Thanks to Anna for sending this article today. Posted on http://contexts.org/socimages/, the article describes how First Lady Michelle Obama’s dress was described by an Associated Press reporter.
The Associated Press, a news service subscribed to by news outlets all over the world,distributed a story about the first Obama Administration State Dinner. In the story, sent in by Elisabeth R., Samantha Critchell describes Michelle Obama’s dress as “flesh-colored.”
[Thanks to Madeline T., Anne Marie, Therese S., and Drugmnky for the screencap!]
Gee, what could possibly be wrong with calling this dress “flesh-colored”?
This is what happens when white people are considered people and black people are considered a special kind of people, black people. “Flesh-colored” becomes the skin color associated with whites and darker-skinned peoples are left out of the picture altogether. We see this all the time. Bandaids, for example, are typically light beige (though they rarely call them “flesh-colored” anymore), as are things like ace bandages.
Obviously, I was saddened by this coverage. Understanding that what covers my bones is not “flesh” exactly, is…well, it’s why I fly the Oreo flag. It’s why I sing Jewel at karaoke. It’s why I’m gaining the proper certification to breed Devon Rex cats.
It’s also why I’m pushing for a “burden-colored” crayon, band-aid or fabric swatch. There really should be something in the rainbow for all of us.