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dgavin
Posts: 20

Reading/watching:

Lupita Nyong’o and Elmo, on skin color

www.upworthy.com/watch-elmo-demonstrate-the-right-way-to-point-out-someones-skin-color?c=ufb1

Inspired no doubt by Elmo and Lupita, I’d like you to reply to the following questions, connecting what we did in room 518 (the art wing) today to all of what we did over the past few weeks by hearing identity presentations

  • What did you discover by painting your assigned partner’s skin color?
  • What was obvious about the exercise?
  • And what was perhaps not so obvious?
  • What were some of the challenges in doing the exercise?
  • What was the point of the exercise?
  • What do you think of this whole exercise?
  • And what are the connections between painting skin color, the ways in which we identify ourselves and the ways in which, in your experience, we are labeled/described by others?

Post some thoughtful comments about this and be sure to respond to the folks who post before you do in the thread. And do the best you can NOT to give away your identity.

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cubesquare25
Posts: 33

Embrace our Differences!

To start off, I discovered that this was definitely not as easy as I thought it would be. To look at someone’s skin color and be able to recreate it using the different paints was a challenging task. I didn’t realize how many different colors/combinations were necessary to get just the right shade. Even then, none of them were perfect. None of them perfectly matched the other persons skin color. I feel like that just goes to show how there is such a wide range in complexions that exist. This in turn makes it more difficult to categorize people since there are infinite shades of skin. In class, we looked at how the census would try to measure the amount of “black blood” that people had but eventually one is not able to label every shade. There are so many different combinations that and as time goes on there will be more. I think that now it needs to be less about categorizing people and more about embracing diversity and differences. But honestly in the end, like Elmo and Lupita said what is important is to be comfortable and happy with your own skin.

I think the point of this whole exercise was to show us how complex all shades are and sometimes it is not as simple as black or white. These categories that humans have created have bound us and often times define us. In no way am I trying to say race doesn’t matter or “the only race is the human race” because I believe that looking at different races/cultures allows us to appreciate our differences and overall makes us better human beings. But I feel like there is a way to appreciate our differences and complexity without being thrown into categories.

I honestly loved this exercise. Not only was it really fun and sparked some level of creativity, it also goes to show how much goes behind each shade of skin. They are all so complex in their own ways and I feel like this could also be symbolic of how complex each of our identities are and how the color of our skin plays into that as well. I also hope that we can look at all the different shades in class and debrief in class.

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orangesaregood
Posts: 30

Ignore the Differences

The activity we did in the art wing where we painted a classmate’s skin color was insightful. Though the exercise intended to convey the obvious lesson that people came in a variety of skin colors, the underlying message of the exercise was that all skin colors should be appreciated. Finding the right nuanced shade of paint for the partner’s skin color was challenging and fun, similar to what “cubesmart25” expressed in the above post


In Lupita and Elmo’s conversation, Lupita does not mention the specific variety of shades of human skin color, but instead mentions skin’s benefits and universality, saying “Skin protects us. All animals have skin.” Instead of focusing on differences, Lupita focuses on the similarities that unite the human race. Elmo agrees and says that Lupita’s skin is a “beautiful brown color,” and appreciates his own “furry red skin.” The video teaches children, as well as the few rare adult enthusiasts who watch Sesame Street, that skin is not a trait to be divided over, and that children “Should Know It Nicely.” Get it? Hahahaha.

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BluePup
Posts: 29

The canvas behind the paint

Today while painting my partner's skin color I found out how hard it was to actually determine someone's color. Maybe this is a metaphor for the complexities behind color and how every race faces different difficulties with their skin color. Maybe it was just to show us that even though all the paints mixed to create different colors, it did not change the substance that made them all the same. I believe the exercise was mainly for us to see the complexity and vast differences between all of our skin colors. But behind each layer of paint was the exact same canvas. It was hard to get an exact matching color, and when you added too much of one color it really threw off the whole effort. But that's kind of what the exercise was about: showing us difficulty in race as a concept and material thing. I don't know if my views are even close to correct or if others saw the experiment like I did, but I think it had a really beautiful message and could have been construed in many ways. When it all comes down to it, you don't realize how complex skin color is until you're up close and trying to replicate it. Of course you wouldn't really know the treatment of the person either but still we were all examining the same thing just in different shades.

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tissuebox
Posts: 33

Is "Race" Really a Thing?

Literally, no. Trying to paint the exact skin tone of your partner is sooooo hard. If you put one wrong color in there, you have to start over. If you put too much of one color, you have to start over. Because of this, I think that someone's skin color is something that we created on our own, our being our ancestors. No one is exactly “white” and no one is exactly “black” or even “brown”. Calling them that is actually misleading. The obvious thing about the exercise is that it was going to be hard. Just as in the Lupita Nyong’o and Elmo video, people come in many different shades. Although paint also comes in many different shades, I don’t think that there is a paint bottle for every skin tone. If there even is a set number of skin tones. Something I just realized while typing this is that one color can over power the combination of many others. This connects to how someone can be mixed (white parent and a black parent) but they only look like one of the two.


I think the point of the exercise was to show how race really is not a good way to define people’s skin color. Even though to people may be “white”, their skin tones could be obviously different. Are any of them actually white? How do we know which one is the actual white one? This whole exercise was an eye-opener because now I don’t even know if people should use “white” or “black” when describing themselves or any other person. Even on standardized tests when they ask you to identify your race as Black/African American, White, Native American, etc.


One question that I ask is, should we all just check “Other” and write in the actual specific name of our skin tone? Would there ever be two people who are the exact same skin tone?

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BluePup
Posts: 29

Why Orangesaregood is (respectfully) wrong

Originally posted by orangesaregood on October 13, 2017 13:34

The activity we did in the art wing where we painted a classmate’s skin color was insightful. Though the exercise intended to convey the obvious lesson that people came in a variety of skin colors, the underlying message of the exercise was that all skin colors should be appreciated. Finding the right nuanced shade of paint for the partner’s skin color was challenging and fun, similar to what “cubesmart25” expressed in the above post


In Lupita and Elmo’s conversation, Lupita does not mention the specific variety of shades of human skin color, but instead mentions skin’s benefits and universality, saying “Skin protects us. All animals have skin.” Instead of focusing on differences, Lupita focuses on the similarities that unite the human race. Elmo agrees and says that Lupita’s skin is a “beautiful brown color,” and appreciates his own “furry red skin.” The video teaches children, as well as the few rare adult enthusiasts who watch Sesame Street, that skin is not a trait to be divided over, and that children “Should Know It Nicely.” Get it? Hahahaha.

The other day in facing we touched on how white parents chose to ignore their differences while colored parents prepare their children for diversity and discrimination. Of course colored people are still minorities so they believe that they need to let their children know whats coming to them and as we saw from the video black children were much more optimistic and less biased toward their own skin color. While I agree we should focus on similarities, children pick up on diversity with or without adults help, so why not guide them into a more accepting future? Honestly seeing the white kids be so preferential made me physically feel sick, and the fact that kids as young as 6 were told not to play with kids of other color is even worse. Which is why we also cant ignore diversity in school. I think teachers should address racism and where it came from and why its bad. That is why we teach children about Martin Luther King Day, but one day a year is not enough to tell kids "ITS NOT OKAY TO BE DICKS TO PEOPLE OF OTHER COLORS".

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tissuebox
Posts: 33

Originally posted by cubesquare25 on October 13, 2017 13:25

To start off, I discovered that this was definitely not as easy as I thought it would be. To look at someone’s skin color and be able to recreate it using the different paints was a challenging task. I didn’t realize how many different colors/combinations were necessary to get just the right shade. Even then, none of them were perfect. None of them perfectly matched the other persons skin color. I feel like that just goes to show how there is such a wide range in complexions that exist. This in turn makes it more difficult to categorize people since there are infinite shades of skin. In class, we looked at how the census would try to measure the amount of “black blood” that people had but eventually one is not able to label every shade. There are so many different combinations that and as time goes on there will be more. I think that now it needs to be less about categorizing people and more about embracing diversity and differences. But honestly in the end, like Elmo and Lupita said what is important is to be comfortable and happy with your own skin.

I think the point of this whole exercise was to show us how complex all shades are and sometimes it is not as simple as black or white. These categories that humans have created have bound us and often times define us. In no way am I trying to say race doesn’t matter or “the only race is the human race” because I believe that looking at different races/cultures allows us to appreciate our differences and overall makes us better human beings. But I feel like there is a way to appreciate our differences and complexity without being thrown into categories.

I honestly loved this exercise. Not only was it really fun and sparked some level of creativity, it also goes to show how much goes behind each shade of skin. They are all so complex in their own ways and I feel like this could also be symbolic of how complex each of our identities are and how the color of our skin plays into that as well. I also hope that we can look at all the different shades in class and debrief in class.

I completely agree with the fact that there are sooo many different shades of skin tones and it's hard to replicate one. Even your closest estimate is still off.This does prove that there is a lot that goes into one's skin color just like there is a lot that goes into one's identity.

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BluePup
Posts: 29

Race exists

Originally posted by tissuebox on October 13, 2017 13:59

Literally, no. Trying to paint the exact skin tone of your partner is sooooo hard. If you put one wrong color in there, you have to start over. If you put too much of one color, you have to start over. Because of this, I think that someone's skin color is something that we created on our own, our being our ancestors. No one is exactly “white” and no one is exactly “black” or even “brown”. Calling them that is actually misleading. The obvious thing about the exercise is that it was going to be hard. Just as in the Lupita Nyong’o and Elmo video, people come in many different shades. Although paint also comes in many different shades, I don’t think that there is a paint bottle for every skin tone. If there even is a set number of skin tones. Something I just realized while typing this is that one color can over power the combination of many others. This connects to how someone can be mixed (white parent and a black parent) but they only look like one of the two.


I think the point of the exercise was to show how race really is not a good way to define people’s skin color. Even though to people may be “white”, their skin tones could be obviously different. Are any of them actually white? How do we know which one is the actual white one? This whole exercise was an eye-opener because now I don’t even know if people should use “white” or “black” when describing themselves or any other person. Even on standardized tests when they ask you to identify your race as Black/African American, White, Native American, etc.


One question that I ask is, should we all just check “Other” and write in the actual specific name of our skin tone? Would there ever be two people who are the exact same skin tone?

I disagree with what tissuebox is saying just because I think its important to understand percentages in the country. Its important to know where you stand in comparison to the country and while you dont have to identify as one race a majority of the country does. There are races. Even if they're mixed races. You can be proud of your race and not be embarrassed. Or you can be ashamed of your race and not want to talk about it. But ignoring yourself is the worst thing you can do. We all face problems and prejudice whether you're black or you're white so theres one commonality! In my eyes the problem in this nation is not an ability to tell races apart its avoiding identifying what brings them together.

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OceanEscape19
Posts: 32

Skin Color

Originally posted by tissuebox on October 13, 2017 13:59

Literally, no. Trying to paint the exact skin tone of your partner is sooooo hard. If you put one wrong color in there, you have to start over. If you put too much of one color, you have to start over. Because of this, I think that someone's skin color is something that we created on our own, our being our ancestors. No one is exactly “white” and no one is exactly “black” or even “brown”. Calling them that is actually misleading. The obvious thing about the exercise is that it was going to be hard. Just as in the Lupita Nyong’o and Elmo video, people come in many different shades. Although paint also comes in many different shades, I don’t think that there is a paint bottle for every skin tone. If there even is a set number of skin tones. Something I just realized while typing this is that one color can over power the combination of many others. This connects to how someone can be mixed (white parent and a black parent) but they only look like one of the two.


I think the point of the exercise was to show how race really is not a good way to define people’s skin color. Even though to people may be “white”, their skin tones could be obviously different. Are any of them actually white? How do we know which one is the actual white one? This whole exercise was an eye-opener because now I don’t even know if people should use “white” or “black” when describing themselves or any other person. Even on standardized tests when they ask you to identify your race as Black/African American, White, Native American, etc.


One question that I ask is, should we all just check “Other” and write in the actual specific name of our skin tone? Would there ever be two people who are the exact same skin tone?

I agree that everyone's identity is complicated and no one is exactly the same as other people, skin can't express who they are and sometimes it can be misleading. That being said, race is a thing in society. For some people, the way we describe it doesn't work. But people are judged and treated based on their race or their skin. So even if you don't take it into account, people have to live with it. Also if we all checked "other" in every box then there would be information that we couldn't access. Sometimes people ask for racial makeup for statistics and further information and evidence of phenomenons in our society.

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OceanEscape19
Posts: 32

Painting your skin

Me and my partner were of different races, but it turned out that our skin colors were really similar. When we were mixing colors and creating each others, it turned out that we switched our bowls because they represented ourselves better. Even then, we could see why it was similar to our partners as well. So I guess the biggest takeaway was that skin color doesn't even separate our race, it is combination of our features and our culture sometimes. If you just focus on the skin it can't give you the whole picture. I think the point was to see the even with the diversity we have in our class we skin color itself doesn't necessarily define anything. I liked the exercise, it was fun and even though we weren't explicitly discussing anything, it made you think about it. I think it would e interesting to see if we could match up the canvasses without knowing who they belong to. It kind of represents how no one can really identify you based on one trait.

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Milo2017
Posts: 31

We’re all Snowflakes (the literal kind)

I think we all knew subconsciously that no skin color is the exactly the same as someone else’s. But today really pointed out the differences in color that you might not see unless you’re trying to recreate the color. We can make generalizations about what color each of us is but you’ll never be able to capture in words or in paint the exact color. Some of us got pretty damn close and others not so much (me included). What was obvious was that this was to show us no skin color is exactly the same (it reminds me of snowflakes. Like no two snowflakes are the same). I think what was so obvious or expected was how light hearted it all was. I know my partner and I poked fun at the skin colors and the paint comparison and it was a way to experiment with colors in a less harsh way. Challenges as I stated earlier were obviously trying to find a direct match for each skin color. And as I said to Mr. Gavin multiple times this exercise was lowkey cheesy but I’m surprised how much I took away from it. I think there are connections between identifying ourselves/others and skin color. Because if I sat in front of any number of you, I could make a general guess about where you’re from/your ethnicity and possibly get close or even correct. But you’ll never know 100% by just looking at someone because each person is (for the most part) a mix of many different ethnicities and I think that is what truly affects skin color.

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Milo2017
Posts: 31

Originally posted by tissuebox on October 13, 2017 13:59

Literally, no. Trying to paint the exact skin tone of your partner is sooooo hard. If you put one wrong color in there, you have to start over. If you put too much of one color, you have to start over. Because of this, I think that someone's skin color is something that we created on our own, our being our ancestors. No one is exactly “white” and no one is exactly “black” or even “brown”. Calling them that is actually misleading. The obvious thing about the exercise is that it was going to be hard. Just as in the Lupita Nyong’o and Elmo video, people come in many different shades. Although paint also comes in many different shades, I don’t think that there is a paint bottle for every skin tone. If there even is a set number of skin tones. Something I just realized while typing this is that one color can over power the combination of many others. This connects to how someone can be mixed (white parent and a black parent) but they only look like one of the two.


I think the point of the exercise was to show how race really is not a good way to define people’s skin color. Even though to people may be “white”, their skin tones could be obviously different. Are any of them actually white? How do we know which one is the actual white one? This whole exercise was an eye-opener because now I don’t even know if people should use “white” or “black” when describing themselves or any other person. Even on standardized tests when they ask you to identify your race as Black/African American, White, Native American, etc.


One question that I ask is, should we all just check “Other” and write in the actual specific name of our skin tone? Would there ever be two people who are the exact same skin tone?

I’d like to disagree. I think Race is a thing but it’s way more deeply engrained in our ethnicities than we like to think. Everyone is a mix of a bunch of different ethnicities (unless you’re 100% something and if so good for you) and after this activity my conclusion is that ethnicities are really closely tied into the color and “race” ignited a person.

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Milo2017
Posts: 31

Originally posted by BluePup on October 13, 2017 14:00

Originally posted by orangesaregood on October 13, 2017 13:34

The activity we did in the art wing where we painted a classmate’s skin color was insightful. Though the exercise intended to convey the obvious lesson that people came in a variety of skin colors, the underlying message of the exercise was that all skin colors should be appreciated. Finding the right nuanced shade of paint for the partner’s skin color was challenging and fun, similar to what “cubesmart25” expressed in the above post


In Lupita and Elmo’s conversation, Lupita does not mention the specific variety of shades of human skin color, but instead mentions skin’s benefits and universality, saying “Skin protects us. All animals have skin.” Instead of focusing on differences, Lupita focuses on the similarities that unite the human race. Elmo agrees and says that Lupita’s skin is a “beautiful brown color,” and appreciates his own “furry red skin.” The video teaches children, as well as the few rare adult enthusiasts who watch Sesame Street, that skin is not a trait to be divided over, and that children “Should Know It Nicely.” Get it? Hahahaha.

The other day in facing we touched on how white parents chose to ignore their differences while colored parents prepare their children for diversity and discrimination. Of course colored people are still minorities so they believe that they need to let their children know whats coming to them and as we saw from the video black children were much more optimistic and less biased toward their own skin color. While I agree we should focus on similarities, children pick up on diversity with or without adults help, so why not guide them into a more accepting future? Honestly seeing the white kids be so preferential made me physically feel sick, and the fact that kids as young as 6 were told not to play with kids of other color is even worse. Which is why we also cant ignore diversity in school. I think teachers should address racism and where it came from and why its bad. That is why we teach children about Martin Luther King Day, but one day a year is not enough to tell kids "ITS NOT OKAY TO BE DICKS TO PEOPLE OF OTHER COLORS".

Thank you Bluepup for articulating my thoughts on this so well. Like I can’t agree with it more or add more it’s just great.

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OceanEscape19
Posts: 32

Originally posted by BluePup on October 13, 2017 14:00

Originally posted by orangesaregood on October 13, 2017 13:34

The activity we did in the art wing where we painted a classmate’s skin color was insightful. Though the exercise intended to convey the obvious lesson that people came in a variety of skin colors, the underlying message of the exercise was that all skin colors should be appreciated. Finding the right nuanced shade of paint for the partner’s skin color was challenging and fun, similar to what “cubesmart25” expressed in the above post


In Lupita and Elmo’s conversation, Lupita does not mention the specific variety of shades of human skin color, but instead mentions skin’s benefits and universality, saying “Skin protects us. All animals have skin.” Instead of focusing on differences, Lupita focuses on the similarities that unite the human race. Elmo agrees and says that Lupita’s skin is a “beautiful brown color,” and appreciates his own “furry red skin.” The video teaches children, as well as the few rare adult enthusiasts who watch Sesame Street, that skin is not a trait to be divided over, and that children “Should Know It Nicely.” Get it? Hahahaha.

The other day in facing we touched on how white parents chose to ignore their differences while colored parents prepare their children for diversity and discrimination. Of course colored people are still minorities so they believe that they need to let their children know whats coming to them and as we saw from the video black children were much more optimistic and less biased toward their own skin color. While I agree we should focus on similarities, children pick up on diversity with or without adults help, so why not guide them into a more accepting future? Honestly seeing the white kids be so preferential made me physically feel sick, and the fact that kids as young as 6 were told not to play with kids of other color is even worse. Which is why we also cant ignore diversity in school. I think teachers should address racism and where it came from and why its bad. That is why we teach children about Martin Luther King Day, but one day a year is not enough to tell kids "ITS NOT OKAY TO BE DICKS TO PEOPLE OF OTHER COLORS".

I agree with both of you. Honestly, the video did show that you can't ignore race. You have to address the fact that it exists and override the biases. But part of doing that is understanding that there are similarities accross races. If you approach race education with a negative attitude or only focus on how it divides us, then you aren't overcoming biases, you are just reinforcing them.

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Anoreocookie
Posts: 30

All Shades and Colors

Before I started painting my partner’s skin color, I would not have imagined how hard it would be to replicate someone's skin tone. I had to combine white, brown, red, and many others to even come close. I constantly thought that something was missing, but would never be able to pinpoint the exact problem/ color I needed. We can easily say "Oh, this person is white" or "Oh, this person is black," but when we actually think about it, there are so many people with different shades that it makes the whole idea of skin color so much more complex. I think the exercise portrays that and I found it very interesting and eye-opening.

This honestly reminded me of Cooper's study when one little girl stated her skin was less beautiful and that she hated it at times because it was darker. Like someone needs to tell her that's not true and she shouldn't look down on such a vital part of her. I admit - racism definitely does exist and is really quite evident in our modern society. However, the first step to combat it is to promote self-appreciation and self-love. Like Lupita told Elmo, " Skin comes in lots of beautiful shades and colors." We should all appreciate our own skin color as well as others.

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