Monday, November 30, 2009

Flesh-colored gown

From Sociological Images

Her dress is obviously flesh-coloured, right?

"First lady Michelle Obama chose to wear a gleaming silver-sequined, flesh-colored gown Tuesday night to the first state dinner held by her husband's administration. "

Samantha Critchell from Associated Press has written an article about the American first lady's dress choices, in which she describes her gown as "flesh-colored". Hmmm, somehow I don't think Michelle's skin looks very much like the dress. I would think a brown dress should be her flesh-colored.

This is nothing particularly new. White has always been assumed as the neutral. Just try to imagine a movie containing only minority people. Now imagine one with only white people.
See the difference?

The thing doesn't only go with race, of course. The straight white guy is always the default. In anything. Anywhere.
Because male, white and straight is normal. White straight guys are always seen as individuals, not just part of a group. On the other hand, a woman is first of all a woman, then a person.
Even facebook default avatars follow this standard.



  1. The weird thing is that "flesh coloured" gowns only match the skin tones of light-skinned Africans, middle eastern and Mediterranean peoples.

    That gown is "Latte" Beige, she should of gone with a mocha or coco, I'm a cream if not stark white :D :D :D

  2. Wow, thanks Alex for a comment that totally distracts from the political content of this brilliant article.