Friday, July 3, 2009

The power of blue eyes.



Is one woman really any more beautiful than the other?? (photo source: http://www.redbubble.net, the meanest Indian)

Its funny how at any given time, you might perceive yourself a certain way that is completely different from the way other people think. People who are fairer and more caucasian-looking have far more power than a native does in their own countries, particularly in the developing world. I wish caucasians would understand this, and respect and use this power more responsibly, particularly when they visit the developing world. 

I have been in multiple situations (I am darker skinned and have dark eyes), where a blue-eyed blonde-haired person has walked into a situation  advocating the same thing I have and they are much more likely to get a response than I am.  I don't angry about it, but I do get frustrated when caucasians behave irresponsibly (which happens a lot).

On a personal level, I'm often struck by how beauty is so differently perceived by the women I'm around while in the field. Many of the women I've come across in the developing world are strikingly beautiful; partially because they just are physically beautiful, but more so because the hard work and years have built character, wisdom, and strength into their forms such that it really can overwhelm you. When I tell them this, they scoff. Often they have ideas like..." I wish I had blue eyes" or 'white skin" or "fewer lines on my face" or some such thing.

Recently, I saw this video of Toni Morrison reflecting on her outstanding book The Bluest Eye, that largely centers around the life of a negro child growing up in the middle of the US who desperately wants blue eyes. Somehow, this video captured the essence of what I feel everytime I speak to a beautiful poor woman in the developing world.



5 comments:

Amber said...

well we are european not caucasian i never heard of caucasia...any way you make it a big deal we were just born like that out of necessity where our ancestors lived in areas without alot of sun so our features got fairer so we could make vitamin d in our skin just petty people judging by the color of skin. i don't care people are people. if people with darker features wants to have the blue eyes in their gene pool its pretty easy just simple genetics but still. its not practical. I have light brown hair and pale skin and piercing grey eyes and i live in hawaii it is really hard on my skin. what i would do for genetically better skin for where i live. I am happy for what the good lord gave me though.

pragzz said...

Amber, thanks for your honest and heartfelt comment. You are right to say what you did.

What I voiced was meant for a specific context. In my line of work, particularly when I am in the field, I am constantly frustrated by this notion of 'white is right.' Like you, I believe skin color is purely superficial and says very little about a person's character. As you rightly pointed out, it is just a matter of genetics. My point is that a frustratingly small number of people actually agree with or practice that in reality. Really, it sounds like we both are on the same side of the argument!

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of power and truth in what you say.
Despite the scientific explanation of why we are different, and the moral jabber about how we shouldn't see people as being different, the simple truth is that it's the way the world is right now.
I believe what you said. Difference warrants responsibility. I have fair skin and blue eyes, and I'll admit that I've never seen things from this side before. So I'm grateful to you for letting me see from this perspective. I'll pass this blog on.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

the brown eyes are nicer.
i'm irish and my aunt has black eyes so does my uncle .
i'm the only one for generations with green eyes.
i wish mine were brown!!

Anonymous said...

i'm portuguese and i'm obsessed with blue eyes. mine are a muddy green, completely boring, and apparently i fit in the brown eyes category, which honestly, annoys me. my mother and father have light green eyes, and my sister has teal eyes, and i feel it's so unfair that i'd be the only one with dark eyes in my family! blue eyed people have superpowers, everyone is nicer and pays more atention to whatever they have to say. i' not using myself as a basis for comparation because it came to my knowledge that i'm not a nice person, but in comparison to nicer people, it's not unusual that people behave better around light eyed people.
about beauty itself, i've always found people from india to be the most beautiful in the world, in general. but beauty exists in every color and shape, i think.