09 October 2008

Skin Deep

Racism (Rac·ism): 1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others. 2. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Racism is a grudge we keep against one another for precedent misdemeanors done to us on the basis of our color.

Racism should have died with those who bred such unjust cruelty, such as the slavery acts seen in the U.S. in the 1800s. They should have taken their prejudices to their graves, but in instead their racism found life in their children and those to come.

Racism is a contagious disease. Don’t infect your children; don’t pass the racist torch we burn one another with to the next generation.

Racism is haughty, it believes in superiority of color.

Racism is like tangled branches and limbs of a tree. Perhaps it does not matter anymore, how or why those branches become intertwined, cutting off oxygen, killing, but rather that we cut those branches from the tree so that the tree, our lives, so we can thrive and be healthy again.

Racism’s scars will surely leave their marks on our souls, but while we can hate the prejudice crimes that have happened, we must forgive those who did them. If we can sincerely sacrifice any pride and grudges we keep, perhaps there is hope yet for a future without discrimination of color.

Race, as I define it, is beauty diversified . We should not become blind to our diversity, but rather we should celebrate the unique colors we have in this world, and never using our racial differences as an instrument to build a barrier to divide us.

And I have often dreamed of a day in which we may greet each other warmly, using titles like “brother” and “sister”, regardless of our color, or background. I imagine us all related by the sheer fact that we are all human beings, in one world. Why are we not already united for this very reason?

Have you experienced others discriminating against you because of your race? If so, how did you react; what did you do about it? Is racism a regular occurrence where you live? Do you think racism happens today unprovoked, or does racism happens today still motivated by the same revolting acts of racism from the past? Since many of you are involved and/or interested in fashion, do you think racism happens in fashion, considering the number of Caucasian models greatly trumps the number of models of color or of other races? Other thoughts on racism?

Photo Credits: www.jamesmahon.com


Capuccino B. said...

Racism is one of the things our society needs to fight with. Great post, you are in my links :D

Songy said...


Try the link above for the clip.

well as an Asian woman working in a white male dominated industry I can tell you many stories but just recently something did happen.

I was having a meeting with my boss. He said something like my English was letting me down. Then he quickly back-peddled by saying that I was okay for the 99% of times. Okay, everyone can tell that English is my second language but I'm not that bad and I know that I'm not a great writer. As an IT PM I don't need to be a literary genius. Anyway, I wasn't thinking much of it that day but when I was talking to my guy he pointed out that it could have been due to my ethnicity...cus he knows my level of language skills well enough to make a sound judgment. Anyway.. songy out.

Christina Lee said...

Songy that sucks!
Being a former social worker and urban school teacher I have many stories to tell about atrocities I've seen and heard and thought some day to write a book....

Katie said...

great post... I'm enjoying your blog. :)

lev_i_mote said...

very good post, has a lot of meaning.


J'Adore Fashion said...

Racism is something we really need to fight whether as a society, country or individual--great post!!!

I was lmao when I read the part of the tag about find out my name; ok, i will start signing my name at the end of the post lol

thanks for the tag again :)

Stella :)

Franco said...

I def. Think blacks have triumphed in modeling (and other fields) due to something I call racist compensation. I really would love to see more middle easterns, asian and latino models.
Just like songy you can tell english is my second leguage I remember when I moved to a new school some classmates acted like I wasn't at their intellectual level and so I told them that just because I have an accent (and a very cute one may I say) doesn't mean I'm stupid.
I'm not the best at grammar but I 'm just as bad at it as a lot of native speakers.
It really bothers me that Latino is even an ethnicity, for we have both black and white. everytime I take a state-issued test (such as the AST) there's always a part where you put your etnicity and it says: white(not hispanic), black (not hispanic), Hispanic. ahhhh IT pisses me off so bad! It's like americans don't want to be associated with hispanics, but they don't mind being associated with italians, or french or germans...
other thing that happend to me, When I moved to my new new school I clearly spoke english but for some reason the school thought I wasn't smart and so they put me in a math-helping class, with a bunch of people who didn't speak a word of english, I think they based my Intellecs on my accent and ethnicity.

But at the end I'm total hyppocrate because I'm going to college on a latino scholarship!!! :)

Mila said...

Amazing post! You know i agree with you on everything you said...

Thanks so much for bringing this subject on your blog, it's always been important and (unfortunately) it will be for many years. I don't think racism will end....

Sometimes i feel a little sad when people talk bad about Jews, because i have a Jewish background, but i can deal with it. It doesn't really hurt me, probably because i am not from a Jewish family who does anything about the religion or so..

Love for you, dear!


NicoNice said...


Miranda said...

it's unfortunate that racism still exists today
the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree :(

Cara Mia said...

it's a shame when people discriminate based on the color of a persons skin. they are truly missing out on forming beautiful relationships and learning from different cultures.

Savvy Mode SG said...

it's not just racism but there are other issues that we as individuals have opinions about. it's about tolerance. We may have opinions but as individuals we need to learn to accept and tolerate others that are different or hold different views from us.

Savvy Mode SG said...

forgot to say i tagged you.

joanna//glamour magazine said...

this post is absolutely beautiful. you have SUCH a lovely blog.

Valentine said...

I never really understood why there is even racism. I mean, beyond the features and the colors of our skin we are all the same. What bothers me the most, however, is when people of the same race start discriminating against each other. Hohum. As for fashion, its undeniable. There is some sort of discrimination. Ah.. now you got my head gears spinning again. I shall stop myself from writing further or else I might take over your comment's section. :-)


supreme models totally rock. they bring a different edge to the model stereotype.. although.. i did notice, after you pointed it out, that they are quite thin. we should send them muffins or something.. (lol)

ps to songy: that mustve sucked a big deal. hope you feel better. :-)

Caramelo said...

Great post and wow those pictures!

And thanks for your comment ;)

By the way, I TRIED to put some translations in (bad) English for my last post ;)

Cate said...

I cannot understand racists. I have no respect for them whatsoever.

I am Czech and I live in Germany, but I fortunately haven't experienced direct racism. Only in our block of flats there was an old witch once who was telling all outr neighbours about us "They're foreign, they're weird2", but now in our block of flats there are loads of foreigners.

Oh, I totally f-cked up the maths exam :-( but my teacher knows I'm good at maths, he knows it was just a blackout and he was great about it :-)

Ohh thanks about the compliment about my eye-make-up... Yeah I thought about doing other people's make-up,... But I'm afraid of hurting them with the khol pencil ^^


Ivonne from Self Exposed said...

Have I been afected by racism? Well, let's see, for a mexican woman, with spanish-arabic-jewish-muslim as well as prehispanic roots, I can say I 've had my share, haha.
And you can add to that, the fact that I spent part of my childhood growing up in Texas; learning my second language as a tactic for self-defense haha. (I loved every second I spent there though...).
But I think that the worst kind of racism that you can suffer, is the one you inflict on yourself, when you want to have a different tone of skin or eyes... it just won't happen, and you can spend a lifetime trying to be someone else, instead of loving your beautiful self.
Now I can say I love my deep black hair and olivish kinda tanned skin... though I must admit I feel jealous of oriental skins now and then! (Yeah Songy that's u, and by the way, maybe you are far better at what you do than your boss will tell, it's just envy and insecurity).
As for religion, I just broke up with a 4 year relationship with a jewish guy, because I'm a buddhist and his family won't accept me. But I have no hard feelings, I just wish things could be different. (That's what the post with the pics of my bed is about, a letter of goodbye and love to him, promise to translate everything soon!)

As always, a pleasure reading you! XOXO

(keep flying!)


...again fear is the opposite of LOVE... racism brews frm fear!
sad that racism is still part of life...we all can do alittle something...alittle somethin-somethin' is always better tha nothin' @ all! Amen!!!


Thanks S-C you inspired me to post 'race' soon as I'm doing 'colors' at the moment... awareness dear...always a good thing! thanks sweetie!!!

Betsey said...

i love love love this post. (and yes! i would LOVE to exchange links! i will add you right now!)

im taking a class in college right now that basically is about how to deal with racism in the classroom, as a teacher. its really opened my eyes to just how huge racism is...everywhere. we are all surrounded by it, and it is just so so ugly. i personally have never been provoked by anyone who was racist- but i have definitely witnessed it. and it is just so sad because incidents like that leave a scar that will never go away.

today in class we talked about this poem by Countee Cullen, its called Incident"

Once riding through old Baltimore
Heart-filled, head filled with glee
I saw a Baltimorian
who kept looking straight at me

Now I was eight and very small
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue and called me ``Nigger``

I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December
But of all the things that happened there
That`s all that I remember

powerful, no?

Dana (MODAna) said...

My parents fled France and Spain for Israel because of racism
very powerful

Miss Karen said...

For some strange reason, I've been on the tail-end of some very racist remarks because people thought I was Asian (even though I'm clearly not - I'm Polish). I guess as soon as they see dark hair, some people immediately go into attack mode.

I find racism completely abhorrent and the product of a narrow mind. Because Australia is such a multicultural nation we should be more tolerant of each other but I find the opposite happens. The snide remarks and general rudeness towards non-caucasians only reinforces the us vs them mentality, which is what the white people often blame the non-white people for causing.

Trendology said...

race and ethnicity are complicated social constructions that vary from country to country but this is such an important issue - particularly in the fashion industry

Eelie said...

I think Miranda's ending words sums it up "The apple doesn't fall far from the trees". Generally as a society (in the Western World) we largely are accepting of other peoples races. Theres not so much in terms of racism but perhaps just prejudices where BECAUSE of your race others have a preconceived idea of your work ethics and intellect etc.

The old adage i mentioned is very true and i think it is largely because of this that there are s small minority that are radically racist.

Ergh hope that made sense. I've got exams to study for!!! AAAARgh

Btw, the kitty and doggy aren't mine. Just part of the internet masses. And wow! Tanking you for the tag! I'll get onto that sooooon as i've been so neglectful so expect a vlog about my answers soon :)

Hila said...

racism has always seemed so bizarre to me because it is so completely random - you might as well dislike somebody for the colour of their eyes if you have a problem with someone's skin colour. And I agree with Mila; being both Jewish and Israeli myself, I get a my fair share of prejudice. Great, thought-provoking post.
Thanks for visiting my little blog and for your sweet comment :)

Melissa said...

People of different colors are so beautiful. I wish society could accept that.
And thank you for the lovely comments. I have lots of practice with scissors--they are the loves of my life :]

The Stylish Wanderer said...

What a freakin awesome post.

Its so weird. Today in school there was a ginormous lecture on prejudice and racism. Such a coincidence, and a very important thing to be discussed.

Lisa said...

my love.

okay. i don't want to sound dramatic. but your comment gave me tears. truly s-c. your words seep into my heart and i truly do not know how to express how amazing you are. and whenever i do read it i feel bad because i can't find the words to reply... no word in the english vocabulary can describe just how wonderful you are. end of story.

and HEY. the forbidden words... you are toooooooo funny with the thesarus comment. oh my, you better do some research.

thanks for the exam wishes... i am writing another today. ahhh!!!! I'm actually a nerd and don't mind studying if its something i love BUT a few of these courses are simply draining my soul.

but anyways girl.
this is one of the most beautiful posts EVER. the words... the pictures... everything. i think this should be awarded POST of the year. no joke. I am creating that award and giving it to you NOW!

WELL I'm sure you know racism here in SA runs deep. Apartheid...........the words are echoed everyday. Apartheid is a reality and even though its been almost 14 years since the "new" South Africa came into being...it still effects peoples lives daily. its scary...and i can't even express the sadness if gives me. I mean... its simply not fair...

i could write on forever my dear but I must be off!

i hope you have a glorious friday and have the most amazing weekend.

sending all my love and wishes your way.
congrats on the award ;)

Filo Sofia said...

Racism is prejudice, and prejudice is always wrong. Prejudice is the result of stupidity, laziness, and selfishness.

You write beautifully, s-c.

In the model industry, I don't think racism is so prevalent as in other places. Any racism is in the minds of the consumers of that industry. The image of the model is often chosen to trigger an association with a product, in the hypnotic world of advertising. This is what probably leads to the majority of famous ones being caucasian.

I could go on and on about this whole prejudice subject, but I won't! :)

Nita-Karoliina said...

really great post, i hate racism, in our town we have it quite lot. we should but end of it

Catherine Ashley Talks fashion said...

really nice post...
Make love, not war!


the Oracle of Style said...

Amazing photos! You caused my some reflections...

the Oracle of Style said...

*me :)

The Clothes Horse said...

Racism is so ugly, with all we know today I find it so strange it can still exist.
I went to a highschool where white was the minority and it was unsettling at first to stick out like that and have people comment on your skin. The school even used me in promotional pictures to show diversity! It was in Hawaii and so different from my experiences of schools in the mainland United States...

Jordi Gual said...

If, this is blog wonderful.
I congratulate you by your exquisite pleasure.!

Jordi from Barcelona

Couture Carrie said...

I love this post! Beautiful ladies.

My experience with "race as a factor" is anecdotal but interesting. I taught Spanish at a 96% minority NYC high school. Most of my students were African American and on the first day of class, I would invariably be asked: "Miss, what ARE you?". The kids were shocked that an Irish/Welsh/Scottish/Native American woman could speak SPANISH!



You always bring up such interesting and important subjects of today's world to talk about.
Racism is a disease. It's SICK how people judge each other for their race.
'Race, as I define it, is beauty diversified .
That's a fantastic definition.

Half of my mom's family is african, even though I was never a racist in the first place. I feel very honored to have different etnicies (typo?) in my blood - it really is something to be proud of.

karr said...

Finally someone is wriding the truth of racism. I so agree with you. And lovely pictures!

Female Action Star said...

Woowwwww a great read and it was something i needed to read I like the pictures u decided to use within this post. I digg ur blog to the max. Always checkin for updates and I kno ur always lookin for some cool new blogs to check out. So check out mine... Its fantasyaction.blogspot.com. Enjoy!! Let me know what u think of my "poems"

rachel said...

I haven't really experienced racism personally, but I've heard about this guy here in Montreal. He's an immigrant who studied medicine. To be licensed here he had to pass an exam and complete additional requirements. He did and completed everything, passed everything, and he's still not a licensed medical practitioner. They wouldn't give him a license; he's an Afghan.

I think it's hard to break the stereotypes that build up from certain circumstances. but if you get to know an individual on a more personal level, it gets easier to break that generalization that's formed in your head. You realize that, at the end of the day, youre both just people.

I like what you said that "race is beauty diversified." it's so great to hear this and to know people like you voicing it out :)
you are such an inspiration!

thanks for your sweet comment!
and props for reading the last post in its long entirety :)

have a great weekend, luv!
♥ R

Stompface said...

Really great post and pictures.

I think racism is still rife these days. Just with every day comments I am always hearing. It makes me sad, but I don't see it ever really going away.

It also scares me that I have become so used to it. It used to shock me every time when someone said something racist, but I'm used to it now, because I hear it so much.

How awful is that. Especially being in Australia which is extremely multicultural, you would expect it alot less.

Oh gosh, you always get me thinking deeply. It's saturday morning you know! hahah

Aysia said...

I love this,"race is beauty diversitfied." It really is!

Being African-American, naturally I notice many things, not neccassarily anything racist, but just the occasional differnt treatment. But also, I do not look 100% African-American and sometimes people make comments to me that annoy me. Like I should feel better becasue I look like a mix of Asian, black, and Native American.

I personally think exotic, ethinic looking people are the most beautiful in fashion. Truly.

I hate racism, and I loved this post. I even think I will start using your definition of race :)

PorcelainBlonde said...

Beautiful pictures and they were so well chosen...to me they illustrate the point that yes, differences in race exist but in those differences are also great beauty. We should celebrate that while still honouring the shared human experience :)

nv said...

racism is really unfortunate to still have lingering these days. but together we can all make it go away. great post!

muchlove said...

I just stumbled on your blog, and I think this is such a great post. It's a topic I've often thought about.

It's sad that racism does exist. It's sad that some people let their ignorance control their views.

love the blog, and looking forward to more inspirational posts!

Nature Grafitti said...

there is so, so much i can say on this topic
(honestly, i can go on forever)

but all i am going to say is BRAVO. You've hit the nail on the head
the fashion industry is one who flauts racisim, even if it is unintended
quite frankly, i am sick of the bonde waif-alien eastern european look.... i would love to see much of variety and color than there currently exists now

as ever, you've penned an amazing post :)

Kate said...

I'm a freelance writer, and I just hate it each time I'm automatically deemed unsuitable for a job because English is not my first language. I've had jobs that require me to edit the articles of native English speakers so I know I can write better than most of them do. But jeez, do I win bids? No, and all because I wouldn't lie about my race or where I'm from.

Vintage Me New You said...

true true true!
we are born to be free and we are equal no matter of what is the color of our skin!
only superficial people believe in racism!

very nice post, good job...a plus for the amazing photos:)

sa said...