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Umm...was that racist?

Popularity 6Viewed 3181 times 2014-6-3 12:02 |System category:Life| experience, boyfriend, recently, adorable, racism

I recently travelled to Inner Mongolia with my husband (white American), coworker (white American), and her boyfriend (a very dark skinned Thai). Why am I specifying the race and ethnicity? I'll tell you why. As is a common experience for foreigners, while the four of us were waiting for our train, a Chinese man asked if his adorable daughter could take a photo with us. We said yes and she stood in front of us and they took the photo.

Totally normal, right? But then they showed me the photo and they cut my Thai friend's face out of the photo even though he was clearly part of our group. 

I instantly felt very uncomfortable, but I couldn't put into words (English or Chinese) at the time why I felt weird. Later, the Chinese man said that my friend's skin was as black as an African person and I realized that I thought that is why they cut him out of the photo.

So two questions--why do Chinese like taking photos with foreigners, specifically white foreigners? And why did they cut my friend out of the photo?

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report laoren1234 2014-6-3 17:09
You guessed it.
Reply Report 财神 2014-6-3 18:54
you had bad impression.but once ad agency was making international advertisements.they offer me to find some foreigners,i did it for shooting.the agency said if there is no black people who believes it is int ads?
Reply Report Ivytsang 2014-6-4 12:24
I guess it's the old-fashioned images make some of us act like that, white people like Euro or America are wealthy and pretty, dark or black skin such as Africa are poor and less educated.Although this racist thoughts will make you people uncomfortable, but it's definitely doesn't mean that we dislike them, maybe we just not as sensitive about race as you are.
Reply Report Maierwei 2014-6-4 18:10
white skin- unusual
dark skin- low class

On QQ a random guy started insulting Indian people to me for no reason, he was calling them "f***ing ugly" and I was bothered by his attitude+the language he's using and was so angry. Of course I deleted him, and I guess for some time he was confused that I might be Indian...
Reply Report jiewei798 2014-6-5 00:25
财神: you had bad impression.but once ad agency was making international advertisements.they offer me to find some foreigners,i did it for shooting.the agen ...
I'm sorry, I don't really understand what you mean.
Reply Report jiewei798 2014-6-5 00:27
Ivytsang: I guess it's the old-fashioned images make some of us act like that, white people like Euro or America are wealthy and pretty, dark or black skin such ...
I suppose I understand where those stereotypes stem from, but why was there a need to cut my friend out of the photo?

You are right, as an American, we are very sensitive to racial issues because of our national past with slavery and discrimination against African Americans.
Reply Report jiewei798 2014-6-5 00:28
Maierwei: white skin- unusual
dark skin- low class

On QQ a random guy started insulting Indian people to me for no reason, he was calling them "f***ing ug ...
But dark skin is unusual too, isn't it?

Ugh, that is awful. Such different perceptions of beauty! I find Indian people to be very attractive.
Reply Report mutafire 2014-6-5 07:30
African here... It is not just the Chinese that want to run away from dark skin, even the dark skinned people want to be light skinned...even in Thailand or Africa, there is a race to lighten up as light has been taught, throught subtle and overt means, to represent beauty ...even the Bible speaks of 'Whiter than snow I want to be' the devil is dark, evil is dark... it is a simple association... i guess Ivan Pavlov's experiment was right...

For example...the fact that you think your husband is white, is itself indicative of what you have grown up on...if you see me you would say...black man, even though only my hair is...in the end, if i accept to be black, i can be everything...evil, devil...and definitely not in the photo...

But again, Asians are not keen on Asians...i go around with Koreans and they are not treated like foreigners...
Reply Report Maierwei 2014-6-5 15:28
jiewei798: But dark skin is unusual too, isn't it?

Ugh, that is awful. Such different perceptions of beauty! I find Indian people to be very attractive.
A taxi driver started talking to me about how ugly black people are.

-Haha, I don't agree with you.
-I haven't seen any beautiful black person.
-How many black people have you seen? Not many, yes?
-Not many...
-That's why you're talking like this.
-They're so ugly.
-  

Colorism is everywhere in the world, but in Asia maybe more prominent? Not sure. Even black and brown people do the discrimination, Indians especially. If you're interested, here's a black girl writing about the documentary Dark Girls, and the comments section gets aggressive http://www.xojane.com/issues/dark-girls-documentary
Reply Report jiewei798 2014-6-5 22:31
mutafire: African here... It is not just the Chinese that want to run away from dark skin, even the dark skinned people want to be light skinned...even in Thail ...
Yes, I have noticed this fascination with pale skin and I don't understand it! It is true that my husband is white, but I married him because of his personality, not because of his skin color. Truthfully, I found dark skin to be very attractive.
Reply Report jiewei798 2014-6-5 22:33
Maierwei: A taxi driver started talking to me about how ugly black people are.

-Haha, I don't agree with you.
-I haven't seen any beautiful black person.
-How  ...
Thanks for the recommendation. I know that even within these dark skinned races like Thailand and India, they idolize people who are so pale they could pass for European. In America, being tan is considered very beautiful, but only to a certain degree.
Reply Report Maierwei 2014-6-5 22:44
jiewei798: Thanks for the recommendation. I know that even within these dark skinned races like Thailand and India, they idolize people who are so pale they coul ...
I wouldn't say Thai people are darker than an average Japanese or Chinese person (I'm sure Japanese people would take it as an insult though!)

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