BIG thanks to samebutharold for help on this post!
Ok here’s the deal: It is never ok to edit Zayn Malik’s eyes (or any other features) to be lighter.
- Whitewashing is when a PoC’s features are lightened/whitened to better comply with the white Western standards of beauty.
- Whitewashing is done because in Western society having lighter features is considered more attractive in all aspects of life. Lighter features are thought of as inherently better than darker features.
- That is racist.
The idea that Zayn is more attractive with lighter eyes is basically saying that features that are predominately white are more attractive than the features he has as a PoC. Lightening his features also takes away his heritage and replaces it with a white Western beauty ideal.
The whole thing reeks of “he would be more beautiful if he were whiter.”
When you take a picture of Zayn and his features to make it lighter/whiter you are whitewashing them and you are claiming that the most beautiful features are predominately white features.
Not to mention it’s fucking insulting. Saying that a person of color looks better with predominantly white features when I’m sure Zayn has already had the fucking “lighter is better” complex shoved down his throat all his life AND already has to answer ignorant ass questions just because he’s muslim/half pakistani. You’re just adding insult to your White Supremacy Oppression injury. CUT IT OUT.
Not saying there aren’t PoC who have blue eyes, because there are, that’s very plausible, just because they happen in all races does not make them a marker for every race. Blue eyes are universally associated with being white. Which is why they are placed on such a high pedestal in terms of western beauty ideals
- And when PoC do have blue/green/hazel eyes, they are viewed as more beautiful than PoC who have brown eyes. Which Zayn already has hazel eyes. If he did have blue eyes, that’d be fine, but Zayn’s eyes ARE NOT BLUE. SO, LEAVE THEM ALONE.
And before you come at me with “What about when people photoshop Harry/Niall/Liam/Louis eyes to be blue/brown/green/whatever color”
- Let’s not even pretend that Zayn’s experience as a PoC having white ideals of beauty shoved down his throat all his life is that same as his other four band members who are all white males, and already fit the standards of beauty given to us by society. Whether they already have blue eyes or not, they still fit within the description of the dominant race in society, and fit its beauty ideals. Giving them a different color eyes is not the same thing as giving Zayn blue eyes. It’s just giving them different colored eyes.FUCKING LEAVE ZAYN’S EYES ALONE.
Zayn’s face is already scientifically proven to be perfect you literally cannot make it any better no matter how much insulting white washing you do to it.
BLESS THIS POST
double-bless this post.
But the pile of evidence was not enough, because the question asked by many was “Why can’t they cast a white actor?”–as though the tides of history were stacked so against white actors that they needed defending, they needed the extra opportunity of playing outside their race. As though Asian actors were taking all the good roles, taking all the roles worth doing. As though roles practically screaming for an Asian actor come along everyday, and not just for Long Duk Dong or Charlie Chan or Mr. Chow.
“No,” they said, “these lead roles are clearly fine with white actors. Maybe you’ll get the next one."
Film critic Roger Ebert on Hollywood in his review of “Flowers of War”
“Can you think of any reason the character John Miller is needed to tell his story? Was any consideration given to the possibility of a Chinese priest? Would that be asking for too much?”
Carey Mulligan as Irene in Drive. The role was originally written for a Latina, but the director felt that Mulligan embodied the character more because she looked like she needed to be “protected”. (The implication here being that Latina women don’t look innocent — they don’t look like they need to be “protected”.)
Jim Sturgess as Ben in 21. The film is based on a true story about a group of Asian-American students from MIT who go to Vegas and count cards. Instead the film casts mostly white actors. The two Asians in the film are delegated to one-dimensional, background roles. (The director said he picked the actors based on talent alone. Right, because there are no talented Asian-American actors? And because Jim Sturgess — who needed a dialect coach in order to speak in an American accent — is overflowing with talent…)
Jackson Rathbone as Sokka and Nicola Peltz in The Last Airbender. ”I think it’s one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan,” Rathbone told MTV. The Last Airbender was the live-action adaptation of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender, set in a “fantastical Asian world”. (See: www.racebending.com)
Justin Chatwin as Goku and Emmy Rossum as Bulma in Dragonball: Evolution. I have no words for this one.
If you ship Zutara I assume you’re very familiar with the characters Katara and Zuko, seeing as how they comprise your OTP.
I also assume you notice that Katara is brown skinned. Not tan, not light-mocha: BROWN. See below
So when I’m going through the Zutara tag and I see art like THIS:
I go like THIS
Does that look like the face of someone enjoying the Zutara tag?
I don’t go through the Zutara tag to see my gorgeous dark-skinned waterbending queen bleached into a white girl fantasy.
Katara is brown.
If you have a problem with that, GTFO out of the tags.
I’ve been thinking about the whole Lena Dunham controversy and just HBO Girls and I think one of the biggest issues has to do with the title itself. How can you have a show titled “Girls”, have your main audience (I’m assuming) be women, and not even bother to have the actual, diverse representation of what girls actually are like in NYC?
I mean what sort of message does that send to WOC? That they aren’t “girls” too? That they’re somehow less of a woman? That even in one of the most diverse cities in the world, they’re still invisible? And the sad part is that it’s not only WOC who will notice this, but white women too. And it will just fuel into the endless cycle that is WOC being unrepresented and devalued in the media-and in real life.
— Diego Costa, Slant Magazine on Casa de Mi Padre (via anklewings)
What do you think of the amount of hate and animosity some people are directing towards The Hunger Games, for casting a beautiful African-American girl for the part of Rue?
edit: made rebloggable!
(asked by iwanttobelikearollingstone)
I am so mad at people over this. Rue was described as having “dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that, she’s very like Prim in size and demeanor.” Dark brown.
While many had hoped that the film would cast a woman at least ambiguously of color as Katniss due to being described as “olive-skinned,” our ask box has been loaded with people arguing that dark-skinned people can still be white! (Never mind that J. Law isn’t dark-skinned at all.) People were so unwilling to love and acknowledge a character who was explicitly of color that they would rather insist on a broader definition of whiteness. But I digress.
No, Collins never describes Rue as black, because that is not a meaningful racial category in the book. She is “dark brown,” and people are mad that they cast a relatively light-skinned brown girl in this role. People are so mad that they have to look at a black girl.
How mad are they? Mad enough to completely ignore the way that the book describes Rue. Mad that they were almost tricked into feeling human empathy for a black person:
Why are they so mad that a girl with “satiny brown skin” was played by, uh, a girl with “satiny brown skin”? (Other than because they’re racist and can’t stand the imposition of having to humanize black people.) I think a lot of it has to do with the way that Katniss parallels Rue and Prim, and people refuse to attach Prim’s innocence and purity to a black girl.
What I can’t understand is why people aren’t mad that Thresh has also been cast as a black man? Why are they totally fine with a brutish but noble man being black, but not a wily, pure, beloved, innocent girl?
A few things are pretty clear about the relationship between skin color and class as it relates to Katniss, Thresh, Rue, and the Everdeens:
- Thresh and Rue are both brown-skinned, and this is related to the fact that they are very poor, oppressed agricultural workers from district 11
- People who live in the Seam—including Katniss and her father—are olive-skinned with dark features, and this is very closely related to the fact that they are poor, oppressed and socially invisible miners
- Katniss’s mother is lily-white, and this is very closely related to the fact that she came from a merchant class
- Katniss’s feelings of affinity with Rue and Thresh are very closely related to the fact that they were also poor and oppressed workers
- Peeta comes from a merchant class, and has ashy blonde hair
- Katniss’s feelings of dissonance with Peeta are very closely related to the fact they he did not grow up hungry or in a poor and oppressed situation and as such she sometimes can’t relate to him
This isn’t about phenotypes, this is about a clear if unarticulated racial hierarchy in The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins’s dystopia is not a colorblind one, and white folks are pissed about it. It matters that Katniss was of color, that Rue was of color. It matters not only because we want girls of color to be allowed to see themselves in the media. It matters because it has everything to do with the Capitol and the class and power structures that Collins invented.
White people who read this kind of fiction want to see a colorblind world. They want to see a world which takes place in North America a few hundred years from now but where not only has the memory of slavery and colonialism been completely erased, but so have the formerly enslaved and the formerly colonized. And they want to see a dystopic future where they are the subjects of oppression. They want to see Winston Smith. They don’t want to see any people of color whatsoever.
And if they do have to look at a black face, they sure as hell don’t want to like it.
One thing that’s less clear (at least in The Hunger Games, I haven’t read the other two books yet) is the racial makeup of the Capitol itself. I imagine it’s not completely white but, you know, pretty white. The question most unanswered is that of Cinna: to my knowledge (at least in book one), Cinna is never described as a person of color. That’s why it’s so great to see Lenny Kravitz cast in this role—they cast a black man in a likeable, important role and they didn’t even have to! But I can’t help but wonder if it contributes to the image of a “colorblind” Panem, one in which race isn’t linked to class and power. (But I’m glad he’s got the part, anyway.)