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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Aug 30th, 2012 10:59 PM
Stamp Paid
Re: Race and Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by moby View Post
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.
You make valid points that are definitely true, vis-a-vis skin bleaching and South/Southeast Asian populations. I'm speaking primarily though to the experience of people of primarily West African descent and their engagement with white supremacy/colonialism, which is where European beauty ideals for blacks originated from.

And your creative example is not true though, from a historical or anthropological perspective. The burst in technology that occurred in the Upper Paleolithic was due to several factors, including exposure to/interbreeding with and intercultural exchange with Neanderthals, who were already producing Mousterian tools before homo sapiens (in the arid Levant ), and exposure to other non-homo sapiens human groups such as the Denisovans. These are more plausible explanations for the burst of human symbolic behavior in Europe, not simply the fact that they had to adapt independently to a cold climate. The archaeological record is extremely scarce in Africa primarily because of the tropical conditions that disrupt the process of fossilization, but we are finding more and more evidence of the African antecedents to the symbolic culture explosions of Paleolithic Europe every year. However, there is no correlation between climate and stages/processes of cultural development. Also, just FYI there's no such thing as cultural supremacy either, thats a very Western European, ethnocentric notion of cultural development you just posited there.
Aug 30th, 2012 09:41 PM
moby
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.
Aug 30th, 2012 09:15 PM
Stamp Paid
Re: Race and Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by WowWow View Post
You are right about that, I should have elaborated on how their art shows them as white and had established certain norms that are still dominant, etc. I'm just afraid this would drag us away from the subject which I think is very interesting and raises other questions about beauty norms today.
No problem, I'm glad you chimed in. But yeah Olorin is right, I was speaking directly to the scientific racism and white supremacy that propagated during the Enlightenment, became firmly entrenched during TransAtlantic Slavery/Colonialism/Imperialism, and still resonate globally today.
Aug 30th, 2012 07:49 PM
WowWow
Re: Race and Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olórin View Post
Well the Ancient Greeks didn't see themselves as "White". So the idea of "White Supremacy" as it's being talked about in this thread doesn't really go back to Ancient Greece so much as the idea of racial supremacy in general; which as you pointed out is a huge factor in Ancient Greek culture, most noticeably the Greek vs. Persian races.
You are right about that, I should have elaborated on how their art shows them as white and had established certain norms that are still dominant, etc. I'm just afraid this would drag us away from the subject which I think is very interesting and raises other questions about beauty norms today.
Aug 30th, 2012 07:15 PM
Olórin
Re: Race and Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by WowWow View Post
Actually, the origins are much older and they go way back to Ancient Greece. The Western Civilization, as we know it, is mostly grounded in Greek Mythology. The perception of beauty, proportion, human relations, ethics etc. This notion was later reinforced by Romans, and it just kept rolling till it reached its peak in Nazi Germany.* So, yeah, it had centuries to be firmly established, and at this point it's very systematic and strong. For some people who were raised in closed societies, it's very hard to recognize it (regardless whether they're victims of oppression or oppressors themselves). This, of course, does not mean they shouldn't be reeducated.
The reeducation process is going to be long and challenging, but it's well worth it.

*Just to make it clear, I am talking about the evolution of white supremacy in Europe, which later had spread elsewhere.
Well the Ancient Greeks didn't see themselves as "White". So the idea of "White Supremacy" as it's being talked about in this thread doesn't really go back to Ancient Greece so much as the idea of racial supremacy in general; which as you pointed out is a huge factor in Ancient Greek culture, most noticeably the Greek vs. Persian races.
Aug 30th, 2012 05:31 PM
WowWow
Re: Race and Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by LBV. View Post
Well, you must know that white supremacy is not something that was created by White Americans. The whole idea that white people are superior to all others morally, intellectually, aesthetically, etc. came from Europe itself, during the Enlightenment.

In re: the bolded, this is simply not true for all human beings. Yes, for most people, what you find most attractive is based on cultural ideals. You are attracted to what you are enculturated to believe is attractive. But how does this explain West African and Indian people who bleach their skin to look white, and black children in the United States who believe that blacks are uglier and more dangerous than whites at only 3-4 years old?



As a European yes, you may find Europeans more attractive because you see them most often. But you must understand that all things that have a cultural basis operate within sets of power relations. Thus, as a white, European person, your cultural ideals are expressed the loudest and transmitted to people all across the world, because white Europeans have the bulk of the wealth and power in the world. Most white people take this for granted, and assume that their own cultural dispositions are natural for all human beings, but this is not true. White people see themselves and like their own features because their beauty is reinforced everywhere (in the media, etc.), non-white people do not get the same reinforcement.


Again, I must point out that you are committing the "common sense" fallacy, based on your own life and experiences. The natural human biological and sexual instinct is to look for sexual partners that will diversify their gene pool, not look for people who look just like them. This is why all human cultures have the incest taboo and most cultures have historically practiced partner sharing across different groups, because it increases the diversity of the gene pool and offspring will have shared characteristics of multiple genetic clusters, which increases offspring's ability to adapt to different environmental stresses. Throughout history, people who look extremely different have migrated, had sex with eachother and produced offspring, despite their different backgrounds. It was not until European scientific racism (white supremacy) that humans began to see themselves in rigidly, racial terms, and assign characteristics to those races which affects how attracted you are to individuals of different backgrounds.
Actually, the origins are much older and they go way back to Ancient Greece. The Western Civilization, as we know it, is mostly grounded in Greek Mythology. The perception of beauty, proportion, human relations, ethics etc. This notion was later reinforced by Romans, and it just kept rolling till it reached its peak in Nazi Germany.* So, yeah, it had centuries to be firmly established, and at this point it's very systematic and strong. For some people who were raised in closed societies, it's very hard to recognize it (regardless whether they're victims of oppression or oppressors themselves). This, of course, does not mean they shouldn't be reeducated.
The reeducation process is going to be long and challenging, but it's well worth it.

*Just to make it clear, I am talking about the evolution of white supremacy in Europe, which later had spread elsewhere.
Aug 30th, 2012 04:55 PM
lefty24
Re: Race and Media

^do you ever post about tennis?
Aug 30th, 2012 01:18 PM
wta_zuperfann
Re: Race and Media

Why won't the controlled right wing media report this:






Well, now that the forum right wingers who love guns and hate government abuses have all the evidence they need to get that cop and his conspirators. When will you delusional right wingers go after them?
Aug 30th, 2012 11:08 AM
Stamp Paid
Re: Race and Media

Sure gal.
Aug 30th, 2012 10:55 AM
SilverSlam
Re: Race and Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by LBV. View Post
You've actually been banned for being a vile, racist POS.
Meanwhile I am sitting here, perched. Not even a warning.
Aug 30th, 2012 01:46 AM
Stamp Paid
Re: Race and Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilliams View Post
What do you mean? I said I've heard of studies stating such things. Why do you think that has to do with my own life or experiences?

"people who look extremely different have migrated, had sex with eachother and produced offspring"

You think I don't know this!!?

"It was not until European scientific racism (white supremacy) that humans began to see themselves in rigidly, racial terms, and assign characteristics to those races which affects how attracted you are to individuals of different backgrounds"

Hmmmm, I wonder if you're implying that I'm only attracted to my own kind and that I was advocating the ideas that I wrote about in my post. I was not, perhaps I didn't explain myself well enough in my post. I was merely relaying something that I heard in a documentary and found interesting. I'm Irish. I've never had sex or a relationship with an Irish person. I've never even had sex with a "white" person, unless you count Hispanic/Latino Americans. My boyfriend of 3.5 years is African American. I'm attracted to all kinds, though, and have been with non-Americans too!

Also, I'm fairly familiar with scientific racism as it was often employed very well by the British to depict Irish people are subhuman or animalistic and in need of "civilising". It made pillaging, exploitation, evictions, beatings, rapes, murders, executions and massacres all the easier for their forces to carry out. It made it easier for hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom were children, to be exported as slaves, especially during the Cromwellian period. It also made it easier to hugely increase the "exportation" of crops and livestock during the famine and at the same time demand that starving families complete a full day of backbreaking work in the soup kitchens before they would be given any sustenance. So, believe me, if I thought that that documentary was in any way rooted or influenced by such thinking, I would not have taken any interest in it. Again, I was not advocating the theory, just expressing how interesting I found it. To be honest, I think that human attraction is so complex that I think there is room for both ideas. Of course, looking for people quite different from you, would go along with the idea of spreading one's seed.

I think that people are probably attracted to people that resemble themselves but not those who necessarily look (just) like themselves. When I have lived abroad, or travelled to other countries I've often seen people and labelled them, "my French uncle," "my Chinese BFF," "my Brazilian neighbour," or "my Qatari former teacher" because they seemed to resemble people from my life - often not just in their looks but also in how they've carried themselves (if that means anything?) I've seen people like this so much, that I often look out for doubles when I go away. People like this would fit both theories - of choosing someone with some sense of familiarity but also some differences.

The documentary went on to describe how people are attracted to symmetry, especially facial symmetry, as this is apparently a sign of a person with good genes and an absence of visible and even non-visible defects. Scientists mapped thousands of people's faces (or something like that) and found that the most symmetrical face (and thus most "desirable" face) belonged to a half-Syrian, quarter-French, quarter-Irish woman. So, you see that even in the documentary they weren't necessarily advocating "sticking to your own kind." I myself find perfection can sometimes be a bit boring (though not always) Actually, I often think of Sharapova and think, there's nothing wrong with her face, some would say it's perfect but, on the other hand, there's not a lot that's striking about it. She's pretty but she's fairly plain and so I think near-perfection can sometimes be better but maybe that's because my face isn't perfectly symmetrical! I think that Syrian woman was on the cover of People. She was Syrian-American, I think.
No, I wasn't talking about you specifically, kwilliams. Just the idea that sometimes ideas/theories can make "common sense" (based on the idea of collective life experiences) and that makes them appear compelling, even though they are not true. I have seen similar documentaries about the role of symmetry in attraction, but I often ask: who was polled in those studies? I know most psychology experiments in the US are conducted on white, male, middle-class American college students, which of course limits the level of generalizations one can extrapolate from the results, especially if one wants to speak in global, cross-cultural terms. Symmetry may be important, but who defines the parameters of where symmetry begins and ends? Which features must be symmetrical? If you have a wide, flat nose and/or a large, round butt, does that automatically make you asymmetrical? Based on what standards, a Western European ideal?

Are those tests measuring natural, human biological/psychological tendencies, or just the way that we have been enculturated by Western media to find certain features attractive? Things to consider.
Aug 30th, 2012 01:32 AM
Stamp Paid
Re: Race and Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by HipsterPova View Post
Well hey there Mr White Tears.

You've actually been banned for being a vile, racist POS.
Meanwhile I am sitting here, perched. Not even a warning.
Aug 30th, 2012 01:23 AM
JN
Re: Race and Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty24 View Post
cause you know hipsters stop liking things after they get popular.
It was just a joke.


No, I still like it, but unlike McDonald's you can't just go to any old Harold's and expect the same quality and taste. I did get all "hipster" when they started selling Coor's in Illinois. Before, we had to drive to Indiana for it.
Aug 30th, 2012 01:15 AM
lefty24
Re: Race and Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by JN View Post
cause you know hipsters stop liking things after they get popular.
It was just a joke.
Aug 30th, 2012 01:02 AM
JN
Re: Race and Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty24 View Post
Hipster.
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