11 October 2006

Color Lines

In a country that is supposed to be a melting pot, culturally diverse, and unbiased, we all know that's a lie. In fact, we know it's so much of a lie that even within cultures skin color can make or break your acceptance. With more and more bi-racial children being born, one would think that the blending would lead to some greater acceptance, tolerance, and understanding, but it hasn't. There are still no dolls for the "beige" (bi-racial) kids; there are no magazines with pictures of girls with naturally curly or kinky hair, and there is certainly no one promoting their proudness of being bi-racial and/or bi-cultured. What's up with that? Don't these children deserve to be represented? Don't they want to see dolls, magazines, and such that they can identify with? Survey says they do.

For the most part, there are two kinds of dolls, white and black; yet the black dolls like like black versions of the white doll. Uh, something's wrong with that picture. To take things a step further, why aren't white girls offended that all their dolls like alike? They're all cookie-cutter unattainable Anglo-WASP images that even half the white girls can't emulate. Barbie is the biggest fraud of all. That heffa promotes a truly unattainable image, yet the ho makes millions off folk and no one seems to have a problem with that. I do! That aside, I'll get back to my point.

Bi-racial children deserve to be represented. They are people too and they are worthy of the same toys, books, and images that mean something to them. There is a magazine Latina, that reps the Latin girls, which I think is great, though it still mostly shows the Latinas that look like the white girls. I want to see a magazine that reps for real. I want to see the bi-racial girls and boys have someone they can say, "hey, s/he looks like me!" I want to see bi-racial actors, politicians, execs, etc., who are bi-racial stand up for all the little boys and girls who look like them or have culturally diverse backgrounds like theirs. Heritage is important and it promotes good social behavior when someone has someone else to feel a tie to.

Bi-racialism is not going away and it's not something that should be swept under the rug like a dirty little secret. It should be embraced, nurtured, and accepted. These children should not have to chose a side. They shouldnn't be forced to accept a toy that has diminished meaning to them just so they can have a toy or doll.

Finally, all races (though a utopian thought) should stop segregating within their own. Light skinned blacks are as acceptable and worthy as darker-skinned blacks. The same goes for the light and dark Hispanics, Italians, and even some whites. Truth be told (for those unaware), Blond(e) hair and blue eyes is a pigment deformity and is not the paramount standard for beauty emulation.

The rant must come to an end, but keep these words in mind, "...the color of a mans skin, is no more important than the color of his eyes..." and "...content of character...not the color of ones skin..." Those are the truths that should be self-evident and sustaining.

Stepping off my soap box now....

15 comments:

blaqrayne said...

{Applause}...You're very right about this. I have nothing against representing people of any race. So I wouldn't say that I hate Barbie because she does represent someone somewhere and those people should have the right to have her. I don't buy them for the lil people in my life, but I wouldn't someone else to be deprived. What I truly hate is the disregard for the identity of others.

nikki said...

on point. my niece is bi-racial and i'll be damned if i allow anybody to make her feel as though she doesn't belong or tries to make her doubt her beauty and intelligence. i'll cut 'em at the stomach first.

Terry said...

Interesting. As the parent of a bi-racial child (hardly a child, damn near 22), I have always found it odd that people HAVE to have him in a "category". Is he black, or is he white? Fortunately for me he has chosen neither.

But if you look at the countless examples of celebrities they are indeed in a category. For example:

Hallie Berry - White Mother, Black Father. First "Black" actress to win an Academy Award.
Malcolm X - One of his Grandparents is white. A "Black" activist.
Mariah Carey - Venezuelan/African Father, Irish Mother. "Black" R&B singer.
Wentworth Miller - White Father, Black Mother. Up and coming "White" actor.
Sade - Nigerian & British. A "Black" Jazz singer.
Tiger Woods - Black Father, Thai Mother. First "African-American" to win the Masters
Freddie Prinze Jr. - Hispanic Father, White Mother. "Hispanic" Actor.
Shemar Moore - Black Father, White Mother. Young "Black" actor.

One person who has seemed to escape all of this labeling is Derek Jeter. All anyone knows about him is, that he's a damn good baseball player.

Hawa Bond said...

T.D. Jakes said something very interesting recently. He traveled to Africa, and with him he took a notion about "race relations." Yet when he arrived there, where everybody looked the same, biases existed based on tribe.

In summary, he discovered that "people will always find a reason to segragate and hate other people." In the US, it's color/race. In other places where the color is the same, it's tribe or religion. You'd think we'd get sick of the "hate game."

Hawa Bond said...

My interest was aroused at the comment that Wentworth Miller's mom is black and dad is white. Actually, his dad is black and him mom is white. It's always interesting to hear the position from those who are bi-racial but appear to be non-black. So often, it's the opposite (e.g. Halle Berry).

Wentworth speaks here (highlight entire line and copy into browser): http://www.mixedmediawatch.com/2006/04/09/wentworth-miller-on-being-a-racial-spy/

Wide Lawns Subservient Worker said...

Yay!!! (clapping) You are great. My mom would be proud (remember the story about my brother?)

I hate stupid Barbie, regardless of her color. When I was little I was so sad that all the Barbies and Disney princesses were blue eyed blondes. I liked Snow White because she looked more like me. My favorite toy was a rare Italian Barbie who was black haired, brown eyed and olive skinned. Sadly, she also became a representative for the physically challenged community when she was tragically maimed in the dog's mouth. In any case, Barbies also promote a negative female body image. My future daughters will not play with them.

The Mistress said...

Ok, I was totally ignorant about the fact that there aren't any bi-racial dolls for little kids. Guess since I don't have children, I'm clueless about that kinda stuff. But Damn! Nothing has changed since I was little. That's CRAP.

jus.b.fli said...

You betta preach, Sista Blu!!

I could feel the passion permeating from the page when I was reading your words. And yes, I agree. It's a damn shame that in 2006 every single race or mixture thereof is not being represented equally when it comes to the toys people buy for their children.

And PLEASE don't get me started on the way we as blacks discriminate amongst ourselves. PLEASE don't make me borrow your soap box. PLEASE remind me this ain't my blog... PLEASE!!??

(WHEW)

Great topic, girly!! Thanks for sharing.

Peace!

Nique said...

Ok. I dont know why there arent any biracial dolls but dolls are becoming more cultural than they have been. As far as barbie is concerned you can thank her perfect flawless un-natural figure to the (and i regret saying this becuase i definitely dont support it nor believe in it) absolute picture of beauty created by the man who made her. frankly i dont understand why any women allow that shit to sink into their sense of self awareness, it saddens me to know that alot of women have self esteem isuues, as far as the actor thing goes, most abandon their biraciality(if thast a word) for which ever side best suits their career. Kind of relavent point in case, alot of mexican latino or hispanic actors that look white will lead you to believe that they are. I mean you are stressing alot of points but they are a reflection of the piss poor condition of the ethos logos and pathos of our society. Crusade this arguement agianst the world because this problem is present in alot of cultures.

JoJo D. said...

Greetings, sis.

And when you say "bi-racial", some people think you only mean a child with a White parent and a Black parent. We forget that there are Mexican/Black (or White) children in the world... Asian/Black (or whatever race) children, too, and so on. They say Black goes with everything...

Mixed race children definitely need representation in this world. Hell, we all need representation in this world.

I wish it could be as easy as judging someone by the content of their character... you'd be surprised at the large number of (silently) racist people in this world.

BluJewel said...

Whew! So many good comments, I hardly know where to begin. Thank you all so much for the support here. I'll try to address you all individually.

Blaq - I know you feel me on this and you know I hate Barbie with a passion, but you're right, I shouldn't. She suits a purpose to someone.

Nikki - ^5 on the stomach cutting though I shouldn't be promoting violence.

Terry - I too have a bi-racial child and the funny thing is that she looks Puerto Rican and she seems to have many friends in that community. She hasn't "chosen" a side and I hope she never does. As long as she's comfortable in who she is, I'm cool with that.

Hawa - You and I share similar thoughts of which have been previously discussed.

SW - I read your blog and it touched my heart deeply. I know you can relate to this and I'm glad you were able to read this and comment. You get this, you truly do.

Mistress - Truly, nothing has changes since you were a child and theh toys haven't changed much either.

Jus - I will gladly relinquish my soap box to you. I know you would say some pretty prolific stuff.

Nique - While I agree that there are a FEW more culturally suited dolls, they AREN'T mainstream as they need to be and those effin Bratz Dollz that are intended to represent the cross ethnicities, they all look jacked to say the least. Agreed, actors use their skin tones to suit their needs.

Jojo - Agreed. I don't and didn't simply regard this as a black/white issue. I represent all bi-racial mixtures and wish society would too.

Susan Abraham said...

Slowly but surely.
One day, it will happen, Blu. And then, it would be like it always was.

It took a long time in Malaysia (and possibly Singapore) for Pan-Asian children - those who had European&Asian blood) to be accepted as fashion models or for commercial ads or any work in the media.
The gripe being that they didn't look totally Malaysian which comprised of Malays, Chinese, Indians & Eurasions.
But today, they're used almost a 100% everywhere and those who were in demand before, have sorely lost out on assignments.
Somewhere along these last 10 years, the tide changed gradually & subtly in favour of the Pan-Asian look but it changed neverthless.

love as always

Tiffany said...

Check out http://www.dollslikeme.com/, which offers dolls representing many different cultural and racial backgrounds. I did a search on "biracial" at the site and got 50 results, including boy and girl dolls representing an assortment of ethnic mixtures. It's unfortunately true that dolls that look like biracial children aren't (yet) widely available in stores, but it's nice to know that someone is making them; and as the numbers of biracial children continue to grow, we're bound to see more and more Barbie alternatives on the shelves.

JC said...

WOW! You either know this from personal experience or have really good insight. Either way, I think you've hit a good topic here. A couple of my boys have kids with other than black women and they have shared some of the same issues you have. We need to start recognizing that the world isn't just black or white. LOL @ nikki, she don't sound like the one to eff with.

blogs@mixedchicks.net said...

Love this blog! Please check out www.mixedchicks.net. We have hair products for biracial hair. There are so many biracial kids out in the world with curly hair. And if they don't have a mother with a similar grade of locks, they often end up with unruly hair. And that can spell image issues. Mixed Chicks was created for just that.... www.mixedchicks.net