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ticonderoga
Posts: 34

finding the colors we share in common

That video was so cute. I thought Elmo and Lupita would be all like “treat everybody with a different skin color the same,” which they did, but for the majority of the video they were discussing the purpose of skin, since Elmo didn’t even know he had skin, let alone know what it was used for. I just found it refreshing to watch, because in the end of the day it’s true, skin is on everybody for the same purpose.

Answering the questions, the first thing I noticed was that it was actually surprisingly easy for me to find the right color for my partner. But I was using multiple colors to find it, it wasn’t just one color. It was a mix of them. And my partner and I were using some of the same colors, even though our skin colors were different. Thus, it was obvious that my partner and I had different skin colors, but what wasn’t so obvious was finding the colors that we both shared in common, since there were those colors. That was challenging since it required us to think about the mixing, what the result would be if I mixed this color with this one, and so forth. We had to look deeper than just the end result, the color of their skin. We had to think about what colors would result in that end result. And writing this response I think I’m gonna say that that was the point of the exercise. Also that, even though skin colors may look different, many skin colors, many races, share similar colors that, when mixed in with other colors, form a distinct skin color. See what I mean? I don’t know if what I’m saying makes any sense.

I thought the exercise was fun, first of all because I was interacting with someone I barely know, and I also thought it was interesting, again, since I didn’t know it was gonna be so simple to find the right color. We were probably just lucky though, that we were at the right corner of the table with the right paints near us.

I think race isn’t a thing, but we have made it a thing in society, so it is a thing now. But it didn’t need to be a thing. I think race is something that was more consistent before interracial marriage became more common and things, because now there are people who have no idea what race they are since they may look a certain way, but identify as something else. It’s sorta sad that we created race as yet another thing that divides us from the fact that we all belong to the human race.

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ticonderoga
Posts: 34

Originally posted by iLoveFood on October 13, 2017 21:16

The activity was very insightful for me. I went into it a little skeptical because I knew it was going to be hard, but ten minutes in and I knew that it would be almost impossible for me to get the right color of my partner’s skin. I got annoyed really quickly, annoyed that I actually spent time and effort on a fruitless task such as this one. And I think that was the point of the activity. There are so many variations on skin color and tone that it is almost impossible to recreate the color, which shows how different everyone is. One example was when I was trying to recreate my partner’s skin color. I realized halfway that their skin had red tones in them, and to realize that there’s a little bit of red behind everyone’s skins, whether it’s noticeable or not, makes me think (besides the fact that is was a pain to recreate) that it’s really hard to think of a person as completely white, or black, or yellow.


I think painting someone else’s skin color told me how irrational it was to group people based on skin color. Already I found there were so many different variations, that it’s impossible to categorize them in one overarching group. By doing this activity, I was forced to rethink my ideas of labelling groups of people as rude or smart because everyone is different, and it’s wrong to think otherwise.

I just wanna agree with what you were saying about the red tones. Because what I also discovered doing this exercise was that there were colors, not even limited to just red, that people with different "races" shared in common. So I also agree, that is irrational to base a group on skin color, since there is so much to it, and also so much that stays consistent among people belonging to different races.

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ticonderoga
Posts: 34

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 completely agree. I loved the video, and I loved how, like oranges was saying, it mainly focused on what the purpose of skin was, rather than anything else since Elmo didn't even know he had skin. But I think that as a parent, it is important to go deeper, as it's pretty much shown with those tests that by ignoring race, you are actually teaching your children that people of other races are bad, or mean, or so forth. What so many of us have learned from this painting exercise was that it was complicated to label someone as a certain race, since what is race, if we are all different colors? But white children need to be taught this, or else they will grow up being guided by race, choosing their friends based on race, interacting with people based on what they think race is. Like I said in my original post, race honestly never had to be a thing, but we made it a thing.

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cubesquare25
Posts: 33

Originally posted by what redbone would sound like if you were wearing sweatpants on October 14, 2017 21:43

The point of the exercise was to realize that beneath it all, beneath the actual complexities of different colors, we are still all made up of the same things and should not be treated or thought of differently no matter what physical color is shown. I think that even as a simple art project it helps get the point across while having fun. People identify themselves often by their skin color and this is often also how a lot of others first label them. It is probably the most prominent physical characteristic when you meet someone for the first time, since skin covers our entire body surface.

I think you bring up some really good points and I really agree with your first sentence.

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user4523
Posts: 29

The Complexity of Skin Color

One major thing that stood out to me as I was painting my partner's skin color was the sheer number and variety of paints it took to reach the right color. For example, my partner had white skin, but I had to use brown paint, red paint and yellow paint in addition to the tan paint closest to their skin color to get the desired result. This seemed very symbolic to me, as it showed, in a way, that we all are connected and related to each other, no matter our skin color. Expanding on that, it seemed obvious to me at first that I would choose a tan paint to best represent my partner’s skin color, but as I went along, I realized that I would have to incorporate aspects of many other skin colors to reach theirs which was surprising to me, and definitely not obvious at first.


Getting their skin color right was much challenging than I originally thought it would be. I had to start over twice before I came to a color I was satisfied with. To get their skin color right, I really had to think outside the box and use some colors that I did not originally think would help. Like I touched on in the first paragraph, I think that the point of this exercise was to show how no person’s skin color is just straight out of the bottle, but that color needs to be combined with other colors that may be closer to a different person’s skin color in order to reach the color that fits them best.


There are also connections that can be drawn between this activity and identity. Someone may see one of the bottles of paint and say that that color is your color, but you could think that that color would have to be mixed with another one to accurately portray you. That situation can show that difference between what people think of you and what you think of yourself. As a whole, the exercise was lots of fun, and definitely more eye-opening than I thought it would be at the start.

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user4523
Posts: 29

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


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 agree with the point you made about the complexity of skin color. The different colors that it took to create one skin color really showed that we are all more similar and interconnected that we often think. And while race and our differences are very important, I think we sometimes do need to be able to look past it, while still appreciating our differences and diversity.

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DaRealSlimShady
Posts: 33

Originally posted by Cloutqueen101 on October 14, 2017 11:21

I discovered by trying to Paint my partners skin color that it was difficult to do it perfectly but I guess thats kind of the point to show the complexity that we all carry with us always and it was obvious that maybe we wouldn't ever be able to pinpoint it exactly. I think that the deeper underlying message was that all skin colors are not represented and or treated equally in the United States and around the world, and I found it challenging to do justice to my partner and what color actually fit best. I think over all the point of the exercise was to demonstrate the variety of skin color all around us and how It is complex to capture all shades, but also that we should and were all very respectful throughout and it highlighted what I think is a point of the exercise, and that is to be tolerant and accepting of those different from us. I thought the exercise was beautiful and an honest reflection of the diversity that we see everyday. I also thought that it was eye opening to capture how hard we were working to be inclusive are representative of all of those around us, while most beauty companies that we are surrounded by and mainstream social media as well don't try as hard to be inclusive. The connection is that when you ask another to paint your skin color they are honest and open about how they see you on a face to face level without being rude while other times people may choose to label you negatively due to how you look if you didn't know they're judging you. I don't know if that made sense but I'm trying. I think that the activity similarly showed the connection between how we're all different but society really tries their best to group us all into groups as " US" v "THEM" and paining other individuals gave us all our own personal reality separate from those categories.

I love how you brought up that point about "us" versus "them". I talked about this in the last post, but that is exactly what I think society is trying to do. They are trying to group people together and view anyone else that looks different as bad. The reality is that we are all the same on the inside and what is on the outside shouldn't really matter. But for some reason it does, and because it exists, we separate ourselves based on these dumb categories that show nothing about us except our skin color.

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tissuebox
Posts: 33

Originally posted by BluePup on October 13, 2017 14:07

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.

I'm not saying that there are not races. Obviously there are. All I'm saying is that the names for them are very misleading. No one is actually black and no one is actually white (at least I don't think so). I also think that it's important to know where you come from and all different aspects of your identity, I never said that people shouldn't discover themselves. I was more so talking about the labels we put on to people.


I don't want people to ignore their race or their ethnicity. I'm saying don't let society try to push you into just one category.

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criminalmindsx
Posts: 33

Skin!!

While painting my partner’s skin color in the art wing, I found it to be quite difficult. I had to mix colors together that I didn’t think I would have to (e.g. red, pink, yellow). Obviously, we were trying to get it to match the other person’s color. But what was “perhaps not so obvious” is the activity’s connection to what we talked about in class--categorizing people by race. “Black” people and “white” people’s skin tones aren’t just black or white. There are so many different shades and undertones that make them unique. It’s really hard to categorize someone because of their skin color, especially because we are not just defined by our skin color. I really liked the exercise for the reason-- it was insightful. I also love painting so it was fun. Also, it was fun to talk about it with your partner, and important to see if they thought what you mixed matched. For example, I thought what I originally mixed matched my partner’s skin tone pretty well, but when I asked, they said it was too dark. I just feel like it was important and cool to see how my partner perceived their skin tone, and vice versa.


In the video exchange between Lupita and Elmo, I thought it was a really lighthearted, yet powerful, way to explain skin color to children. I liked how Lupita focused on how skin is important and protects us, and also how everyone has different skin tones but that that’s okay and to love your skin. I just feel like kids need to hear that they should love themselves regardless of their skin color, especially because of the connotations associated with different skin colors.

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criminalmindsx
Posts: 33

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

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 you. I feel like saying that black or white are the only two possible skin colors is extreme and ridiculous, as demonstrated by this activity. Nothing is as simple as that. But I do also agree with your view that we should look at different races and cultures because those differences between us are very important to understand but still be able to accept and connect to!!

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criminalmindsx
Posts: 33

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".

Facts!! So many (mainly white) parents glaze over race like it has no importance/meaning, but it's so important to talk about because it affects everyone and how they are perceived/perceive others. Even though it can be seen as an "uncomfortable" topic/issue, it should still be discussed in school, especially where younger kids are so prone to being influenced by adults in their lives.

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FuzzyTiger01
Posts: 35

Painting Between the Lines

It was very difficult to match my partner’s skin tone, which I think was partially the point. As much as we would like to categorize and classify, nobody is just "black” or just “white,” there are too many nuances, shades and stories to be captured in such words. I did however notice that there seemed to be more of a range to cover the nuances of lighter complexions than to match the variety that exists between darker complexions.

One thing that I noticed was how one drop of a darker color quickly overpowered the paint. Many in class learned this after adding red.This reminded me of how the Spaniards in the “New World” had a very specific racial categorization system, in which one drop of Native American blood would lower your class. Although we have lost the specific terms for “mixed people” sadly the same principle often follows, with whatever race is considered “impure” being the race that the person must associate with, unless they can pass for the “pure” race.

It was also interesting to note how some people were so surprised at the complexion that their partner blended for them. Even within the identity boxes we were able to see that frequently people identify outside of what they may be seen or classified as by others.

This was a fun activity as although, it seemed very straightforward, there were a lot of connections and meanings that you could read into.

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Otto von Bismarck
Posts: 32

Finding Out Who YOU Truly Are

I discovered by painting my partner's skin color that getting the right shade of someone's skin is actually a very hard thing to do, especially when you only have the basic colors available to mix together with. The challenges were the things that could've been assumed from the beginning would've been difficult, i.e. mixing a bunch of colors that don't perfectly fit anyone's skin to be able to find just the right shade to paint someone as. It was obviously an exercise to show all of us that everybody, and especially in regards to our skin, are unique and that all of us are different from one another. Less obviously, I think, was the underlying message conveyed to us that our own skin color is also very unique and hard to make.

That last sentence also seems to be an obvious statement, but think closer about what I just said. Most people consider themselves to be normal, and usually grow up surrounded by people looking like them, either with family members or in communities where most of your neighbors and friends are the same race, and the general skin tone, as you. Thus by not only painting another's skin, but also watching someone struggle to find your proper shade, you gain a new respect for the fact that you yourself aren't simply one more person in a conforming greater group, but rather your own person and unique all to yourself, which I think was the point of the exercise.

I thought that the exercise was very interesting and effective in driving the point home that everyone's skin is different and all unique, and I think it was also a pretty nice interactive way for people who might not know each other that well to bond and talk to the person they were assigned to paint and maybe to get to know them a little better.

As for the larger question about how painting/portraying skin color affects and identifies us, I think that the way that our outer layers are shown have a very large effect on how all of us as a group are perceived. Asians, Africans, Europeans, etc, are all usually lumped into one category of color like yellow, white, black, brown, or whatever. But these labels fail to capture everybody's existence, not even coming close to appreciating the color diversity that everyone wears on themselves every day. By being able to label ourselves with general colors, I think that it also makes it easier for us to see ourselves as somehow different from other people, and that's never a good thing. If by softening the color borders around different ethnic and racial groups can allow us to interact more peacefully and respectfully, then I'll be glad to spent a few more classes painting each other, and maybe the whole rest of the world could benefit from that as well.

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Otto von Bismarck
Posts: 32

Originally posted by user4523 on October 15, 2017 17:03

One major thing that stood out to me as I was painting my partner's skin color was the sheer number and variety of paints it took to reach the right color. For example, my partner had white skin, but I had to use brown paint, red paint and yellow paint in addition to the tan paint closest to their skin color to get the desired result. This seemed very symbolic to me, as it showed, in a way, that we all are connected and related to each other, no matter our skin color. Expanding on that, it seemed obvious to me at first that I would choose a tan paint to best represent my partner’s skin color, but as I went along, I realized that I would have to incorporate aspects of many other skin colors to reach theirs which was surprising to me, and definitely not obvious at first.


Getting their skin color right was much challenging than I originally thought it would be. I had to start over twice before I came to a color I was satisfied with. To get their skin color right, I really had to think outside the box and use some colors that I did not originally think would help. Like I touched on in the first paragraph, I think that the point of this exercise was to show how no person’s skin color is just straight out of the bottle, but that color needs to be combined with other colors that may be closer to a different person’s skin color in order to reach the color that fits them best.


There are also connections that can be drawn between this activity and identity. Someone may see one of the bottles of paint and say that that color is your color, but you could think that that color would have to be mixed with another one to accurately portray you. That situation can show that difference between what people think of you and what you think of yourself. As a whole, the exercise was lots of fun, and definitely more eye-opening than I thought it would be at the start.

I agree with what you were saying about how complex it was to capture someone's actual skin tone. My partner was white as well, and it actually took me so many colors to capture her skin color (and still, in the end, only barely looked like what she actually was). This exercise, if nothing else, really gets you to appreciate the uniqueness of people and how we're all fundamentally different, but all kind of the same in the end, as underneath all that color we're all just a few dumb high school students mixing paint together.

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FuzzyTiger01
Posts: 35

Originally posted by criminalmindsx on October 15, 2017 18:25

While painting my partner’s skin color in the art wing, I found it to be quite difficult. I had to mix colors together that I didn’t think I would have to (e.g. red, pink, yellow). Obviously, we were trying to get it to match the other person’s color. But what was “perhaps not so obvious” is the activity’s connection to what we talked about in class--categorizing people by race. “Black” people and “white” people’s skin tones aren’t just black or white. There are so many different shades and undertones that make them unique. It’s really hard to categorize someone because of their skin color, especially because we are not just defined by our skin color. I really liked the exercise for the reason-- it was insightful. I also love painting so it was fun. Also, it was fun to talk about it with your partner, and important to see if they thought what you mixed matched. For example, I thought what I originally mixed matched my partner’s skin tone pretty well, but when I asked, they said it was too dark. I just feel like it was important and cool to see how my partner perceived their skin tone, and vice versa.


In the video exchange between Lupita and Elmo, I thought it was a really lighthearted, yet powerful, way to explain skin color to children. I liked how Lupita focused on how skin is important and protects us, and also how everyone has different skin tones but that that’s okay and to love your skin. I just feel like kids need to hear that they should love themselves regardless of their skin color, especially because of the connotations associated with different skin colors.

I agree that the video was very lighthearted, which is exactly what children need to introduce them to a conversation about race. Everything else for children is made to be fun, so I think that when we introduce discussions on race, they need to share some of that lighthearted quality to teach children that race is an okay topic to discuss. As we explored in the last set of posts, it is important to start discussions on race from an early age, and I think the video did a good job of helping to start that conversation or at least bring the idea that diversity exists and is beautiful to the minds of young people. I also agree that it was helpful to focus not just on the color, but for the majority of the video, to focus on its function and how we all have skin, even Elmo, and that can bring us together.

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