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Colorism:

The whiteness in Asian cultures have nothing at all to do with being "White" (in the sense that North America would use it). There is a presumption over there that getting skin tanned by the sun is a sign of being a part of the worker class. This existed long before any Chinese or Japanese or Korean ever met a European. So let's not confuse the "whitening" there with trying to be whiter here.

 27 Gabrael, Wed, 21st Dec '11 7:47:11 PM from My musings Relationship Status: Gay for Big Boss
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Most of my Southeast Asian friends complain of the older generation, parents and/or grandparents, complaining about their darker skin, but my friends themselves see no problems with their color. I attribute this mainly to them not being bombarded by Fair and Lovely commercials and aunties to the degree here that they are back in Asia.

When it comes to Japan though it has more to do with certain stereotypes than it does color. For example, my boyfriend is African American, and while not too light, he is certainly not as dark as the majority of native African citizens we have met from Eastern and Central Sub-Saharan African countries. The Japanese students explain the guys from Nigeria, Congo, etc. would be glorified in Japan because of the stereotype that they will be well endowed.

I have actually talked to Chinese and Japanese students who have asked me specifically about that in regards to being curious over my boyfriend. Some have told me they intentionally seek out the African students to date. Yet when I ask if there parents would approve of them marrying a man from that area, they either say no or don't answer.

Regardless, there does seem to be a trend in the younger generations either moving away from this ideal or reinterpreting it with other cultural miscommunication or misconceptions.
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Colorism is just as bad as racism, I think. And just like racism, it can go both ways.
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Well most of the younger generations in North America itself are being more open to seeking beauty in other ethnic groups. I mean most people who like "black" models are actually mixed models but I've seen a trend where younger generations are more open to seeing beauty in non-mixed people.

I'm not sure if it's related to colour-ism but I always found it funny when two ethnic groups pick out who is beautiful in the other group then complain that each others' choices are stupid.

Ummm, I don't think that equating personal preference with racism is entirely fair. People are not required to consider every person equally attractive, after all. And skin tone is part of the appearance, just like eye colour, shape of nose, weight or height are. Why should this part of the appearance trated differently than others?

For the record, my personal preference lies closer to Ambiguously Brown.

Of course, there is a problem that people tend to treat people they find physically attractive better than those who do not match their standards, but, again, skin colour is not the only factor there.
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 31 Blixty Slycat, Thu, 22nd Dec '11 12:10:10 PM from Driving the Rad Hazard
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I don't really consider a personal preference of one skin shade over another to be racism of any kind. It's when you start adding "it makes X better than Y" to the equation that it becomes racism.

I might not be getting what this thread is about, tho'.
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This wouldn't be about personal preference being considered racist. This is more about when society as a whole seems to be statistically geared toward preferring the characteristics of the privileged people more. I've never considered colourism to be a form of racism but a form of class-ism that permeates society at a systematic level, such that people have trouble noticing it occurring.

That is true, but it is hard to accuse society without accusing individual people. In practice, if not in theory. Just how can one tell if someone's preference happens to match with that of their society or is born by it?

Also, all societies tend to have their standard of beauty. I cannot see why skin tone as part of the standard is any more unfair (it is unfair, no mistake here. What I fail to see is difference) than shape of nose or body mass.
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 34 Oh So Into Cats, Thu, 22nd Dec '11 12:56:50 PM from The Sand Wastes Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
I think when it comes to anime it's not necessarily that a lot of characters "look white". Cartoon characters tend to have very large eyes for the purpose of expressiveness — if one were to read Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, the characters are obviously supposed to be Japanese, but have huge eyes. Most American cartoon characters also have huge eyes. Also the lighter hair/eye coloring, especially when including crazy colors doesn't make sense as an accusation because American cartoons do that too — see Marge's blue hair and Stu Pickles' purple. The only time it's strange is when you have characters limited to natural coloration and some of them just look more caucasian than others, which does happen sometimes.

edited 22nd Dec '11 12:57:14 PM by ohsointocats

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 35 Blixty Slycat, Thu, 22nd Dec '11 1:41:19 PM from Driving the Rad Hazard
|like a boss|
This is more about when society as a whole seems to be statistically geared toward preferring the characteristics of the privileged people more. I've never considered colourism to be a form of racism but a form of class-ism that permeates society at a systematic level, such that people have trouble noticing it occurring.

Well, that may be true. But I'm unsure as to what could be done about it.
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Colorism is just as bad as racism, I think. And just like racism, it can go both ways.

What do you mean by that?
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 37 USAF713, Fri, 23rd Dec '11 8:43:32 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Racial minorities can be racist against racial majorities just like racial majorities can be racist against racial minorities.
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 38 wuggles, Fri, 23rd Dec '11 8:45:48 PM from Miami, FL Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Also, I know in the black community people who are light-skinned will get called names like "high yellow" and will get told they are not really black. Meanwhile people who are really dark will get told stuff like "nobody can see you at night" and called ugly.
Obsidian Proboscidean
[up][up] That's one of the things I meant, yes.

[up][up][up] I mean that sometimes people who "look like the majority" (it's in quotes because that's what some people think) can be mistreated by the members of their own group because their own group sees them as a traitor or someone who might betray them in the future. It kinda sucks for all parties involved (except for maybe the majority group), since the energy spent looking at the majority-looking person as a betrayer could be spent helping them assimilate into their own group.

[up] Oh my god, thank you so much for recognizing this. [awesome] I've had this and worse happen to me too many times to count.

Really this whole colorism thing could be resolved if we could all remember that race is a social construct.

edited 23rd Dec '11 8:49:04 PM by BlackElephant

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