So clearly details about the above study were making the rounds last week. From Grazia to The Sunday Times, a day didn’t go past without the study being cited in one way or another. I can see why it was popular – everyone that I’ve spoken to has an opinion on it. Personally it’s made me feel these emotions in this order:
Anger. I was mad. Seriously, British public – I’m supposed to be happy that tan people are acceptable now? Fuck you.
Unease. Saying that a particular race has a significant advantage over others is far too close to eugenics for my liking. Thinking about it made my brain shift uncomfortably in it’s seat and tug nervously at it’s collar.
A feeling that can only be summed up by the phrase “waiiiiit a minute!” Because the study isn’t saying that mixed-race people are The Best. It’s not even suggesting it. What the study is saying is that the British perceive us as more attractive. There’s a big difference between the two. Dr. Michael Lewis is merely reporting what these individuals thought of a set of photos.
Happy. Because it’s bloody fantastic that people are realising you can be both dark-skinned and beautiful. It certainly makes a change from being regarded as “exotic” (*cringe*) or just ignored outright. This is a good thing, and I can’t understand anyone who thinks otherwise. Because if more brown people are appearing on the telly, in magazines, books etc, that means more role models for young brown people. And I won’t see my mixed-race six-year old sister sad again because she doesn’t have “golden hair” (true story).
Sad. What if you’re on the ‘wrong side’ of beige? It’s taken decades for the British public to find someone like me attractive, and I’m a caramelish shade. Seems like it’ll be another few decades before anyone darker will be seen as “mainstream beautiful”. And that’s really depressing.
Mildly offensive flickr photo from journeyscoffee’s photostream