Posts Tagged ‘skin’

It might be the grandest of understatements to say that it is hard to discuss race and ethnicity in the United States.  It does not matter that we have an African American president.  It does not matter that there are African, Latino, Asian and Native American politicians at all levels from city clerks to state governors.  It does not matter that some of the highest paid athletes,  musicians and actors in this country have some tint to their skin.  Huck Finn by Mark Twain is still banned in many American schools, except for a sanitized version that removes the word “nigger.”

A good friend of mine called a few months ago to tell me that she was giving up her subscription to a popular runner’s magazine.  Now this friend is a marathon runner.  It is hard to describe how important running is to her spirits.  Why was she giving up this treat to herself?  Because while the articles were fine she was tired of never seeing anyone in it that looked like her.  My friend is a beautiful dark-skinned African American woman.  After talking with her I paid more attention to the magazines surrounding me in the checkout line of the grocery store, and certainly in the bookstores.  I challenge you to take a closer look when you go to these places.  What do you see on the covers? Beautiful women for sure … and beautiful women who all look the same week after week.

It’s easy to say the right words:  We are all equal.  I treat everyone the same.  There is equal opportunity.  There will be no discrimination of anyone based on skin color, gender, etc.  It is easy to say those words.  And then there is what we do and there is what our children see.  And right now there are too many children who do not see themselves reflected in the every day world around them.  Obama is President but most children are not interacting with the President every day.  Their sense of self  — their sense of beauty — is being shaped by what they see revered on tv, in the movies, and yes, in magazines.  People far more eloquent than I have written on this subject, and I hope they continue to do so.  As for what sparked this morning’s post …  Chancing upon the following images by French artist Titouan Lamazou, and wondering sadly why images of such beautiful women are so rarely found outside of an art gallery.

By the way, the photograhs in this post are of my skin.  Nothing racy, just a shoulder.  A brown shoulder. 😉

* Shoulder Series Images by SFH

* Lamazou images can be found at Nouvelle Images and his website here.

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