesn't really address what I meant. Not all Asians look alike. But japanese people have much more homogeneous features than other, more mixed ethnic groups. They don't all look alike, but they don't have as much natural variance as I see in anime. As in, no they don't have blonde hair and blue eyes. I don't usually think of animated characters as wearing contacts or having dyed hair, so that could be another reason.

The facial features, for me at least, don't really matter.
I'll accept that they're japanese if that's how the artist intended for them to be seen, obviously. But it's a matter of creative license.

kuwisdelu
12-20-2011, 03:54 AM
As in, no they don't have blonde hair and blue eyes. I don't usually think of animated characters as wearing contacts or having dyed hair, so that could be another reason.

Did you miss the part where it's very common for Japanese youth to dye their hair? In lots of the anime with more realistic hair colors, it's generally assumed characters with blond hair have dyed it, and in some anime this is even a plot point, such as in Toradora! or Clannad, where certain characters' dyeing their hair blond become important issues used for characterization. In other anime, hair can span the color spectrum and include blue, purple, pink, and green hair, which yes, is generally more along the lines of creative license, but doesn't really have anything to do with race. I wouldn't say a blue-haired character looks any more caucasian than Japanese.

Jehhillenberg
12-20-2011, 03:57 AM
Did you miss the part where it's very common for Japanese youth to dye their hair? In lots of the anime with more realistic hair colors, it's generally assumed characters with blond hair have dyed it, and in some anime this is even a plot point, for example in Toradora! or Clannad, where certain characters' dyeing their hair blond become important issues. In other anime, hair can span the color spectrum and include blue, purple, pink, and green hair, which yes, is generally more along the lines of creative license, but doesn't really have anything to do with race. I definitely say a blue-haired character looks any more caucasian than Japanese.

Now I am aware of this. Only because I have a brother who is into manga and anime. I myself, am less knowledgeable about it all.

missesdash
12-20-2011, 04:03 AM
Did you miss the part where it's very common for Japanese youth to dye their hair?

That's actually what I was responding to. I know japanese youth dye their hair. But I don't assume an animated character has dyed hair and contacts. So I take the distinctly Aryan features at face value.

I think that makes sense. If I show you a drawing of someone with brown skin, you aren't going to assume they're a white person with a very dark tan. Your initial assumption will be that they are a person of color.

You need context to be able to identify them as otherwise and for context you have to be interested in learning more/watching anime.

kuwisdelu
12-20-2011, 04:14 AM
That's actually what I was responding to. I know japanese youth dye their hair. But I don't assume an animated character has dyed hair and contacts. So I take the distinctly Aryan features at face value.

I think that makes sense. If I show you a drawing of someone with brown skin, you aren't going to assume they're a white person with a very dark tan. Your initial assumption will be that they are a person of color.

Err, I have, in fact, seen plenty of drawings of someone whose skin was drawn as brown and thought it looked like a white person with a tan.


You need context to be able to identify them as otherwise and for context you have to be interested in learning more/watching anime.

Huh? If I know it takes place on Japan, that's kind of enough context to assume the characters are Japanese unless otherwise indicated. I don't know why one would assume a classroom full of kids in Hokkaido are a bunch of white people just because a few of them have blond hair. ETA2: Even more so if some of them have purple, blue, pink, or green hair, too. That doesn't exactly scream caucasian to me.

ETA: Actually, in a few anime, there are some characters with much darker skin. I couldn't at first quite figure out why they were so much darker. It was clear to me they weren't supposed to be black, because despite the dark skin tone, well, they didn't look black. It wasn't until later I figured out they were ganguro (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganguro).

Jehhillenberg
12-20-2011, 04:20 AM
You know how white people often see MCs as white people by default. Do people of colour do the same? Or is your default your own colour? Or do you not have a default?

I'm interested in how this works.

I think it depends on what you know, your surroundings/environment, and your upbringing. I live in the South, Alabama to be specific.

I admit, I automatically have a mental picture of the MC being white when I pick up a book. Unless it's explicitly stated or implied otherwise. For me, it largely depends on if I'm familiar with the author's work, the author, and the world created.

kuwisdelu
12-20-2011, 04:23 AM
I don't really assume any race if it's not clear. I'll assume the author's race if I know it. Assuming the main character is native American until otherwise indicated would just be statistically silly...

alessahinlo
12-20-2011, 04:27 AM
If I know it takes place on Japan, that's kind of enough context to assume the characters are Japanese unless otherwise indicated. I don't know why one would assume a classroom full of kids in Hokkaido are a bunch of white people just because a few of them have blond hair.

Yeah, I'm gonna have to say that if a character's name is Japanese, I'm going to assume they're Japanese, no matter the hair or eye color.

Now I'm sure some people reading this post are saying to themselves, "Oh well, that's obvious!" But you'd be surprised...

missesdash
12-20-2011, 04:42 AM
I was only explaining my thinking as someone who isn't into the culture as a whole. It's just annoying to constantly hear "oh my god, why do people think this character is white?"

And the answer is actually really simple: statistically, a person with blonde hair and blue eyes is very very likely to be white. I don't think it gets much simpler. I should probably be embarrassed about this, but I definitely never assumed they all take place in Japan. Sometimes there's just an ambiguously rural setting and decidedly japanese food. Eh, that could be anywhere.

I don't know if miyazaki movies count as "anime" but a lot of his characters are definitely european. And I'm sure there's some context here to explain why his characters are obviously european and the other aren't. But if you hold them up side to side :Shrug:

missesdash
12-20-2011, 04:44 AM
Yeah, I'm gonna have to say that if a character's name is Japanese, I'm going to assume they're Japanese, no matter the hair or eye color.

Now I'm sure some people reading this post are saying to themselves, "Oh well, that's obvious!" But you'd be surprised...

Ah well I'm guilty of not knowing their names.

Alan Yee
12-20-2011, 04:51 AM
I don't really assume any race if it's not clear. I'll assume the author's race if I know it. Assuming the main character is native American until otherwise indicated would just be statistically silly...

Likewise. I would never assume that protagonists are half Chinese and half Western European white unless stated otherwise. Though because I am also gay in addition to being multiracial, I think I naturally gravitate to different books than the majority o readers. Most of the books and short stories I read or write have non-white and/or non-straight protagonists. And prior to reading books, I usually already know if the protagonist is a PoC or QUILTBAG or a QUILTBAG PoC.

As for short stories, just reading through a webzine, print mag, collection, or anthology... I suppose I do assume the MC is white unless otherwise indicated, unless I know the author is a PoC or has written numerous PoC characters before.

kuwisdelu
12-20-2011, 04:52 AM
I was only explaining my thinking as someone who isn't into the culture as a whole. It's just annoying to constantly hear "oh my god, why do people think this character is white?"

And the answer is actually really simple: statistically, a person with blonde hair and blue eyes is very very likely to be white. I don't think it gets much simpler. I should probably be embarrassed about this, but I definitely never assumed they all take place in Japan. Sometimes there's just an ambiguously rural setting and decidedly japanese food. Eh, that could be anywhere.

Well, as pointed out above, if a character's name is Ryuji or Shinji, I think it's safe to assume he's Japanese. If it's Simon or Charlotte, I'd be comfortable in assuming they're maybe not Japanese. If you watch anime with a multicultural cast of characters, it's not that difficult to tell who is who.


I don't know if miyazaki movies count as "anime" but a lot of his characters are definitely european. And I'm sure there's some context here to explain why his characters are obviously european and the other aren't. But if you hold them up side to side :Shrug:

In anime with multiracial casts, it's usually not difficult to see the difference. In anime whose cast is primarily non-Japanese, they are often not drawn very differently from the Japanese characters, because that's just the art style. They're used to drawing Japanese characters.

ETA: I'm not saying that I don't see how one could make that mistake. My main argument was along the same lines as the video I posted, that looking at anime and manga characters, and believing there's no way they could be anything but white is not only rather ethnocentric but also incorrect if you actually look at the artwork and the people. And those who believe that and use it to say Japanese people want to be white is downright stupid and racist. At a glance, I can see how one could mistake an Asian character for a white one, or vice versa.

missesdash
12-20-2011, 05:02 AM
Well, as pointed out above, if a character's name is Ryuji or Shinji, I think it's safe to assume he's Japanese. If it's Simon or Charlotte, I'd be comfortable in assuming they're maybe not Japanese. If you watch anime with a multicultural cast of characters, it's not that difficult to tell who is who.

I agree with this, obviously. I was only speaking about how they look. I don't know their names. I just see scenes in passing. Hence the whole "I have no idea what I'm talking about but they look white" angle.


In anime with multiracial casts, it's usually not difficult to see the difference. In anime whose cast is primarily non-Japanese, they are often not drawn very differently from the Japanese characters, because that's just the art style. They're used to drawing Japanese characters.

This is helpful because, again, it offers context. Now I know that characters are sometimes drawn exactly like japanese characters, but aren't japanese. Of course that also explains why I get them mixed up :D

kuwisdelu
12-20-2011, 05:10 AM
This is helpful because, again, it offers context. Now I know that characters are sometimes drawn exactly like japanese characters, but aren't japanese. Of course that also explains why I get them mixed up :D

Check out the cast of Code Geass. The differences between the Japanese characters and the Brittannians living in Japan is subtle but noticeable. The difference between Japanese characters and the overseas Brittanians and the royal family are far less subtle, and the more foreign the character is supposed the feel, the more angular the faces and more square the jaws become, from the various princes to the utterly box-shaped emperor.

In fact, in that show, there is probably a direct correlation between the squareness of a character's jaw and how evil he will end up being.

ETA: Which is closely related to why characters in anime with a primarily non-Japanese cast are often drawn as similar to Japanese characters in other shows. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ButNotTooForeign)

cryaegm
12-20-2011, 09:32 AM
As in, no they don't have blonde hair and blue eyes.
My friend is Japanese and she has blonde hair and blue/green eyes. *Shrugs.* She's mixed, but I think she's more Japanese than whatever else she's mixed with (she told me once, but I can't remember it all; I know she's 1/8 black, but that's it....). Yeah, it's not very common, but still happens, especially if one is mixed.

(I won't use myself because I don't have blonde hair anymore. It turned brown, but I had blonde hair when I was little. Plus my eyes are gray.)

ETA for above ^: Didn't read the rest of thread until now. Sorry if I sounded like I was hostile, I just wanted to note that someone who is Japanese, though it's more likely if they're mixed, can have blonde hair and blue eyes naturally; it's just not really really common as someone who is say, white.

ETA: Do I automatically assume a character is white if their race is not mentioned? I don't think I do. Unless the description hints at the person as being white, otherwise I won't assume they are.

Oh, and although offtopic, a game that deals with Japanese mythology is Okami. Blue oni and red oni reminded me a lot of it.

missesdash
12-20-2011, 09:52 AM
I think "some Japanese people are mixed" goes without saying. Obviously if they're mixed with a more Aryan ethnicity they can have the features of that ethnicity. But I meant ethnically Japanese.

Your friend isn't an exception to the rule because her "white" features don't come from her Japanese heritage. Someone who is half Japanese and half black can have dark brown skin. The possibilities are endless when people mix.

But then they're mixed.

cryaegm
12-20-2011, 10:01 AM
I think "some Japanese people are mixed" goes without saying. Obviously if they're mixed with a more Aryan ethnicity they can have the features of that ethnicity. But I meant ethnically Japanese.

Your friend isn't an exception to the rule because her "white" features don't come from her Japanese heritage. Someone who is half Japanese and half black can have dark brown skin. The possibilities are endless when people mix.

But then they're mixed.
Yes, but I just figured I'd throw it in the air. Like I said, I can't remember what all she is. I'd have to ask her again. Though, I will admit, I did misread into what you said a bit, so I edited my post, but I should've taken it out instead.

kaitie
12-20-2011, 10:26 AM
As someone who has lived in Japan and been friends with many Japanese people, I can say that there is a very common idea that Western features are more beautiful than Japanese features. I've had many, many people tell me that Americans are more beautiful. They actively try to imitate Western features--to the point that they buy items that are designed to give eyes the extra fold that Americans have.

Mannequins in stores are often white, white people are often used in advertisements, etc. It's similar to the study mentioned before in which minority children called the white dolls prettier. Many Japanese do consider the non-Asian look to be prettier, thus setting up an unattainable ideal of beauty. It's sad, but it's also one of the reasons why anime and manga characters often have Western looking features.

I'm not trying to step on toes here, but this is something I've often discussed with my Japanese friends, and I'm repeating what they've told me.

backslashbaby
12-20-2011, 10:55 AM
Maybe part of it is the 'exotic' thing? It is fun to see something very different. I usually find a great deal of beauty due to differences. I love unusual things.

Of course, this is also an obvious problem when it comes to races. Skin color is not nearly the best indicator of a good match between people. Finding the 'Other' fascinating automatically is just as shallow as finding them bad, when you get right down to it. We're all just people. Nobody is more fascinating than the next based on looks alone.

Looks-wise, is it a bad idea? I think so. I'm a pale white girl who would do better embracing that look than wishing I could be so tan, or darker, or more exotic. Wanting to look exotic discounts the amazing beauty right there at home. The grass is always greener, though, eh?

kuwisdelu
12-20-2011, 11:00 AM
As someone who has lived in Japan and been friends with many Japanese people, I can say that there is a very common idea that Western features are more beautiful than Japanese features. I've had many, many people tell me that Americans are more beautiful. They actively try to imitate Western features--to the point that they buy items that are designed to give eyes the extra fold that Americans have.

Mannequins in stores are often white, white people are often used in advertisements, etc. It's similar to the study mentioned before in which minority children called the white dolls prettier. Many Japanese do consider the non-Asian look to be prettier, thus setting up an unattainable ideal of beauty. It's sad, but it's also one of the reasons why anime and manga characters often have Western looking features.

I'm not trying to step on toes here, but this is something I've often discussed with my Japanese friends, and I'm repeating what they've told me.

Interesting, I've never lived in Japan, but I'm repeating what I've heard from Japanese and other people living in Japan on anime and manga forums I frequent.

I know there is certainly a strong subculture among the youth that is rather obsessed with everything American and trying to mirror American fashions, styles, and standards of beauty, but I kind of consider that a separate phenomenon.

*shrug*

And I still don't really buy the idea that the characters have Western features. Certainly there is more variation in hair color and eye color than you would typically see, but Westerners tend to be drawn with different facial features.

missesdash
12-20-2011, 11:00 AM
As someone who has lived in Japan and been friends with many Japanese people, I can say that there is a very common idea that Western features are more beautiful than Japanese features. I've had many, many people tell me that Americans are more beautiful. They actively try to imitate Western features--to the point that they buy items that are designed to give eyes the extra fold that Americans have.

Mannequins in stores are often white, white people are often used in advertisements, etc. It's similar to the study mentioned before in which minority children called the white dolls prettier. Many Japanese do consider the non-Asian look to be prettier, thus setting up an unattainable ideal of beauty. It's sad, but it's also one of the reasons why anime and manga characters often have Western looking features.

I'm not trying to step on toes here, but this is something I've often discussed with my Japanese friends, and I'm repeating what they've told me.

I've heard this as well. I have a rather "plain" friend who lived in Japan and she was totally shocked at how many people stopped to comment on her looks. Even little girls told her she was pretty. She admitted it was mostly because she has blue eyes, fair skin and is very tall. But I've met tons of white guys who exotify Asian girls. My Asian friends constantly complain about "yellow fever" lol.

kuwisdelu
12-20-2011, 11:02 AM
Yeah, a lot of the exotification stuff goes very strongly both ways.

kaitie
12-20-2011, 11:07 AM
My male friends tend to think Asian women are the most beautiful. My Japanese friends were always shocked to hear it. ;)

As for anime characters having distinctively (meaning not just eye/hair color) American looks, unless the artist is someone like Naoki Urasawa I don't usually see it myself. I remember thinking of how odd the style was the first time I saw it.

shaldna
12-20-2011, 03:02 PM
Ahhhh.... I see her as white, from that one photo.

But I guess it depends on the mix of races!


I'll admit that I've had difficultly with this more than once.

I think it's hard sometimes to really tell with some people what ethnic origins they have, and honestly, sometimes physical appearance can be misleading.

aruna
12-20-2011, 04:48 PM
You know how white people often see MCs as white people by default. Do people of colour do the same? Or is your default your own colour? Or do you not have a default?

I'm interested in how this works.

I grew up in a country where whites were a tiny minority, and yet I grew up reading books with all-white characters, and this remains the default for me if the setting is USA or Europe.

In other parts of the world, I assume the characters look like the majority of people in that country, ie, in Africa, they are by default black, in India by default South Asian, in China Chinese, etc. Pretty obvious and I guess we all do this.

The difficult comes if you are writing about a country like Guyana, which is a total mixup of races. I read a novel set in Guyana, the only clue to a person's race, if I am not told, is their name. So a charcter named Krishna Narain is Indian, Jennifer Wong is Chinese, and so on. The trouble is that blacks have normal English names; but I would default a "Peter Clark" to black unless I was told he is white.

The society I grew up in was very very racist, and still is; and since in those days we all took for granted that "white was better" that was the attitude I grew up with and I accepted until into my teens. It caused in me very deep feelings of inferiority, which I still struggle with to a small extent, the differenc ebeing that I now immediately recognise it when it arises and can immediately correct myself.

There was a very blatant and unapologetic preference for "white" in my youth. People would congratulate a girl who "got" a white boyfriend, or the other way around. It was seen as a step upwards. Everybody compared their skin colour, their hair texture, their lip and nose size, trying to be white. That was quite normal behaviour. Totally cringeworthy! And the adults did not correct us; they felt the same way.

For a very long time as a child, I assumed that Africa was full of black people who lived in mud huts. This was a direct result of geography lessons, in which we were taught about a little boy called Bombo who lived in a mud hut in Africa. (We had such examples of kids from all over the world.)

When I was ten I was sent to boarding school in England. A group of us were collected from the station in a taxi, and we all introduced ourselves. There was a white girl called Angela Relton who said she was from Africa. My jaw dropped to the ground; I did not know that white people, too, lived in Africa!

aruna
12-20-2011, 04:53 PM
Many Japanese do consider the non-Asian look to be prettier, thus setting up an unattainable ideal of beauty. It's sad, but it's also one of the reasons why anime and manga characters often have Western looking features.
e.

One of the biggest events in the Guyanese year was the Miss Guyana contest. Year after year, only white or Portuguese (Portuguese was not classed as white in Guyana) girls ever entered that contest, and so Miss Guyana was always white (or Portuguese). Even though both these groups were a very small minority.

The revolution came when an Indian girl won it; and then she went to Miss World and came third. I was about 14 at the time. And then, to boost the morale of girls of colour even more, that girl married Michael Caine; yes, THE Michael Caine. At that point the Miss Guyana contest became multiracial. And then we had a black Miss Guyana who came 15th in Miss World.

shaldna
12-20-2011, 05:10 PM
For a very long time as a child, I assumed that Africa was full of black people who lived in mud huts. This was a direct result of geography lessons, in which we were taught about a little boy called Bombo who lived in a mud hut in Africa. (We had such examples of kids from all over the world.)

When I was ten I was sent to boarding school in England. A group of us were collected from the station in a taxi, and we all introduced ourselves. There was a white girl called Angela Relton who said she was from Africa. My jaw dropped to the ground; I did not know that white people, too, lived in Africa!

I think you've hit on a key point here, and that's how we are exposed, or not exposed as the case may be, to other cultures and races, especially as children.

For a lot of people the only exposure they have to, to use your example, African people, are Save the Children ads on TV, and books like the one you describe. If that is all we are exposed to about African people as children, then that is what we believe that ALL African people are like.

Same could be said for practially every race - growing up our only exposure to anyone from India were Bollywood movies on a Sunday morning. As a child India seemed a wonderfully exotic place, full of beautiful people and endless wealth. I had no concept of the extent of poverty in some areas until I was much older.




The revolution came when an Indian girl won it; and then she went to Miss World and came third. I was about 14 at the time. And then, to boost the morale of girls of colour even more, that girl married Michael Caine; yes, THE Michael Caine. At that point the Miss Guyana contest became multiracial. And then we had a black Miss Guyana who came 15th in Miss World.

Shakira Caine! As a side note, he saw her in a coffee ad and became obsessed with finding her, so he tracked her down. They've been married forever too.

aruna
12-20-2011, 05:12 PM
Yep -- formerly Shakira Baksch!

Cyia
12-20-2011, 05:39 PM
I grew up in a country where whites were a tiny minority, and yet I grew up reading books with all-white characters, and this remains the default for me if the setting is USA or Europe.



I had a friend with a similar experience going to school in India (in what was definitely not a slum area) for a while. She said it was so strange to see Indian kids be assigned writing projects and have them all write about little white girls with names like Anna or Sarah or little white boys with names like Joseph and Timothy. No one wrote their assignments about Indian children. Almost all of their assigned reading was Euro-centric.

She's Indian herself, but had been raised abroad, and found this such a strange phenomenon because it would never have occurred to her not to use the names and places she was personally familiar with (as opposed to just book people/places) when doing those sorts of assignments. But the kids in that school didn't think stories could be written any other way; they'd never seen them.

aruna
12-20-2011, 06:00 PM
I had a friend with a similar experience going to school in India (in what was definitely not a slum area) for a while. She said it was so strange to see Indian kids be assigned writing projects and have them all write about little white girls with names like Anna or Sarah or little white boys with names like Joseph and Timothy. No one wrote their assignments about Indian children. Almost all of their assigned reading was Euro-centric.

She's Indian herself, but had been raised abroad, and found this such a strange phenomenon because it would never have occurred to her not to use the names and places she was personally familiar with (as opposed to just book people/places) when doing those sorts of assignments. But the kids in that school didn't think stories could be written any other way; they'd never seen them.

That totally rings a bell -- that's the way it was. And the stories I read had daffodils and oak trees and the childtren in them ate stawberries and cream -- and none of us had any experience of these things.

When I started writing stories as an 8 year old, I too peopled my tales with white, blonde haired, blue eyed children who ate strawberries and cream for tea. I had never in my life eaten a fresh strawberry. But I could imagine one!!!

As weird as all this sounds, in retrospect I think it works to my advantage as a writer; because in the end it helped me to be able to feel and think like people outside my own culture. I can write white people very easily and naturally, whereas those who grow up thinking Eurocentric by default need helpful threads like this! ;)

Amadan
12-20-2011, 06:59 PM
Eh this video doesn't really address what I meant. Not all Asians look alike. But japanese people have much more homogeneous features than other, more mixed ethnic groups.

Uh...

You know a lot of white people say exactly the same thing about black and Asian people. And a lot of Asian people say exactly the same thing about white and black people.

This happens whenever people are dealing with an ethnicity they haven't spent much time associating with: they tend to see them as being very homogeneous, not like "us."

When I was in Korea, I found that many Koreans think that white people pretty much all look alike. Foreigners get used to being compared to some random movie star (because those are the only white people a lot of Koreans have seen) who has a vaguely similar build and hair color.



As someone who has lived in Japan and been friends with many Japanese people, I can say that there is a very common idea that Western features are more beautiful than Japanese features. I've had many, many people tell me that Americans are more beautiful. They actively try to imitate Western features--to the point that they buy items that are designed to give eyes the extra fold that Americans have.

Exoticism. Just like a lot of white dudes will say they think Asian women are hot. But if you look at the Asian women they think are "hot," they mean the Asian women who conform to an archetype (young, petite, smiling and deferential, long black hair, etc.), not the full spectrum of typical Asian women -- just like the Asians who think Westerners are more attractive don't mean fat, balding, or wrinkled Westerners.

thebloodfiend
12-20-2011, 07:29 PM
I don't know if miyazaki movies count as "anime" but a lot of his characters are definitely european. And I'm sure there's some context here to explain why his characters are obviously european and the other aren't. But if you hold them up side to side :Shrug:

They are anime. And that's because a lot of his characters are European.

Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, Pom Poko, Whisper of the Heart, The Cat Returns, Only Yesterday, I Can Hear the Sea, and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, all take place in Japan and feature Japanese characters.

Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Howl's Moving Castle, and Castle in the Sky take place in various European countries and feature European casts.

As for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, I'm unsure.

Geek that I am, I've seen all of them, and I've read Howl's Moving Castle. The reason that the latter are European is because they take place in European countries (ie, Italy, or fictional England). They also have European names. But the link Kuwidelu provided explains their appearances. And even in Porco Rosso, the American in the movie (the stereotypical Western cowboy) has a very foreign appearance.

In the former, especially the movies that feature a bunch of Japanese culture and history, ie Grave of the Fireflies (saddest movie ever), it becomes obvious what race they're supposed to be.

I mean, even in really flashy animes like Clannad, it's obvious that they're Japanese. They say they're in a school to learn English. And the singular blonde on the cast says he uses hair die. When he stops, his hair is jet black. The hair colors are also used to indicate personality types. Naruto (as much as I hate it) is a big example of that.

Anyway, I've tried explaining this to my parents, but they don't understand. It's frustrating. They think the Japanese want to be white because of WW2, when, in reality, most of them don't even know about WW2 and have seen very little people who don't look like them. *sigh* My parents think everyone self hates.

missesdash
12-20-2011, 08:33 PM
Uh...

You know a lot of white people say exactly the same thing about black and Asian people. And a lot of Asian people say exactly the same thing about white and black people.

This happens whenever people are dealing with an ethnicity they haven't spent much time associating with: they tend to see them as being very homogeneous, not like "us."

When I was in Korea, I found that many Koreans think that white people pretty much all look alike. Foreigners get used to being compared to some random movie star (because those are the only white people a lot of Koreans have seen)

I did know this. But from a strictly objective standpoint, they have less ethnic variation than "white" people because "white" isn't an ethnicity and niether is "black." But Japanese is something very specific and racially they are less likely to be mixed than an American or anyone else living in a country where the indigenous are a minority.

jmlee
12-20-2011, 08:48 PM
I'm just here to say when I was living in Japan I was often mistaken for Japanese even though I'm half Irish, half Chinese and have freckles and was with my blond, blue-eyed girlfriend.

So maybe Asians do look all the same... even to Asians. :)

Another thing about the anime/manga - from a conventional standpoint - most manga is published in black and white and there are limited screentones used, so unless the manga-ka is making a specific statement about how "dark" someone is (I think someone already mentioned that paler skin is considered more beautiful in Japanese culture), all the characters will have paper-colored (i.e. white usually) skin.

If a manga-ka has to go out of their way to screentone someone darker - even though most Japanese people are NOT as pale as "white" people - it's for the specific purpose of calling it out.

On the other hand, not screentoning/inking a character's hair just saves resources, so some manga-ka might not even fill in a character's hair - even if it's supposed to be black.

My fiancée was just on a rant about the blond haired Japanese thing earlier this week. She's been watching some anime-turned-live-action where one of the characters is French, but he's played by a Japanese guy, but instead of bleaching his hair blond (the character is supposed to be BLOND blond) they just lightened it.

Relevant? y/n

kaitie
12-21-2011, 12:18 AM
People often thought I was half even though I don't have a bit of Asian in me. Something about the eyes, I think. It was odd.

I'm not quite sure I believe Japanese people are more homogenous than other groups. Yes, I can tell the difference between Japanese or Vietnamese or Korean or Chinese, but Japanese people have very distinctive features that come in a huge variety. When I first arrived I had a hard time telling people apart. When I left, I had a hard time telling someone was Japanese. That might sound strange, but it didn't occur to me anymore that a person was Japanese.

The longer you are exposed to a group, the more you start to see the individual differences rather than the overall general picture. Yes, Japanese people often said I looked like any random white person they had seen (and I'd think they were nuts lol), but it was just a lack of exposure. It didn't mean that white people were more homogenous.

I'm not sure if I'm misreading the statements above, though. I might be.

kaitie
12-21-2011, 12:22 AM
Another thing about the anime/manga - from a conventional standpoint - most manga is published in black and white and there are limited screentones used, so unless the manga-ka is making a specific statement about how "dark" someone is (I think someone already mentioned that paler skin is considered more beautiful in Japanese culture), all the characters will have paper-colored (i.e. white usually) skin.

If a manga-ka has to go out of their way to screentone someone darker - even though most Japanese people are NOT as pale as "white" people - it's for the specific purpose of calling it out.

On the other hand, not screentoning/inking a character's hair just saves resources, so some manga-ka might not even fill in a character's hair - even if it's supposed to be black.


I'm not sure if this relates to what you're thinking, but you reminded me of something else. Traditionally in Japan whiter skin is seen as more beautiful. This has nothing to do with trying to look "white", but is related to the fact that the upper class didn't have to work outside in the fields and were thus paler, whereas the lower class and poor were often workers out in the sun who were dark skinned.

While the younger generation has a tendency toward tanning, it's still very common for people to consider themselves pale and to strive to be pale. It was funny because in the summer I'd go to wushu practice and I'd be so pale by comparison. I was always a bit embarrassed by it (I think a little sun looks nicer), but I'd constantly be complimented on my pale skin.

It makes sense, from that perspective, that manga characters aren't often a wide range of shades. Often when you do have a Japanese character drawn as tan, it's because they're a sports player.

missesdash
12-21-2011, 12:30 AM
I didn't mean Japanese people were more homogoneous than other distinct ethnic groups. I just meant Japanese as an ethnicity versus something as nebulous as "white" or "black."

Amadan
12-21-2011, 12:45 AM
I didn't mean Japanese people were more homogoneous than other distinct ethnic groups. I just meant Japanese as an ethnicity versus something as nebulous as "white" or "black."

So, are French people or Nigerians homogeneous?

missesdash
12-21-2011, 01:26 AM
So, are French people or Nigerians homogeneous?

I don't know much about ethnic groups in Nigeria. But when you break up France into it's natural ethnic groups, they do look a lot alike. People from Bretagne, for example, are tan and have thick, curly blond hair. People from northern France tend to have a very specific look. And then of course the south of France is different as well.

"French" isn't a very clean cut ethnicity since the borders of the country basically squeeze a ton of historically different groups into one. A good example of homogenous "white" people would be the polish since it's one of the most ethnically homogenous countries in the world. But in general, most European countries have a lot of mixing.

The top three ethnically homogenous countries are north korea, south Korea and Japan. Hence the reason there's less variation.


This is getting boring, though haha. It's turning into a lecture on diaspora.

Morwen Edhelwen
12-21-2011, 03:14 AM
Well, my default is definitely white, not my own colour.

kaitie
12-21-2011, 03:29 AM
Ah, I see what you mean. I get you. :)

alessahinlo
12-21-2011, 04:26 AM
Traditionally in Japan whiter skin is seen as more beautiful. This has nothing to do with trying to look "white", but is related to the fact that the upper class didn't have to work outside in the fields and were thus paler, whereas the lower class and poor were often workers out in the sun who were dark skinned.

While the younger generation has a tendency toward tanning, it's still very common for people to consider themselves pale and to strive to be pale. It was funny because in the summer I'd go to wushu practice and I'd be so pale by comparison. I was always a bit embarrassed by it (I think a little sun looks nicer), but I'd constantly be complimented on my pale skin.

In my experience, this is common in lots of Asian countries. Can't speak about other places but in Asia, this idea of paler skin = higher class and darker skin = lower class is pretty common. When I go back to the Philippines, I always get complimented on my "pale" skin. (Note: I am not actually pale at all but in comparison to my relatives, my skin is pale.)

Jehhillenberg
12-21-2011, 06:32 AM
Man, I should post lectures from my Cultural Anthropology class on here. Haha

jmlee
12-21-2011, 08:34 AM
Let's all go to all of Asia and investigate! I'll be Matt Damon.

thebloodfiend
12-21-2011, 08:44 AM
Let's all go to all of Asia and investigate!

Haha, I wish. I've always wanted to go to Japan.

missesdash
12-21-2011, 09:15 AM
Let's all go to all of Asia and investigate! I'll be Matt Damon.

I approve of this venture.

Kitty27
12-21-2011, 09:33 AM
Can I join?

I'd love to go to Japan.:D

Skin color is a beast in the AA community. It's almost surreal how an oppressed group can practice racism on its own members! I could go for days about this subject. We are all Black yet there is this persistent belief that lighter skin is better,more desirable and it's really awful.

Sigh.

With regards to my own appearance,I am always asked if I have Native American ancestry. My friend Jenna says I have cheekbones that could cut glass,lol.

thebloodfiend
12-21-2011, 09:43 AM
Skin color is a beast in the AA community. It's almost surreal how an oppressed group can practice racism on its own members! I could go for days about this subject. We are all Black yet there is this persistent belief that lighter skin is better,more desirable and it's really awful.

Sigh.

Don't even get me started. When I lived in Egypt, they ran ads for skin bleaching cream on tv. Granted, they aren't AA there, but some of the people do identify as Nubian in addition to Arabian.

But, on a more positive note, all of them seemed to love Obama because he looked like them. Everywhere we went we got calls of "Obama!" because they thought my dad looked like him. Such a nice change from the Nobama stickers I saw in Florida (and still see in NM).

MacAllister
12-21-2011, 10:06 AM
I remember reading Zora Neale Hurston, and she wrote about the brown bag test -- and I couldn't even quite wrap my tiny little brain around the idea.

I know a fair bit about queer politics and institutionalized GLBT self-loathing, so I guess I shouldn't have been so flummoxed. But...damn.

kuwisdelu
12-21-2011, 10:12 AM
Let's all go to all of Asia and investigate! I'll be Matt Damon.


Haha, I wish. I've always wanted to go to Japan.


Can I join?

I'd love to go to Japan.:D

Get me there in time to see Evangelion 3.0 in theaters, and I'll love you all forever.

missesdash
12-21-2011, 10:20 AM
I remember reading Zora Neale Hurston, and she wrote about the brown bag test -- and I couldn't even quite wrap my tiny little brain around the idea.

I know a fair bit about queer politics and institutionalized GLBT self-loathing, so I guess I shouldn't have been so flummoxed. But...damn.

I learned about this when I was very young. I remember reading that AKA's couldn't be initiated unless they passed it. The horrible part is that I was thrilled I could pass it because I really wanted to be part of this "special group."

It took a long time for me to get off my "I'm prettier because of this" high horse. Okay, well not that long, because I'm only 23. But it's a pervasive mind set. You tell people they aren't good enough because of their skin color and they struggle to prove you wrong. You tell them they're too good, that they're better than everyone else because of it, and they struggle to prove you right.

thebloodfiend
12-21-2011, 10:21 AM
Get me there in time to see Evangelion 3.0 in theaters, and I'll love you all forever.

I just want to see the newest Studio Ghibli movie. Preferably with decent fan subs. But we can arrange a detour if I get to drop by Masashi Kisimoto's office so I can dropkick him for the last 200 or so chapters of Naruto. I kid, I kid. No, not really.

kuwisdelu
12-21-2011, 10:24 AM
I just want to see the newest Studio Ghibli movie. Preferably with decent fan subs.

Well it won't be subbed if you watch it there, and you'll get to see it in a real theater here eventually, even if it'll be a dub, but at least you won't be stuck with some little art theatre screening a freakin' advance release Blu-ray for a meager two showings.

thebloodfiend
12-21-2011, 10:32 AM
Well it won't be subbed if you watch it there, and you'll get to see it in a real theater here eventually, even if it'll be a dub, but at least you won't be stuck with some little art theatre screening a freakin' advance release Blu-ray for a meager two showings.

I'm so glad my favorite animes are super mainstream. Unfortunately, that means they're also fucked over when it comes to Hollywood productions. I know you've heard about the Akira disaster.

kuwisdelu
12-21-2011, 11:04 AM
I'm so glad my favorite animes are super mainstream. Unfortunately, that means they're also fucked over when it comes to Hollywood productions. I know you've heard about the Akira disaster.

Well, Eva is about as mainstream as it gets, apart from K-On! ...just not so much in the West. There were talks of live-action Eva and Cowboy Bebop, too, but I highly doubt they'll ever come into fruition.

aruna
12-21-2011, 11:41 AM
But, on a more positive note, all of them seemed to love Obama because he looked like them. Everywhere we went we got calls of "Obama!" because they thought my dad looked like him. Such a nice change from the Nobama stickers I saw in Florida (and still see in NM).

My son gets told a ot that he ooks like Obama. Oh, there he is on Skype...

.... had a chat on Skype. (He's in India right now.)

blacbird
12-21-2011, 12:31 PM
This forum ("for people of color") reminds me of an old Sanford and Son episode, where the junkyard operated by Redd Foxx and his son had been robbed. A couple of cops show up to get information, and one of them asks Foxx about the perps:

"Were they colored?"

Foxx hesitates a moment, and says, "Yeah. They was white."

caw

Bubastes
12-22-2011, 12:01 AM
In my experience, this is common in lots of Asian countries. Can't speak about other places but in Asia, this idea of paler skin = higher class and darker skin = lower class is pretty common. When I go back to the Philippines, I always get complimented on my "pale" skin. (Note: I am not actually pale at all but in comparison to my relatives, my skin is pale.)

Yup, and this is true even among Asians in the US, at least in my extended family. Skin lighteners are big business.

backslashbaby
12-22-2011, 01:26 AM
I use skin lighteners, because I have some odd freckles that look out of place, lol! I don't think the sale of them alone is a bad thing.


This forum ("for people of color") reminds me of an old Sanford and Son episode, where the junkyard operated by Redd Foxx and his son had been robbed. A couple of cops show up to get information, and one of them asks Foxx about the perps:

"Were they colored?"

Foxx hesitates a moment, and says, "Yeah. They was white."

caw



I really am not colored. Unless you count the blue veins you can see when you look at my skin :D

(Actually, I can tan, btw. I don't, because of skin cancer warnings. All we can figure is that the NA genes cause the ability to tan in skin otherwise very pale redhead. The only other person I've met who was as fair yet tanned easily had a fullblood Cherokee grandmom, so that adds to my speculation.)

escritora
12-22-2011, 02:08 AM
This forum ("for people of color") reminds me of an old Sanford and Son episode, where the junkyard operated by Redd Foxx and his son had been robbed. A couple of cops show up to get information, and one of them asks Foxx about the perps:

"Were they colored?"

Foxx hesitates a moment, and says, "Yeah. They was white."

caw

That reminds me of the time a little black kid saw me and said, "Hey, do you know what color you are?" I said, "I'm not sure. What color am I." He said, "Pink."

He's right. I am pinkish.

missesdash
12-22-2011, 02:29 AM
That reminds me of the time a little black kid saw me and said, "Hey, do you know what color you are?" I said, "I'm not sure. What color am I." He said, "Pink."

He's right. I am pinkish.


Kids are hilarious when it comes to race and skin color. I babysat a little girl with very progressive parents. She went to one of those Montessori pre-schools. Her mom thought it would be a good idea to read her a book about MLK and the civil rights era. She was three!

So of course the girl goes to school the next day and insists that none of the white kids can play with black kids because it's dangerous and a lot of people will get upset. It was hilarious explaining to the teacher that her parents were not, in fact, KKK members.

escritora
12-22-2011, 02:34 AM
Kids are hilarious when it comes to race and skin color. I babysat a little girl with very progressive parents. She went to one of those Montessori pre-schools. Her mom thought it would be a good idea to read her a book about MLK and the civil rights era. She was three!

So of course the girl goes to school the next day and insists that none of the white kids can play with black kids because it's dangerous and a lot of people will get upset. It was hilarious explaining to the teacher that her parents were not, in fact, KKK members.

That's so funny!

A little Asian girl I know walked up to a black man on the subway and asked him if he tasted like chocolate. Her mother was horrified. The man took it in stride.

backslashbaby
12-22-2011, 02:37 AM
Kids are hilarious when it comes to race and skin color. I babysat a little girl with very progressive parents. She went to one of those Montessori pre-schools. Her mom thought it would be a good idea to read her a book about MLK and the civil rights era. She was three!

So of course the girl goes to school the next day and insists that none of the white kids can play with black kids because it's dangerous and a lot of people will get upset. It was hilarious explaining to the teacher that her parents were not, in fact, KKK members.

:D

A little boy I know didn't pay enough attention is his 1st grade class about the Civil War. He came back telling us how in South America right now, there is a war on over slavery, etc, etc.

shaldna
12-22-2011, 03:08 AM
He's right. I am pinkish.

I;m Irish, so I'm a kind of see-through blue.

thebloodfiend
12-22-2011, 03:11 AM
One time, a little kid asked my mom if she was Whoopi Goldberg. They both have dreadlocks and look nothing alike. It was cute.

mirandashell
12-22-2011, 03:13 AM
It's amazing what you can get away when you're a little kid.......







:brit

crunchyblanket
12-28-2011, 03:14 PM
Skin color is a beast in the AA community. It's almost surreal how an oppressed group can practice racism on its own members! I could go for days about this subject. We are all Black yet there is this persistent belief that lighter skin is better,more desirable and it's really awful.



Whites can be pretty nasty about skin colour too (although nowhere near as bad as POC communities, from everything I've heard) - it's the opposite, though. Darker is better. I can't count the number of times I've been told I'd look better with a tan, or that I'm too pale.

When my sister was little, she had an interesting way of categorising skin colours. My mum, brother and stepdad (both relatively dark-skinned for white people) had 'beach skin', my husband (who is Sicilian and therefore much darker) had 'gold skin'. The next-door neighbour, who is Ghanian, had 'night-time skin'. And pale old me had 'silver skin', or on a bad day, 'blue skin'.

Jehhillenberg
12-29-2011, 04:57 AM
Whites can be pretty nasty about skin colour too (although nowhere near as bad as POC communities, from everything I've heard) - it's the opposite, though. Darker is better. I can't count the number of times I've been told I'd look better with a tan, or that I'm too pale.

When my sister was little, she had an interesting way of categorising skin colours. My mum, brother and stepdad (both relatively dark-skinned for white people) had 'beach skin', my husband (who is Sicilian and therefore much darker) had 'gold skin'. The next-door neighbour, who is Ghanian, had 'night-time skin'. And pale old me had 'silver skin', or on a bad day, 'blue skin'.

Yeah, I understand that.

Once upon a time ago, pale was considered "beautiful" and of higher class (upper-class, monarchs, ect.) in plenty [almost all] societies. Nowadays, in America at least, tan is in. Bronzer and all that good stuff. Tanned and sun-kissed skin is the thing now and "attractive" and "beautiful". Wow, how things have changed.

missesdash
12-29-2011, 05:01 AM
Yeah, I understand that.

Once upon a time ago, pale was considered "beautiful" and of higher class (upper-class, monarchs, ect.) in plenty [almost all] societies. Nowadays, in America at least, tan is in. Bronzer and all that good stuff. Tanned and sun-kissed skin is the thing now and "attractive" and "beautiful". Wow, how things have changed.


I think this depends on the subculture. I have a lot of friends who are hipsters and into high fashion and for them "tan" is trashy unless you're actually at a beachy location. So there are definitely still people who prefer pale skin and associate "tans" with Jersey Shore, LA Barbies, etc.

ETA: Marc Jacobs, chanel or prada ads demonstrate what I'm talking about.

Jehhillenberg
12-29-2011, 05:36 AM
I think this depends on the subculture. I have a lot of friends who are hipsters and into high fashion and for them "tan" is trashy unless you're actually at a beachy location. So there are definitely still people who prefer pale skin and associate "tans" with Jersey Shore, LA Barbies, etc.

ETA: Marc Jacobs, chanel or prada ads demonstrate what I'm talking about.

No doubt about it; the pale vs. tan complex. I wasn't saying pale was completely out or anything. I'm familiar with subcultures. I should've clarified more because I was talking about in general (now) compared to centuries ago; and more from a pop culture standpoint and American society. I was waiting for Jersey Shore to come up and since you mentioned it, well that takes care of that.

backslashbaby
12-29-2011, 06:20 AM
The pale thing can be really bad. If people wouldn't say we looked sick, I don't know if it would bother me so much. Complete strangers will walk up and comment at the beach, etc. It's very bizarre.

I had a boss give me a very hard time about my skin tone for a while (I was a waitress). It's a real skin tone, folks. Nothing is wrong! Apparently lots of folks don't like it; fine, but I don't want to hear it to my face.

missesdash
12-29-2011, 06:31 AM
The pale thing can be really bad. If people wouldn't say we looked sick, I don't know if it would bother me so much. Complete strangers will walk up and comment at the beach, etc. It's very bizarre.

I had a boss give me a very hard time about my skin tone for a while (I was a waitress). It's a real skin tone, folks. Nothing is wrong! Apparently lots of folks don't like it; fine, but I don't want to hear it to my face.

I'm always surprised by how far people go out of their way to bother a stranger about their physical appearance. Even if I did find someone very pale, why on earth would I need to say something to them about it? I mean logic follows that this person knows what they look like.

It's baffling.

crunchyblanket
12-29-2011, 01:38 PM
The pale thing can be really bad. If people wouldn't say we looked sick, I don't know if it would bother me so much. Complete strangers will walk up and comment at the beach, etc. It's very bizarre.



Yeah, that happens to me too. I remember in Italy a few years ago, people were referring to me as 'the bianchina' - the little white girl, basically. And I've had it suggested that I shouldn't wear skirts because my legs are too white. I mean, christ, it's just skin tone. It's not like it offends your eyes or anything.



So there are definitely still people who prefer pale skin and associate "tans" with Jersey Shore, LA Barbies, etc.



In the UK at least, while there are people who consider the classic 'orange' tan with The Only Way Is Essex and Jordan, you'll often find they still prefer to be a little tanned themselves. Pale skin is a weird taboo, for some reason, which is weird coming from a country where pale skin occurs naturally.

Anjasa
01-01-2012, 06:22 PM
Thank you so much for this thread (and this section!)

I live in Newfoundland, which isn't terribly racially diverse. There's a lot of students at the University from different backgrounds, but there aren't as many outside of that. I work with exclusively white people at my job, and at every other job I've had except one.

So when I write, I tend to fill in the blanks with Caucasians. But I don't want to do this. I'm trying to become a lot more consciencious about how I describe my characters to be a bit more inclusive. It's hard, of course, since most of my characters are fantasy and tend more towards 'blue', or 'purple' or 'actual charcoal black', but I do have a couple that are pale. One vampire and two human girls, specifically.

I just tend to worry a lot too about being construed as being offensive.

I'll definitely be reading this section and hopefully get more diverse input on how to write characters that don't share my skin tone.

Arclight
01-03-2012, 10:32 AM
Whites can be pretty nasty about skin colour too (although nowhere near as bad as POC communities, from everything I've heard) - it's the opposite, though. Darker is better. I can't count the number of times I've been told I'd look better with a tan, or that I'm too pale.


Yeah, whites do have internal racism, although I've heard POCs say that internal racism in their communities is much worse. Still, it drives me crazy when people use "white" when they really mean WASP/Nordic/Germanic. There's a lot of diverse cultures with white skin, and using it to mean only one culture - a culture that's traditionally dominated my country (Canada) - seems backwards to me. By the way, my heritage is mainly Scottish/German, but I still hate when people assume that "white" means a monoculture, or that white-looking people can't have non-white ancestors.

I also thank you for this board. My NaNo story has a major Indian character, and I'm worried I'll completely fail at writing her accurately. When I created her, I didn't have any particular race in mind and I just picked a name that sounded pretty. It's not an Indian name, but I decided to give her an Indian name and make my original name her nickname. I live in a city with a large Indian population, but I don't know any Indians well enough to ask questions about names and culture.

If this makes any sense, the first strong mental image I have of a character is the one that sticks with me, whether it makes sense or not in terms of race, culture, religion, etc. But I worry over whether I might be unconsciously putting stereotypes in when I decide my character's race. I'll definitely be subscribing to this thread and reading the rest of the threads in this section.

crunchyblanket
01-03-2012, 01:37 PM
Still, it drives me crazy when people use "white" when they really mean WASP/Nordic/Germanic.


Mr Crunchy (who's Sicilian/Italian) has the same objection. He's got North African roots, too, which is not something many people guess about him (he's most often assumed to be of Jewish origin.)

CheG
01-05-2012, 11:29 PM
I'm white- or just plain North American (I have no real culture except American- so generic! LOL) but I also tend to default characters to white for the most part. But the media and dominant culture has a lot to do with it. It's so pervasive that it's like air and hard to escape.

But cover art has a big impact too, I think. And names. When I read Eon it obvious from page one that the setting was a sort of secondary world China so it's easy to picture the people. Same with Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber, the cover and the language and the culture gave me the visuals I needed to picture the people as African/Caribbean/African American.

So is it better to describe or not describe? I don't know. I like a bit of description to help me picture everything in a book- from the landscape to the architecture to the people. But I've heard people say not to describe people (or the landscape- or my favorite- the weather!)

jmlee
01-06-2012, 12:15 AM
Re: book covers: Reminds me of the various racefail book covers where the protagonist is explicitly not white and the cover art depicts an explicitly white person...

http://bookishblather.blogspot.com/2010/01/book-thoughts-racefail-on-magic-under.html

LJD
01-06-2012, 12:18 AM
If the book is set in North America, I assume white unless told otherwise. I am of mixed race.

However: because of where I grew up (a suburb of Toronto), for the longest time, I immediately assumed any white person I met was Jewish. Where I grew up, that was pretty much true.

And so when I read novels, I had to consciously remind myself that in most places, most white people are not Jewish. When I read about Jewish characters now, I still feel some sort of personal connection.

CheG
01-06-2012, 12:40 AM
Re: book covers: Reminds me of the various racefail book covers where the protagonist is explicitly not white and the cover art depicts an explicitly white person...

http://bookishblather.blogspot.com/2010/01/book-thoughts-racefail-on-magic-under.html

That's such a shame. Covers have such an impact, especially if you put the main character on it.

nighttimer
01-07-2012, 03:45 PM
I've never traveled outside of the United States. Always wanted to, but just haven't worked in it yet. Someday...

What I've always wanted to know and have learned a little bit when I can actually talk to people from other countries is how do they perceive Black people in America?

My assumption is we are seen belonging in a few select categories. As entertainers like Beyonce and rappers like Kanye West. As athletes like LeBron James, Serena Williams and Tiger Woods. Or prominent politicians like Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell and of course President Obama.

As for the rest, Blacks are viewed as impoverished, uneducated, less than hard working or prosperous people whom are more often behaving as criminals or permanently mired in the underclass. Blacks are seen as a problem that needs to be solved.

Or am I totally wrong about the image of Blacks in America outside of America? :Huh:

backslashbaby
01-07-2012, 04:48 PM
Hmmm, the thing I've noticed most about how people seem to think about US Black people is that they react the way they do about race in their own country (and region), for the most part.

It breaks down by country and region so much, it's almost impossible to describe. And it sounds so stereotyping to mention trends I thought I noticed. No, I'll get my ass in trouble going there, I think ;)

Let's just say a sheltered upper-class white girl seems to act like our sheltered upper-class white girls about it, the urban/cosmopolitan folks tend to be all cosmopolitan about it, the folks from places with no Black people are fairly clueless, etc.

I really don't think there's one grand stereotype about American Black people; folks' own societal filters make that nearly impossible, I think.

missesdash
01-07-2012, 05:04 PM
From what I've seen, there are general stereotypes about Americans, but not really African Americans. That's how we view other countries too. How often do specific ethnic groups within countries get their own stereotype from outsiders? The only group I can think of are the Roma. Everyone else gets grouped by country unless the foreigner is especially familiar with the demographics.

As far as a racist is concerned, black people are black whether they're African, African American or Afro-European. The one exception would be other places with black majorities. I've heard a lot of Africans call AA's lazy and entitled.

aruna
01-07-2012, 05:32 PM
As for the rest, Blacks are viewed as impoverished, uneducated, less than hard working or prosperous people whom are more often behaving as criminals or permanently mired in the underclass. Blacks are seen as a problem that needs to be solved.

Or am I totally wrong about the image of Blacks in America outside of America? :Huh:

I don't necessarily think so. I think US TV is actually doing quite a lot to change the perception of American blacks, at least in a country like Germany, which is very homogeneously white. In German everyday life you would almost never encounter a black teacher, a black doctor, a black lawyer or judge, a black politician. In American TV shows you see these all the time. German kids are used to seeing blacks only in menial jobs, such as cleaning up the supermarket at night, or collecting trash. That must influence their perception of the status of blacks. When they get to see US shows that has blacks in prominent positions I am sure it must alter this world view at least a little -- I'm talking about shows like ER (I've only ever watched a few episodes, but I know I saw several black doctors there) or The Practice; I did follow the latter over several weeks in the UK and I was myself astonished at how many black judges came on board, putting the white lawyers in their place etc. Though I don't know if The Practice was ever shown in Germany.

But this is just my opinion. I've never asked anyone directly how they percieve US blacks. In the UK, I should think there is no difference to the homegrown variety.

mirandashell
01-07-2012, 09:09 PM
No, I don't think there is. The differences we perceive between us and Americans apply to all Americans, not just AA.

Obviously we have stereotypes but they tend to be about the particular state, rather than the ethnic group.

Sophia
01-07-2012, 09:22 PM
My assumption is we are seen belonging in a few select categories. As entertainers like Beyonce and rappers like Kanye West. As athletes like LeBron James, Serena Williams and Tiger Woods. Or prominent politicians like Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell and of course President Obama.

As for the rest, Blacks are viewed as impoverished, uneducated, less than hard working or prosperous people whom are more often behaving as criminals or permanently mired in the underclass. Blacks are seen as a problem that needs to be solved.

For me in the UK, the entertainers, athletes and politicians are just a tiny group, and not the one I immediately think of. My "go to" image is of a teenage girl who is a university student, a little quiet, and studious. After that, it is of a young man who looks stern. Those are the two examples my mind conjures up when I think of 'Black people in America".

I don't know if you can generalise the perception in the way you're asking. Everyone is going to notice or be drawn to different examples based on their own personality, background and interest, and the context of the conversation.

thebloodfiend
01-07-2012, 09:25 PM
In Egypt, the Arabs and Nubians were crazy about us. Or they just wanted our money. Either or.

But it was because of Obama. Everywhere we went, someone would shout out Obama. A few had posters. They were really excited about the black American thing. Now, there were Russian and German tourists who were rude to us, but the Egyptians were pretty much cool except for the odd one.

missesdash
01-07-2012, 09:28 PM
@Sophia I had to laugh at your picture of a young "quiet" black girl. If there's one generalization about black people that has a lot of truth to it, it's how LOUD a lot of us are.

aruna
01-08-2012, 01:55 PM
@Sophia I had to laugh at your picture of a young "quiet" black girl. If there's one generalization about black people that has a lot of truth to it, it's how LOUD a lot of us are.

....and I am very, very, VERY quiet.

backslashbaby
01-08-2012, 02:07 PM
:) So were my African classmates at university, I thought.

Back home, rooms can get quite loud, yeah :D Don't get me started on the clubs! :ROFL:

Flicka
01-08-2012, 04:27 PM
As for the rest, Blacks are viewed as impoverished, uneducated, less than hard working or prosperous people whom are more often behaving as criminals or permanently mired in the underclass. Blacks are seen as a problem that needs to be solved.

Or am I totally wrong about the image of Blacks in America outside of America? :Huh:

This isn't my experience. I think people here (Sweden) imagine most Americans belonging to a fairly prosperous middle class. I think our most negative view of Americans in terms of ethnicity are Latinos. Part of it I think is because while you see a great deal of Black Americans being cops or falling in love or being doctors, lawyers etc in movies and tv-series, Latinos are still portrayed primarily as cleaning ladies or gang members. Also, to be honest, it fits better with our own prejudices since they are often immigrants and people here tend to look at our immigrants in that same way. Black Americans, however, are 'real' Americans and tend to get lumped in with our general generalisations about Americans (ie you're all Bible-toting, gun-carrying conservatists who think France is the name of the capital of Europe).

One interesting thing that occurred to me is how you Americans talk so freely about race. Here, you can't use that word. You can say 'racism' but generally we speak of xenophobia rather than racism (it's generally considered the more appropriate and I suppose PC word). The word brings back shades of the 30s to us, so I think we really want to underline that there are no 'races', only different 'ethnicities'. We think of PoC as 'foreigners' and so we tend to focus on the aspect of cultural differences rather than colour. That could be positive (colour-blindness, yay) if it wasn't for the fact that I think it's more to do with our unwillingness to acknowledge and discuss the racism that clearly exists than tolerance. Instead, we put a fancier name to it and decide that 'they' are strangers here and will always be that, even if they were born and raised here. That's what puzzles us about America I think. Black Americans are 'real' Americans so what's your problem? Our PoC on the other hand aren't 'real Swedes' so we're somehow justified to think less of them.

In the end, we can persist in our prejudices against PoC while we can pat ourselves on the back for being holier than the Americans.

jmlee
01-08-2012, 09:10 PM
We think of PoC as 'foreigners' and so we tend to focus on the aspect of cultural differences rather than colour. That could be positive (colour-blindness, yay) if it wasn't for the fact that I think it's more to do with our unwillingness to acknowledge and discuss the racism that clearly exists than tolerance. Instead, we put a fancier name to it and decide that 'they' are strangers here and will always be that, even if they were born and raised here. That's what puzzles us about America I think. Black Americans are 'real' Americans so what's your problem? Our PoC on the other hand aren't 'real Swedes' so we're somehow justified to think less of them.

In the end, we can persist in our prejudices against PoC while we can pat ourselves on the back for being holier than the Americans.

Two things came up to me here!

Thing the first: I have a vendor I speak to regularly who is from Torquay, and when he asked me about my fiancée and somewhere along the line I mentioned to him she was primarily French Canadian and Irish, he said "NO. You Americans, you say you're Irish or Norwegian or Polish, but you're not. You're AMERICAN." But here in America I think we tend to be proud of where our families came from, since a vast number of us are, if you go back far enough, immigrant families.

Thing the second: I think whoever came up with the phrase "color-blind" might have had their heart in the right place, but ultimately did a disservice to their cause. And maybe I'm in the wrong here, since I'm a half and the color of my skin isn't want makes people think I'm not white etc, but being blind to color is not really helpful in opening the discussion.

When I worked at a coffee shop (think Starbucks) we had one black woman who always worked the afternoon shift. Some guy wanted to give her a birthday card but he didn't know her name, so he came in one day and asked me to give it to "That dark haired woman who works in the afternoon." And I said, "Which one?" since there were several. And he was like, "Uh... uh... you know, the one... she's got... dark hair... and dark eyes... uh...." and I'm thinking... he means Phyllis... he's terrified to say "black" or "African American" -- he's terrified to not be color-blind by acknowledging that she's black.

mirandashell
01-08-2012, 09:20 PM
Place I worked once had two Michelles. One was black and one was white. I got told off by another waitress for saying 'black Michelle' and 'white Michelle'. I never did again but couldn't work out why she got offended at it. She knew I wasn't racist and meant it only as a indication of which Michelle I was talking about.

I still don't really understand it.

missesdash
01-08-2012, 10:02 PM
@joey that's such a sweet story though! I actually had a similar moment in my MS when someone questioned whether or not it was okay for my MC to refer to someone as a "dark skinned lady." I may have gotten a pass because both me and my MC are POC, but it's definitely not racist when the first thing you notice about someone is that they have dark skin.

@Miranda did you know either of their last names? It fine to use skin color when you don't know the people and therefore can't differentiate, but in general, people don't like being referred to by their race. It would be like saying "wheel chair Michelle" vs "Walking Michelle." lol, it's impersonal and can seem disrespectful.

That's why it would bother me, anyway. I can't say for anyone else.

mirandashell
01-08-2012, 11:00 PM
ERmm.... I can't remember now, to be honest. Possibly not. It was the kind of place where you're introduced as 'This is Miranda. This is Michelle.'

Hmm... I guess I see what you're saying.

jmlee
01-09-2012, 12:09 AM
Yes, it was, but also I had to rib him a little for it. It's my nature!

Hahaha... well we also had two girls named Libby... one was a little rounder and one was a little narrower... and we had an autistic & schizophrenic guy from a nearby group home who used to hang out in afternoons for "social time" ... and he called them "big libby" and "little libby" and it definitely caught on, much to big libby's chagrine...

kuwisdelu
01-09-2012, 12:36 AM
In our department, we have a Korean Mike and Chinese Mike. Neither of their real names are Mike, but it's what they chose as English nicknames. We call them Korean Mike and Chinese Mike. They don't seem to mind.

Anjasa
01-09-2012, 12:49 AM
Yea, it's another one of those things that's very individual, and everyone has different levels of appropriateness.

missesdash
01-09-2012, 12:57 AM
There was a ambiguously tan kid on my school's soccer team that the other players called "Spic." He didn't seem to mind. And it bothered me, but I didn't say anything because it was none of my business. It was between him and his friends.

But I always try to avoid being that level of presumptuous as in "hello! You should be offended! Did you hear what this person called you?!"

crunchyblanket
01-10-2012, 02:55 AM
There's a very select group of people at work that call me Pikey Laura. The rule is, you have to ask me first. I can tell the difference between a word used in jest, and a word used in malice.

Kitty Pryde
01-10-2012, 06:58 AM
My partner had a small circle of friends in high school that contained two Tamikas, both African-American. To this day they are known as Dark Mika and Light Mika. I was a bit taken aback the first time I heard this, but none of them seem to mind.

maxmordon
01-10-2012, 09:30 AM
Sadly being true to the stereotype, we have here around few names that repeat far too much (Juan, Luis, Antonio, Francisco, Jesús) but the most noteworthy is José which is also happens to be my name.

What we do here is call folks either by both their first and middle name (José Francisco, Juan Eduardo, Francisco Fernando, etc.) or my favorite: Say José until you get the right one. :D

maxmordon
01-10-2012, 09:35 AM
About the use of words and its intentions, I think of the N-word equivalent in Spanish: monkey. My great-grandaunt uses it, but also my stepfather (who is dark-skinned) with my mixed-race half-sister. Essentially he calls her "Lil' N-word", they don't seem anything wrong with that and even add mom to the game calling her "the cow". Mom doesn't like the game.

Anyway, today Lil Sis had a fight in school because a kid kept calling her "moron", to strike back she called him "monkey" and even though it can be understood she was calling him animal, I do wonder what would have happened if we were in the US and she had called him a "N-word".

kuwisdelu
01-10-2012, 09:49 AM
My forgetfulness helps me. No matter what race, color, or creed you are, I am likely to forget your name. Therefore, when it comes to most of you, in social situations, I tend to just address my statements and questions to blank space until the correct person figures out I'm talking to him, her, or hum.

I have done this multiple times today alone to white people. They all look alike after all. ;)

maxmordon
01-10-2012, 09:56 AM
My forgetfulness helps me. No matter what race, color, or creed you are, I am likely to forget your name. Therefore, when it comes to most, I tend to just address my statements and questions to blank space until the correct people figure out I'm talking to them.

I have done this many a time to white people. They all look alike after all. ;)

I tend to remember either the names or the faces but it takes me a while to remember both.

About white people looking alike, a funny story: mom is light-skinned Latino/Hispanic and she still insists that Ed O'Neill (Al Bundy from Married With Children) played Prince Philip in The Queen. (Or alternative that Sofía Vergara's husband in Modern Family was in LA Confidential.)

At first I did not understand when she kept telling me Al Bundy was in LA Confidential.

So yeah.

missesdash
01-10-2012, 01:02 PM
My forgetfulness helps me. No matter what race, color, or creed you are, I am likely to forget your name. Therefore, when it comes to most of you, in social situations, I tend to just address my statements and questions to blank space until the correct person figures out I'm talking to him, her, or hum.

I have done this multiple times today alone to white people. They all look alike after all. ;)

When someone tells me their name, I immediately find three opportunities to use it. So if it's "Jim," and someone else walks up "have you met Jim?" If I state an opinion,"What do you think, Jim?" or just "let me ask you something, Jim."

Works every time. And people subconsciously love to hear their own names, so it also makes you more likable.

/derail

Anjasa
01-10-2012, 03:32 PM
I'm white, but I have a terrible time telling anyone apart.

The first time I watched the Godfather, I kept asking who people were because they all looked alike to me. My partner's like "That's Michael." *Dumb stare* "Al Pacino. The main character." "Oh! I thought that was the other guy." "Fredo?" "Yea!" *sighs*

I've gotten better, but I'm still constantly "Hey, it's that woman from that TV show!" and he just shakes his head. I'm wrong more than I'm right, regardless of their colour. It's really terrible.

mirandashell
01-10-2012, 04:39 PM
Ermmmmm.... you know that thing about continually using someone's name in a conversation.... that drives me nuts.

I'm just thinking 'stop using my name, I know what it is, you know what it is, so stop it!'

missesdash
01-10-2012, 06:00 PM
Ermmmmm.... you know that thing about continually using someone's name in a conversation.... that drives me nuts.

I'm just thinking 'stop using my name, I know what it is, you know what it is, so stop it!'

Haha I think it's only annoying if you do it all night. I don't ever do it more than three times. Unless I'm drunk, then I might just be really obnoxious and continually call someone's name.

maxmordon
01-10-2012, 09:19 PM
I'm white, but I have a terrible time telling anyone apart.

The first time I watched the Godfather, I kept asking who people were because they all looked alike to me. My partner's like "That's Michael." *Dumb stare* "Al Pacino. The main character." "Oh! I thought that was the other guy." "Fredo?" "Yea!" *sighs*

The first time I saw Lord of the Rings I thought Aragorn and Boromir were the same character.

mirandashell
01-10-2012, 09:31 PM
Haha I think it's only annoying if you do it all night. I don't ever do it more than three times. Unless I'm drunk, then I might just be really obnoxious and continually call someone's name.


I once had a phone conversation with a client who used my name about 8 times in 5 minutes.

Of course because she was a client, I couldn't tell her to SFU!

But I was thinking it......

Anjasa
01-10-2012, 09:43 PM
The first time I saw Lord of the Rings I thought Aragorn and Boromir were the same character.

.... me too.

kuwisdelu
01-10-2012, 09:51 PM
so it also makes you more likable.

I try to avoid that as much as possible.

missesdash
01-10-2012, 09:53 PM
The first time I saw Lord of the Rings I thought Aragorn and Boromir were the same character.

Aragorn is the hot one :D

TamaraLynne
01-10-2012, 10:27 PM
I'm a mix :) but I see everyone else in America as mixed to. I also take pride in where I came from. So of course I absolutely love Europe because some one(many some ones) from there made my existence possible. I'm also Cherokee Indian so I guess you could say I love America to. :)
But I do see others from other countries as being more pure in lineage.
I write fantasy fiction so my characters are very diverse and also mixed :)
As far as my MC ....and I did not think about this till now...she is physically very different from me and very white and blonde ...I did what everyone else has done in past studies..I was wondering why she stuck and I could not shake her...now I know..she is a part of my subconscious a seed planted long ago to stand for purity and innocence ..Wow!

mirandashell
01-11-2012, 05:49 PM
Why do you see white and blonde as pure? Why not dark and black?

Not having a go. Just asking.

Rhoda Nightingale
01-17-2012, 06:40 AM
Just throwing in my two cents here:

I think growing up, as I did, in the South, there are a looot of common phrases and sayings that I'm used to and didn't even realize were racist until many years later. Because I never heard them in context.

Example: my cousin was an elementary school teacher for a while, and one day she had some kind of display fixed up and didn't want the kids to touch it until she had a chance to explain it to them. One of them, a black boy, reached for it, and she heard herself say the following: "I told you to keep your cotton-picking hands off the--Oh God, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't mean--shit!"

Yeah. I never gave the words a second thought until she told me that story. It kind of terrifies me to think of all the people I may have unintentionally offended simply due to my Virginianness.

kuwisdelu
01-17-2012, 08:05 AM
Why do you see white and blonde as pure? Why not dark and black?

Not having a go. Just asking.

I'm curious too.


Example: my cousin was an elementary school teacher for a while, and one day she had some kind of display fixed up and didn't want the kids to touch it until she had a chance to explain it to them. One of them, a black boy, reached for it, and she heard herself say the following: "I told you to keep your cotton-picking hands off the--Oh God, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't mean--shit!"

Yeah. I never gave the words a second thought until she told me that story. It kind of terrifies me to think of all the people I may have unintentionally offended simply due to my Virginianness.

I never knew what that particular idiom meant until now, either. Thanks.

crunchyblanket
01-17-2012, 03:15 PM
Why do you see white and blonde as pure? Why not dark and black?

Not having a go. Just asking.

It seems like a very common narrative device. I seem to recall the 'blonde = pure' thing being something to do with a woman's hair darkening with age - blonde hair was considered a sign of youth, and therefore 'purity'.

Anjasa
01-17-2012, 03:44 PM
Most angels are also depicted with light hair and skin, as are common images of Jesus.

It's also just a really, really popular trope (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ColourCodedForYourConvenience?from=Main.ColorCoded ForYourConvenience), like the white hats and black hats. White represents day, black represents night, so white represents things that happen during the day like children playing and people fitting into society, where as black represents things that happen at night like sex and violence.

It's not an easy thing to combat tropes, because people form their first impressions based on their former experiences and popular tropes.

Though apparently blondes (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlondesAreEvil) are evil now, which I didn't know about. I blame Six.

kuwisdelu
01-22-2012, 12:09 AM
I don't know if miyazaki movies count as "anime" but a lot of his characters are definitely european. And I'm sure there's some context here to explain why his characters are obviously european and the other aren't. But if you hold them up side to side :Shrug:


They are anime. And that's because a lot of his characters are European.
...
Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Howl's Moving Castle, and Castle in the Sky take place in various European countries and feature European casts.

Just rewatched Howl's Moving Castle and was reminded of this thread. I'd forgotten how European the characters look compared to the anime I usually watch. And it is because they are, indeed, European.

Snitchcat
02-20-2012, 07:41 PM
You know how white people often see MCs as white people by default. Do people of colour do the same? Or is your default your own colour? Or do you not have a default?

I've been thinking about this for a while. Part of the reason it's been rather difficult for me to answer, or offer an opinion is the fact that I don't see my MCs in terms of colour. I see them in terms of species: type of animal, type of human, type of alien, type of energy / ghost / spirit, etc.

And my MCs identify themselves in terms of who they are, what their nationality and species are, and where their loyalties lie.

Even forcing the issue of colour or ethnicity or race with regards to Earth and humans... hehehe, my MCs and other characters are rolling their eyes at me. And their choice of words: "Oh, for crying out loud. Get a grip!" :tongue

(^_^)

Snitchcat
02-20-2012, 07:58 PM
When someone tells me their name, I immediately find three opportunities to use it. So if it's "Jim," and someone else walks up "have you met Jim?" If I state an opinion,"What do you think, Jim?" or just "let me ask you something, Jim."

/derail

Lol! Then I must be the exception to that guideline! I absolutely despise hearing my name used frequently, even rarely. Hate hate hate. :tongue

Part of that hatred comes from the fact that my name was used against me growing up. And I hate being named for the one person I do not think very highly of, nor do I even like my namesake. Hence some of the reason I use one of my other names. :tongue

Back to topic: recognising people and remembering names aren't activities I find difficult. Nor is distinguishing between each individual. Part of the latter comes from comments akin to "you all look the same; [I] can't tell the difference between you" when talking about my ethnicity. Well, unless we've perfected cloning, no, we don't look the same. And the person who made such a statement would always react with righteous indignation if you got so much as even the tiniest bit irked by their words.

Anyhow. That's some of the background to why I've made it a point to recognise individuals as much as possible, regardless of ethnicity. And, thinking about it, perhaps one of the major reasons my MCs don't identify via colour. Nor do they emphasise it. It's not that they're colourless; it's just that they don't care. To them, the others could be blue-purple-neon-pink. The combination might make their eyes water a bit, but as long as said entities could communicate, that'd be about it. A reflection of how I see the peoples of the world? Yes. :)

/derail

Snitchcat
02-20-2012, 08:03 PM
Just rewatched Howl's Moving Castle and was reminded of this thread. I'd forgotten how European the characters look compared to the anime I usually watch. And it is because they are, indeed, European.

A lot of Miyazaki's anime, if I remember correctly, were all about the wider world, the Europeans. Even Princess Mononoke.

Howl's Moving Castle and Porco Rosso featuring European characters don't surprise me. The first was based on the book by Diana Wynne Jones, and the second was about a traveller famed for trading with China.

Was Kiki's Delivery Service European, too? Memory's hazy on that one. I don't think My Neighbour Totoro was European, nor was Spirited Away? Could be wrong on the latter. :)

But PoCs writing about PoCs from different ethnicities... heh, why not? (^_^)

alessahinlo
02-21-2012, 12:19 AM
A lot of Miyazaki's anime, if I remember correctly, were all about the wider world, the Europeans. Even Princess Mononoke.

Actually, Princess Mononoke was set in Japan. A fantastical Japan, to be sure, but that was definitely pre-Tokugawa Japan. I mean, the names were San, Ashitaka, and Eboshi. These are not European names.


Was Kiki's Delivery Service European, too? Memory's hazy on that one. I don't think My Neighbour Totoro was European, nor was Spirited Away? Could be wrong on the latter. :)

Not sure about Kiki's Delivery Service but Totoro and Spirited Away were definitely set in Japan.

thebloodfiend
02-21-2012, 12:37 AM
Actually, Princess Mononoke was set in Japan. A fantastical Japan, to be sure, but that was definitely pre-Tokugawa Japan. I mean, the names were San, Ashitaka, and Eboshi. These are not European names.

Yeah, their dress is Japanese, too. As well as the people they're based off of. And the culture.


Not sure about Kiki's Delivery Service but Totoro and Spirited Away were definitely set in Japan.

It's a Stockholm-inspired city. I think I posted above which were based off of Japan and which weren't.

Ah, here we go:


They are anime. And that's because a lot of his characters are European.

Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, Pom Poko, Whisper of the Heart, The Cat Returns, Only Yesterday, I Can Hear the Sea, and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, all take place in Japan and feature Japanese characters.

Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Howl's Moving Castle, and Castle in the Sky take place in various European countries and feature European casts.

As for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, I'm unsure.

Geek that I am, I've seen all of them, and I've read Howl's Moving Castle. The reason that the latter are European is because they take place in European countries (ie, Italy, or fictional England). They also have European names. But the link Kuwidelu provided explains their appearances. And even in Porco Rosso, the American in the movie (the stereotypical Western cowboy) has a very foreign appearance.

In the former, especially the movies that feature a bunch of Japanese culture and history, ie Grave of the Fireflies (saddest movie ever), it becomes obvious what race they're supposed to be.

kuwisdelu
02-21-2012, 12:47 AM
Off-topic, but Grave of the Fireflies is Studio Ghibli but wasn't Miyazaki.

Dawnstorm
02-21-2012, 02:32 AM
Off-topic, but Grave of the Fireflies is Studio Ghibli but wasn't Miyazaki.

Neither is Pom Poko, which features a "racial default problem" of a very unusual kind. Many people assume the protagonists are racoons, but they're actually racoon dogs. I can't tell if that's on topic, but I tend to correct people when they make that mistake.

kuwisdelu
02-21-2012, 02:49 AM
Neither is Pom Poko, which features a "racial default problem" of a very unusual kind. Many people assume the protagonists are racoons, but they're actually racoon dogs. I can't tell if that's on topic, but I tend to correct people when they make that mistake.

Actually, I think that correction is on-topic...

Sorta.

Snitchcat
02-21-2012, 04:56 AM
Ah, thanks for the clarification and correction. It's been a long time since I've seen anything from Studio Ghibli and I missed that earlier post about the specific anime.

missesdash
02-21-2012, 05:39 AM
Definitely thought kiki was asian. I don't know why. Probably because she looks exactly like the ones that are asian.

FoamyRules
02-21-2012, 05:48 AM
I always thought of anime/manga characters as being Japanese unless otherwise says so, but that could just be because I am a casual weaboo :D