Inevitably, it happens. A well-meaning (or maybe not so well-meaning) white person will utter the phrase, “Well, I just don’t see color.”
I still wake up every day knowing that no matter how much work I do, as a low-key racist, I will always have more to do. And I’m happy to do it.
Fielding off-putting questions and comments is a regular part of the mixed-race experience around the world. Yet this social phenomenon is especially common in places with a legacy of institutionalized and cultural racism. That includes the South.
If you buy into the “colorblind” ideology, you’re directly participating in a narrative designed to cover up ongoing oppressive atrocities. Image: Thinkstock.
Where did this particular ideology of not “seeing” race come from? What are the origins of “colorblindness” and what are their current consequences? Here’s the disturbing legacy you’re building on if you take a “colorblind” approach to race.
"I spent quite a few of my preteen and early teen years enjoying taking pictures. But because of the combination of racism, fat antagonism, and lookism, I wasn’t always comfortable getting in front of the camera." Image: Thinkstock
[W]hy must the acknowledgment of my beauty be predicated on how well and how often I contort to attempt to fit into some kind of ideal? Why can’t I be all the iterations of me and still be beautiful?
In Rio, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad will become the first American athlete to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab.
Can you name an elite female athlete? If you asked me to name someone other than Venus or Serena Williams I’d have a tough time.
No black man, woman, or gender non-conforming person is safe from the terrorism of police brutality and racist white people’s actions against us, let alone our most vulnerable citizens, our children.
If I could go back and tell that little girl to run, I would. I would tell her to fly. I would tell her that being fat doesn't define her. It doesn't make her any less. Image: Thinkstock.
Looking back at childhood photos now is bittersweet. In the moment the camera caught, I'm always smiling, but I wasn't always a happy child. I was fat-shamed almost daily.
We are all different, as we come from different backgrounds, experience different hardships, and come to have different perspectives on the world. Image: Thinkstock.
As much as you want to believe people are all the same, we don’t have the luxury of being seen as the “default” in the same way white, straight, cis people often are. We don’t have the luxury of dismissing our painful history and systemic issues for the sake of everyone getting along, because we’re still in the middle of them.
I will admit that nude hot springs are often the domain of thin white people. Kori and I are both melanin-blessed 250+ pound femmes. Image: author.
It all started with a text from my roomie, Kori: "I am manifesting lying out, and getting some sun on my cooch."