Why Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Video Makes Me Uncomfortable… and Kind of Makes Me Angry
So this video started going around my facebook today, with about a dozen of my female friends sharing the link with comments like, and “Everyone needs to see this”, and “All girls should watch this,” and “This made me cry.” And I’m not trying to shame those girls! I definitely understand why they would do so. And I don’t want to be a killjoy. But as I clicked the link and started watching the video, I started to feel a slight sense of discomfort. I couldn’t put my finger on why that was, exactly, but it continued throughout the whole thing. After watching the video several more times, I have some thoughts…
Yep! Exactly my thoughts.
when we were beginning the journey of making this record we wanted to find some inspirational images. we came across the punk and monk image on the Internet and it really solidified what we were trying to get across on the record- the idea of old and new clashing. tradition and change coming together. there was something striking about it. obviously this is an image that means a lot to many people- we felt like we wanted to be part of this conversation. these kids represent the youth, change and irreverence that we hope our record is listened to with. at the end of the day we just want to take the rules and start all over with save rock and roll anyway.
shout out to Roger Stonehouse for capturing the original photo and allowing us to share it with the world
Save Rock and Roll out April 15th and 16th worldwide, preorder here.
This picture’s of kids in Burma, and showed up on my radar- and considering the lack of exposure Burma gets, imagine my surprise at this showing up on the radar! That said, clashing of the old and new?! No, that’s a horrible misinterpretation. There’s no “old” here. There’s only the “new”. There IS only “new”. The monk kid? That’s not old- that’s new. I don’t want to end up sounding RAGING ANGRY RAWRR but this is a picture from Burma, my homeland, and misrepresentations of my homeland hurt me. Immensely. I’m going to just copy/paste something I’ve written about this before, if no one minds:
“The image is often captioned with something akin to “cultural clash between modern and traditional lifestyles” and the ability of two different people who live different lifestyles to live together peacefully, and while it can and often is true, it’s a somewhat stereotypical misreading of the issues and lifestyles in Burma. Punk rebels have been a major underground resistance force in the country, as have graffiti artists, both perhaps perfect examples of ‘modern’ rebels, but Buddhist monks have also always been catalysts for change. See both the 2007 “Saffron Revolution”, anti-government protests originally started by Buddhist monks, and the monk protests over political prisoners in the war against ethnic rebels in 2011.
Both of these boys very likely have much more in common than you’d guess. And this really is a beautiful picture.”
Considering the amount of stuff kids- these kids, and the ones like them- have endured, and the power they have in them, it seems more than a little bit weird that someone were to use them as a symbol of youth resistance and then not mention who they are, by the way. Don’t you think?
I was hoping someone would blog about this. I was really uncomfortable when I saw it earlier…
You can not be serious
can we ruin his life please
Uggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I am about ready to destroy everything he loves.
ETA: I just checked his witheringly terrible instagram account and he has put up his business address. So I guess we could ruin it a little by making use of that address?
Can the camera be racist? The question is explored in an exhibition that reflects on how Polaroid built an efficient tool for South Africa’s apartheid regime to photograph and police black people. The London-based artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin spent a month in South Africa taking pictures on decades-old film that had been engineered with only white faces in mind. They used Polaroid’s vintage ID-2 camera, which had a “boost” button to increase the flash – enabling it to be used to photograph black people for the notorious passbooks, or “dompas”, that allowed the state to control their movements. The result was raw snaps of some of the country’s most beautiful flora and fauna from regions such as the Garden Route and the Karoo, an attempt by the artists to subvert what they say was the camera’s original, sinister intent. Broomberg and Chanarin say their work, on show at Johannesburg’s Goodman Gallery, examines “the radical notion that prejudice might be inherent in the medium of photography itself”. They argue that early colour film was predicated on white skin: in 1977, when Jean-Luc Godard was invited on an assignment to Mozambique, he refused to use Kodak film on the grounds that the stock was inherently “racist”. The light range was so narrow, Broomberg said, that “if you exposed film for a white kid, the black kid sitting next to him would be rendered invisible except for the whites of his eyes and teeth”. It was only when Kodak’s two biggest clients – the confectionary and furniture industries – complained that dark chocolate and dark furniture were losing out that it came up with a solution. The artists feel certain that the ID-2 camera and its boost button were Polaroid’s answer to South Africa’s very specific need. “Black skin absorbs 42% more light. The button boosts the flash exactly 42%,” Broomberg explained. “It makes me believe it was designed for this purpose.” (via ‘Racism’ of early colour photography explored in art exhibition | Art and design | guardian.co.uk)
Jean Paul Gaultier couture.
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.
So apparently Katy Perry’s obsession with Japanese people has reached new heights. On an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show on Monday, she stated ”I’m so obsessed I want to skin you and wear you like Versace”.
Like I needed more reasons to hate Katy Perry.
"We use our criminal justice system to label people of color ‘criminals’ and then engage in all the practices we supposedly left behind. Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination—employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service—are suddenly legal. As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a black man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow. We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it."
This is a serious question - and I’m open to any and all help available!
My 2 youngest children - and moreso the baby - are fascinated by Asian culture. (By Asian, I mean Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.) It started with the discovery of Anime, and has ballooned from there.
That in itself? Doesn’t bother me. Anime may not be my thing, but if they like it, that’s all that matters.
What has started to bother me is the way they - and again, it comes more from the baby than her older sister, although they both do it - treat Asian people as if they’re some sort of exotic alien or something.
I’m probably not going to put this the right way, but I hope I get my point across: I feel as if their fascination (that’s not quite the right word but it’s the best I can come up with) perpetuates “othering” of Asian people - and all POC, as a knock-on effect.
It’s not the interest in other cultures, it’s the WAY they go about it.
Now I should also say that they’re only 10 and 11, so I DO realize that a lot of that is pure ignorance about how the world works. I can’t expect them to understand the concept of “white privelege” at their age. At the same time, I also realize that it’s my job, as their mother, to teach them how to interact and deal with people that are different. They have a bit of a head-start in that direction, having lived their entire lives with a sister with quite severe special needs. They’ve seen at least one version of different all their lives.
The problem is that I’m not entirely sure what to say to them. I want to do the right thing, but I don’t want to end up saying the wrong thing for the right reasons. If that makes any sense. For example, growing up I always tried to explain my acceptance of people of all races by saying something along the lines of “I don’t care what color they are. Black, brown, yellow, pink with neon green polka dots…” But I’ve come to learn from reading essays and blog posts from POC that that actually irritates rather than assuages them. I always thought I was saying the right thing, but it turns out it was wrong. But it was for the right reasons. I’d like to avoid making that mistake in whatever I say to them.
And since tumblr is such a large, varied place, and what with people answering and maybe reblogging… well, hell, I figured it was worth a try.
The Hip hop that you see on TV isn’t actually targeted or marketed towards black people, or even POC at all really. While many hip hop artists are black, and are presenting the construction of “authentic blackness” - we take for granted how commercial hip hop is a carefully structured entity.
Interestingly enough, hip hop is looked to as a musical representation of black culture and black people. People use hip hop as an excuse to paint black people as pathologically depraved and oversexualized… But these representations of blackness are created by white CEOs and sold to white youth in the suburbs.
Why is America obsessed with this idea of blackness that isn’t even real? (rhetorical question, we all know the answer) I’m tired of being told by white audiences who move to the suburbs to escape the “troubled” populations of people who live in MY neighborhoods, to then turn around and tell me what blackness should be. Are you serious? Really? Get the entire fuck outta here thinking that buying Odd Future and Watch The Throne makes you an expert on blackness and my experience. My life isn’t your commodity.
/end rant. Melissa Harris-Perry had a segment on Hip Hop today and got me in rant mode.