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Thread: Merfolk of Color

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by caltuna View Post
    This is not a weird stereotype so much as something evolution has ingrained in humans.
    Back when genes mattered, one of the things most needed for survival was good health.
    A pristine skin (just as nice long hair) was an indicator of that.
    The lighter the skin tone, the easier it is to spot any irregularities, therefore our ancestors tended to choose partners with the lightest possible skin to ensure they weren't fooled about its healthy look.

    I could easily see that for myself when I had a picture of me which had been taken in bad light, it looked fantabulous.
    Then I made it brighter to look more natural, and bam, bad skin, wrinkles and lines in the face, and other things I'd rather have stay hidden
    So having a lighter skin can be a biiig disadvantage.
    I know this is old, but I'm just going to revive this since I didn't see it before, but this is totally wrong haha. The reason why light skinned black people are seen as more attractive than darker skinned black people is because of something called the paper bag test. The paper bag test is used to see if your skin is desirable. If you're lighter than or equal to the bag, you're good if not, then well, I'm sure you can guess.
    The whole light skin vs. dark skin thing is from the slave era when light skinned africans were considered good enough to be house slaves and weren't put in the fields because they were considered closer to being white.
    Systematic oppression and prejudice and colorism is to blame for light skinned black people being more attractive, not evolution.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    well, I got my info from an anthropologist study, and it seemed conclusive.

    The preference of whiter vs darker skin is prevalent among many cultures, in Asia and India, for example, probably also Near & Middle East.
    In India, the lighter the skin, the higher the caste.

    In Asia, lighter skin is considered beautiful since the ancient times until today, which is why you can buy "whiteners" in every store down there.
    There is hardly a connection between ancient asian customs and the US slave era

    and just as a side note, light skin was also valued in Europe in earlier times, called "noble pallor", because it indicated a higher social status to not be sunburned.
    It was not about ethnicity, if you so will, but about social status; those chilling inside were the rich and those working in the fields the poor.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by caltuna View Post
    well, I got my info from an anthropologist study, and it seemed conclusive.

    The preference of whiter vs darker skin is prevalent among many cultures, in Asia and India, for example, probably also Near & Middle East.
    In India, the lighter the skin, the higher the caste.

    In Asia, lighter skin is considered beautiful since the ancient times until today, which is why you can buy "whiteners" in every store down there.
    There is hardly a connection between ancient asian customs and the US slave era

    and just as a side note, light skin was also valued in Europe in earlier times, called "noble pallor", because it indicated a higher social status to not be sunburned.
    It was not about ethnicity, if you so will, but about social status; those chilling inside were the rich and those working in the fields the poor.

    No offense or anything, but anthropology is rife with racism. Like calling Asians mongoloids, etc. It isn't that way now, but either way, I'd love to see your source.

    And it was 100% about racism, not social status.

    Idk, as far as I know, skin whitening creams are conditioned in Asia because of Western ideals. I'm speaking as a personal source because it's what I've seen and grow up around.

    Then again, I dunno what kind experiences you have had. I have never seen a lighter skinned person valued for being a higher social status. Rich PoC aren't really valued nearly as much as white people because people are just generally uncomfortable with minorities.

    I don't know of it's right to erase hundreds of years of racism by disguising it as a matter of social status.

  4. #64
    actually way back when they had milk/rice baths to whiten skin. in vietnam (and going back to meilyn's comment about lighter skin being more favourable to "asians") a lighter skinned person WAS valued for being a higher social status because they "never worked in the fields and got a tan from the sun like the rest of the peasants". this is if we're not mentioning "white people" imposing "lighter skin ideals."

    now if we're talking about RACISM, that's a different story :| in no way shape or form is that acceptable.
    "Systematic oppression and prejudice and colorism is to blame for light skinned black people being more attractive" < and this i agree with.



    ...now what about us "yellow people"? are we coloured? light skinned? because technically we're fair skinned like "white people". or are we still coloured because we're oriental? lol...
    The SeaGlass Siren

  5. #65
    I have seen that, but I personally don't want to attribute it to social class. I mean, it might be that way in other countries, but I've never really heard of that in the Philippines.
    "yellow people" are indeed colored. In America, we're still a minority, but instead it's a "model minority" situation. Which isn't a good thing.
    I'm Asian but I'm not particularly light-skinned. But in terms of the aforementioned paper bag test, I'd say I'm a paper bag.

    EDIT: Like, yeah, it probably has something to do with social class, but I still hold that there's an element of racism to it.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaGlass Siren View Post
    this is if we're not mentioning "white people" imposing "lighter skin ideals."
    funnily enough, today's caucasians favor dark skin and apply artificial tans.
    western tourists are very perplexed when they see asian people striving for lighter skin.

    I wasn't talking about racism btw.
    there is hardly racism involved if all the people of one and the same ethnicity vie for a certain beauty ideal.

    which is what that study sought to explain.
    It was from a scientific magazine, btw, so I can't give an internet source.

    But you can readily find enough data for yourself if you don't believe that light skin was a beauty ideal all around the world for thousands of years.

  7. #67
    Racism can definitely still exist within your own race. It's internalized at that point.

    EDIT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internalized_racism

  8. #68
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    I had never considered before that anthropology could be racist- but you know I think I instantly confused it with archaeology. And I was all confused, how can digging up bones and old pots be racist?! LOL so I googled it and was like ohhhh.

    I know one of the themes prevalent in Manga is how darker skinned girls are considered to be beach bums and more sexual kinda thing. I do believe light skin was valued as beauty all around, but I also do believe racism fueled (sp) that too. I dont think we can use racism to excuse all of it... but it certainly plays a role.

    I like being paler, but that is because I have learned so much about skin cancer etc. I'm in the elements constantly so I am always applying sunscreen. it's not so much a choice for beauty for me (cuz I think I actually look healthier with a bit of colour and freckles) but one for my health.

    Though it's interesting paler skin has often come to signify beauty in many cultures, we also see darker skin as a sign of health. It's interesting anyway.

    Back to th eoriginal point of this thread- Im so happy to see more and more Mers of colors (MOC lol). We are auditioning a girl who is Mi'kmaq and she's a super awesome mermaid. I would love to have more colours in my group and a guy. And I'd love to have someone who is genderless. We have a principle in education that kids need to see themselves in their education- see people just like them represented. And I want that to be the way with my mermaid company. I want kids to see someone just like them with a mermaid tail. Boy, girl, genderless/genderfluid (I've worked with a few kids who either portray them self as androgens or their parents raise them very gender fluid) young, older , different sizes etc. I figure mermaids should be every bit as varied as people.

  9. #69
    ... ok so I am clearly an internal racist LOL... x')
    The SeaGlass Siren

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by caltuna View Post
    funnily enough, today's caucasians favor dark skin and apply artificial tans.
    western tourists are very perplexed when they see asian people striving for lighter skin.

    I wasn't talking about racism btw.
    there is hardly racism involved if all the people of one and the same ethnicity vie for a certain beauty ideal.

    which is what that study sought to explain.
    It was from a scientific magazine, btw, so I can't give an internet source.

    But you can readily find enough data for yourself if you don't believe that light skin was a beauty ideal all around the world for thousands of years.
    Not exactly all around the world. In places were dark skin was natural (that you were born dark) the darker your skin was the more beautiful. (like in parts of africa, or south America) And at first, white people were seen as ugly because they were so pale until the whole colonization thing and now africans with beautiful dark skin are bleaching themselves even though they know it's dangerous because they are told by society and the media that their dark skin is undesirable. It's mostly only where people are born pale that being pale was a standard of beauty and social class.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Lohgan View Post
    The only Mermaid of 'colour' that I saw in a movie was an African American woman in a very small shot of PotC: On Stranger Tides.

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    <img>http://www.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_content_width/hash/f1/16/f1160d3fa8903a8e190cbc4ae324ff53.jpg</img>
    The one all the way to the left. She's so beautiful.
    I was lurking and I saw this. That mermaid is Sanya Hughes. She is a Jamaican model and very good friends with my sister's best friend who is also a model. I was obsessed with hwr as she was tbe only black mermaid I had ever seen.
    Mela.Mermaid

  12. #72
    People of the Western world are mostly unaware that in West Africa there is a whole mermaid culture and mythology.

    In Africa, mermaids are demi-goddesses, and there is an order of priestesses who mediate between them and the people (as well as other river spirits)

    Name:  25394-8976b8-l-james-mami-wata.jpg
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    Where I lived as a kid, the mermaids are called Maame Wata in both Twi and English. In Nigeria they are called Mami Water in English and Yemaja in Yoruba. I know that they were revered in other countries too, under other names.

    In Ghana they usually had a companion who was a snake, but I don't know what its role was. All I know was, lots of people would go to the priestesses, and they would get advice.

    Also, sometimes they would seduce and enslave a man, who would bring them food and gifts. One sign that a woman is a Maame Wata is if she wants to eat fish all the time.

    Mermaids are very popular movie subjects in West African movies. Nigeria in particular churns out new ones every year. Just in the last year Beautiful Mermaid, Fish Mermaid and Ebube the Mermaid have come out.

    Here's the trailer for the movie Maame Wata 3&4 from Ghana.


    Last edited by AptaMer; 07-04-2017 at 09:34 AM.

  13. #73
    Beautiful artwork photo thank you for sharing I lo e reading and discovering new mystical need of colors there are so many amazing mermaids of all colors and shapes and sizes and genders I love us all

    Sent from my SM-J327P using Tapatalk

  14. #74
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    Update, the new freeform show "Siren" has a new mermaid named Donna, who is indeed black and I'm actually so excited for some representation.
    Mela.Mermaid

  15. #75
    I imagine that as the percentage of non-white people in the United States grows as well as the eventuality that the United States will put out more mermaid media, that there will be more diversity among mermaids in fiction. As far as countries putting out media goes, the U.S. is probably the most diverse and countries put out media that reflects their population. Anime mermaids are Japanese, mermaids from Europe are usually white, I'm not sure if Egypt or India put out any mermaid films but if they did you'd more than likely have Middle Eastern and Indian mermaids respectively.

    I personally don't stick to the idea of mermaids having human ethnicities. I drew Yemaja (my avatar) as black because she's a goddess of human religion so she gets a pass. And since she's supposed to be the mother of all women, I made her African because that's where humans originated. Though generally when I design mermaids in art, their skin tends to reflect the colors of whichever fish I based them on.
    bluecorvidae.deviantart.com

  16. #76
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    The Water Phoenix features the main character as a black mer of color! http://afropunk.com/2017/08/mermaid-...drama-trailer/

  17. #77
    I'm mixed race (Indonesian and a mix of European) and honestly, it'll be awesome if more MOC were willing to be seen. I'll be more than happy to join hands with Native American, Black, Asian, or whatever and know that all mermaids and mermen are unique and make up a kaleidoscope of colors, not just in skin tones but also in everyone's tail scheme

    Merman Caspian

  18. #78
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    I have a question for you all,
    Canadians are taught to use terms like "minorities" and "diversity". I would normally only say POC when talking about issues specific to POC.
    Recently I made a post on my FB expressing my frustration about what is going on in the US and also how we see things like that in Canada. I found a great link about what to do and what not to do as a White ally. In the post I used the term minorities as I was making an expression to all my friends who are currently being victimized under these hate groups. (POC, LGBQTA etc) For us, "minorities" is taught as an all-inclusive umbrella term.
    A friend messaged me to say it's different in the US and that people were likely to get offended by my use of the term (they meant it as a friendly warning) and that I should just stick to saying POC. Of note: this friend is a white male, also trying their best to be an ally.

    So I'm sorta wondering if I can ask my mer friends here what you think and if I should change my language use and how! I've been looking around online and haven't found much in the means of direction. Thanks!

  19. #79
    If talking with Americans, I would just use the specific terms in question. "Minorities" sounds a bit too much like "victims", and we aren't.

  20. #80
    Minorities is the correct term when discussing things like this as it includes not only racial minorities but those on lgbtq spectrum and the intersections of those.

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