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WhyNot
Posts: 17

All Skin is Different

While trying to find the perfect color to depict my partner's skin color, I found that it was a lot harder than I initially thought. I had to mix together so many different colors to finally find a color that resembled my partner's skin. The obvious part of this exercise was determining your partner's skin color, but the hard part was trying to replicate your partner's skin color. It is extremely hard to exactly match a certain mix of colors with the skin color of someone else. Even when I found a color that resembled the skin of my partner, it still was far from perfect, and it probably would have taken me hours to find the perfect mix of colors. I think the point of this exercise was for us to realize that, although people are put into categories such as White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic, everyone's skin color is different and it is impossible to just associate a skin color with those terms. I enjoyed this exercised because it helped me realize that everyone's skin is special and different, and it was pretty fun trying to replicate my partner's skin color.

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Panda123
Posts: 30

Colors

Along with everyone else, before I started painting my partner’s skin color, I thought it was going to be very easy. I would not have thought that it would be that hard to replicate someone's skin tone. I had to combine a wide variety of colors in order to try to replicate my partner’s skin color. However, the entire time I was always missing something, but I was never able to pinpoint the exact color I needed. Anyone 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 very thing and I found it very interesting and eye-opening, it shows just how different everyone is from everyone else and that it's impossible to say that someone is only white or black because if you try to recreate that color, it's extremely difficult.
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walküre
Posts: 19

I can paint with the colors of the wind

So, while painting my partner’s skin tone I discovered that not a single person in the room had an identical skin tone and everyone had to do some mixing to get close to their partner’s color. It was obvious that this exercise was about acceptance of each other's races and about a sort of “colorblindness”. Because hey, in the end, we’re all paint in bowl right? There is a lot of metaphors that can be drawn from this activity, but I personally think it was to teach us or at least make us understand the difference and complicated nature of race. We have discussions trying to understand exactly what race is in class, but its so much different trying to literally create each other and embrace each other's colors in a totally innocent and practical way. This only brings us and all our identities closer together, especially because we had to work with our partner and make sure they agreed with our interpretation of their color. It blows my mind how completely blind everyone was to differences (in a good sense). But then again, we’re not just paint in a bowl, and out there in the real world there’s people who are harassed for the color of their skin, not appreciated for it. Not everyone has the chance to agree with their partner on their color, and theres little girls like the ones in Cooper’s study that call their tone “nasty.” and dont even know why. This project was indeed eyeopening and fun to do, but unrealistic simultaneously.

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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

By pairing my partners skin color I realized how both how hard it was to mix the color to match it correctly and also how no matter what tone it was, in the end it was still just a mixture of paint that had no real impact on anything else. The obvious thing about the exercise was to start off with the most similar base tone such as yellow or brown or white. The not so obvious thing was how to pick undertones and mix different paints up to make the most accurate color. The biggest challenge of the exercise was finding where on their body you would use as a reference and actually matching that exact color. 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 really liked your insights and agree with many of the things you're saying, especially the part about how we are are all still made up of the same things because in the end it's true.

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cheetahgirl1999
Posts: 30

At first glance

At first glance, our assignment seemed fairly easy: mix together a few different paint colors and you’ll create your partner’s skin color. Nevertheless, I quickly learned that it was not so simple. Colors didn’t mix the way I expected to, adding too much or too little could mess the entire thing up, and there were so many color option, yet none of them seemed to accurately reflect my partner. I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t create a successful match to my partner’s skin tone and I became somewhat discouraged with this whole process. Thus, I think my experience and the group’s as a whole, speak profound volumes about racial categorizing the United States. Just as our project seemed easy from the outside looking in, it’s easy to racially categorize people solely based on how they physically appear to use. Often times we think, she has white skin, so she’s white, or he has darker skin, so he’s black, when in reality that may not necessarily be true as our predictions and opinions are inherently biased. Furthermore, just as I was unable to create the perfect skin tone, that serves as proof that there isn’t one. All are equally beautiful and important and we should celebrate who we are while simultaneously respecting and appreciating each other's differences. I also think it is interesting how there were so many different paint colors, that it is hard to categorize them, just like there are so many different ethnicities and cultures that lead to someone’s skin tone or makeup, it’s difficult and almost unnatural to group them together as a “race.” I can now see why it is so frustrating to those who don’t know where they should identify, as I became frustrating trying to identify someone else. I think one of the main takeaways of this assignment is that we are all so much more than the collegeboard, sis, or any form of legal document chooses to recognize us as and that race is more than just the color of your skin.
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yungdude
Posts: 13

Capturing partner's skin color

While painting my partners skin color I realized how unique the color was. I couldn't just pick a color that was close enough. I had to add a little yellow and red to the pale color i started with. It was still too light so i had to add different shades of brown to darken the color. I had a really hard time getting it to the right shade, in the end though, I think I did a pretty good job of getting the right color. It was obvious that the point of the exercise was to highlight how people of different races have different skin tones but but sometimes have very similar ones. I also noticed how trivial the idea of race was because of how little it changes physically. I do see race and I do understand how deeply rooted it is in today's society but it was made into an instrument for that purpose, to divide it. Getting the right hue was difficult. Sometimes I would get too dark or too red and would have to add white to balance the color back out. I feel like the point of the exercise was to show that no matter what color we were painting we were always painting a small piece of canvas. It was nice to see how none of the colors were exactly the same but they were all painted on the same canvas. I think with each individual we know how much more than our race we are. 'White girl' and 'black guy' are common stereotypes but every white girl and black guy is different. That is all.

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cheetahgirl1999
Posts: 30

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.

Post your response here. I also found it interesting how Lupita says "Skin protects us. All animals have skin," which I think goes to even further prove how race is a made up concept by humans. We no longer view skin as simply just "skin," the barrier of the external world to our internal organs, but we view skin as a category, a way to distance and separate ourselves from one another instead of appreciating and celebrating who we are.

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FuzzyTiger01
Posts: 35

Originally posted by Otto von Bismarck on October 15, 2017 19:10

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.

I think your analysis of what seeing others struggle to get your complexion meant was very interesting. I think determining that as the point of the activity was a very unique take, which I appreciated. I think it is very easy to, and many of us consciously group ourselves and associate only with one race, however this could be seen as a reminder that as you (Otto von Bismarck) said, we are each a unique person, whose complexion and background cannot be recreated. Instead of pigeonholing ourselves into one bottle, we should acknowledge that it takes a wide breadth of colors and experiences to make us, and only by placing ourselves in that environment can we truly grow.

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Cinquefoil
Posts: 33

Self-Love

Through the painting exercise we experienced firsthand how complex and completely each skin color can be. It was obvious that the colors provided could not be used alone to describe our partner's skin color, even though each color individually could be described as a "skin color". Not only were colors diffficult to make, but after a while they seemed to lack meaning. Of course, each color was different and you can identify people by their skin color, but it seemed like an almost trivial thing and of course each color was completely different. After a while, it seemed so strange that people experience life differently, and sometimes have more nagative experiences with others based on this completely arbitrary thing. I understand that self identification and self-love is an important thing to have, as seen in the Elmo and Lupita video. But it's so upsetting that we live in a society that implies the possibility that some skin isn't beautiful.

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Cinquefoil
Posts: 33

Originally posted by yungdude on October 15, 2017 21:58

While painting my partners skin color I realized how unique the color was. I couldn't just pick a color that was close enough. I had to add a little yellow and red to the pale color i started with. It was still too light so i had to add different shades of brown to darken the color. I had a really hard time getting it to the right shade, in the end though, I think I did a pretty good job of getting the right color. It was obvious that the point of the exercise was to highlight how people of different races have different skin tones but but sometimes have very similar ones. I also noticed how trivial the idea of race was because of how little it changes physically. I do see race and I do understand how deeply rooted it is in today's society but it was made into an instrument for that purpose, to divide it. Getting the right hue was difficult. Sometimes I would get too dark or too red and would have to add white to balance the color back out. I feel like the point of the exercise was to show that no matter what color we were painting we were always painting a small piece of canvas. It was nice to see how none of the colors were exactly the same but they were all painted on the same canvas. I think with each individual we know how much more than our race we are. 'White girl' and 'black guy' are common stereotypes but every white girl and black guy is different. That is all.

I agree that the exercise was difficult at points, and I also relate to the difficulty that is seeing race as something that is trivial, while also recognizing that the experiences people have based on race, and how self-identification is not trivial at all. It can be a difficult thing to balance and I'm glad you brought it up in your post because I think it is something that could be discussed further.

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yungdude
Posts: 13

Originally posted by Anoreocookie on October 13, 2017 19:02

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.

Because of how society has shaped our thoughts, little black girls don't think their skin is beautiful and thats so sad. I agree with anoreocookie in that self-appreciation and self-love is the first in fighting this. I do get upset about things that I can change and definitely about things I can't. But little kids dont deserve to feel that way.

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MoreLife617
Posts: 36

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 also disagree with tissue box. As much as we want to believe that race is purely a social construct and 'doesn't actually exist', it does. Race, and the prejudice and discrimination that have resulted because of it, has ingrained itself into society to the point where some of us ‘can’t even recognize it’. There’s no going back now. Yet, I think that the video and the message of this activity inspire a lot of positivity and the potential to change the way in which race is approached. The acknowledgement and openness in talking about race is crucial in how we learn more about each other and ourselves. Painting our skin colors allows us to recognize how broad categorizations cannot define us literally or figuratively. This acknowledgement is a simple, yet crucial step in the right direction; whether for teaching kids, or even teenagers and adults, talking about race and racially related occurrences will be a lot more efficient.


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MoreLife617
Posts: 36

Embrace the differences...

This activity and the Elmo and Lupita video exposes how incredibly inaccurate it is to categorize people into broad categories of race. Evidently, the labels, judgements, and discrimination tend to form off the base of such broad groupings and lack of understanding. It is interesting how these broad categories tend to govern whole categorizations of someone. By being of a certain race, people make assumptions about your beliefs, religion, intelligence, athletic abilities, etc. Further, the stereotypes and generalizations that are placed upon large groups of people are obviously unfair, yet ignoring them is unreasonable. This activity allows you to physically realize that descriptions are not simply black and white. It helps instill the idea that technically none of us can achieve a specific color. This relates to how stereotyping and stigmatizing don’t accurately represent a person. Race should not be forgotten or attempted to be ignored, because this simply contributes to reinforcing problems from the We are all complex people and our differences should be admired. As Lupita said in the video, “Skin comes in lots of beautiful shades and colors.” and she helps Elmo acknowledge her own color but also embrace his own. This is a great approach in telling kids to acknowledge the uniqueness of others and how he or she themselves identify. Initiating race related conversations to young kids, using approaches like this one, will allow for better understanding and acceptance of others early on and to suppress ignorance early on.
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WinterCame
Posts: 29

How many layers of skin do we really have?

From class Friday I learned first of all that really nobody is the same exact skin color. We all have a unique complexion of colors that requires different bases and tones and highlights to make it actually match ours. No skin color in the class needed one tone of paint, because no skin color is one tone at all. I think it was obvious that we were supposed to realize this, and also that we were paired up with someone of an opposite skin tone. Not so obvious was how hard the exercise actually was! I had a lot of trouble finding the blend of my partner's skin color that was close enough to make him/her satisfied. There really isn’t 2 or 3 paints alone that will mix to match any of our skin tones this was not obvious at the beginning but proved to be so, as well as a great learning point, at the end. I think that the overarching point of completing this exercise was to show us the diversity and complexity of skin tones that we compose in just one class, and how much of an effect it can have on one another when we are told to concentrate on them. I think that this exercise was a lot of fun. It was nice having an opportunity to get out of the normal classroom and we were actually very productive with the time we had. Lastly, as I mentioned above painting a skin color is surprisingly similar to how we can identify ourselves. From the outside/at a quick glance, the canvas can appear to be one simple shade of tan or brown that happens to match the shade of skin one’s partner has. However, upon further inspection it’s obvious that the paint, like ourselves, is extremely complex and consists of multiple different backgrounds and diversities. This reminds me of how you should never judge a book by its cover because, similarly to the exercise, a human appearance is not nearly the same as a singular shade of any color.
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WinterCame
Posts: 29

Originally posted by ticonderoga on October 15, 2017 14:03

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.

I think that an important topic Ticonderoga brought up is that many of our partners, who tended to have a much different skin tone than we did, needed a lot of the same colors as we did. It goes to show that even our individual, varying skin tones all have a common base which helps us to accept who we are and treat each other equally.

The last paragraph they wrote on whether or not race is a thing is definitely confusing, but I think that they mean it is only an issue because it is being defined as one. This fits most closely back to the surveys we filled out last week and what constitutes race compared to ethnicity and all that. Mixed races have definitely hardened the perspective that people have on race as a whole, and it is definitely disappointing people define and categorize each other by test in as many different parts of the community as they do today...as ticonderoga wrote it simply shouldn’t be a thing.

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