Re: Race and Media
Hmm, I think the preference of light skin goes beyond the Enlightenment, or even Ancient Greece. There are too many strands of light skin preferences throughout history to attribute its existence to any one historical movement/event, although white superiority in its current incarnation is most strongly influenced by the Enlightenment/colonialism. But there has always been a history of it.
It all depends on which geographic region you look at. In India, the Indo-Aryan invasion pretty much established the superiority of the light skinned Aryans over the native dark-skinned Dravidians. Ditto, in China, the Chinese conquests of South-East Asian vassal states. Dark skin was also associated with hard labour in the fields, aka a lower social class.
If I wanted to get a little creative, I'd weave a narrative explaining this as a matter of circumstance. In prehistoric/historic times, people who lived in warmer climates tended to be smaller (Bergmann's rule), have darker skin (from the sun), and relied less on the development of technology for their survival. People in colder climates tended to be bigger, have lighter skin, and because of the harsher climates, required more technology and also a will for expansion to move into more arable land and better climates. When two civilisations were in conflict, the latter group likely has the advantage both in terms of physical size and technology, and this established cultural supremacy for the latter group. The distinction based on skin colour was collateral damage.
Probably a good case study for this theory is the one example of indigenous white people suffering the same fate of discrimination. The native Ainu people of Japan (who look Caucasian) remain discriminated, even though most are effectively absorbed into the main population.
A single flow'r he sent me, since we met./All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet - One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret;/'My fragile leaves,' it said, 'his heart enclose.'
Love long has taken for his amulet/One perfect rose.
Why is it no one ever sent me yet/One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get/One perfect rose.
Last edited by moby; Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:50 PM.