Sunday, October 5, 2008

Poll Results: Skin Tones

A friend told me that when she showed her husband this poll, he grumbled about the "chick" descriptions of colors! LOL! I admit, I'm pure chick in this regard -- I like the food descriptions, because I think kids can understand, and it gives me an excuse to tell my kids they're so yummy I have to eat them up!

I wasn't surprised to see that 10 out of 24 voters used "tan" as the description of their child's skin tone. But I wonder -- is it "tan" the word people use? or is it "tanned?" Tan strikes me as descriptive, while tanned seems to suggest there's another, lighter color underneath. . . .

Eight people haven't described their child's skin color in any way. Why is that? Are your children too young to have noticed, do you think? Perhaps they haven't asked? Is there some other reason?

How old were your children when they seemed to notice the difference in skin tones? I remember very distinctly reading a book called "Zoe and Her Zebra" with Zoe when she'd just turned two. On the fly leaf, there was an illustration of a dark skinned, dark haired girl holding hands with a pale skinned, red-headed boy. Zoe immediately pointed at the girl and said, "Zoe!" She pointed at the boy and said, "Mama!" (At the time I was coloring my hair and my hair was reddish). She then wanted to put our arms next to each other and compare the colors.
And I'm assuming, like me, your description of your child's skin is usually prefaced by the word "beautiful!" I go on about their beautiful golden skin, and their beautiful black hair . . . . I'm pretty sure that's why Maya says that black is her favorite color! And I remember having to get onto Zoe's preschool teacher who told the children that "black is a sad color," as she encouraged them to use more variety in their drawings. Aaack!


Wendy said...

Madeline was two also (right after she came to the US). She has self-described her own skin color for some time, she is naturally pretty light skinned--never as glow in the dark as me, but pretty similar to my husband; however, she does get a great tan. She says she is tan and uses shades of brown depending on what time of year it is in her drawings.

Geez. What was that preschool teacher thinking? It sounds as bad as the good guy wearing white and the bad wearing black.

Beverly said...

I use tan because G's is tanner than mine and mine will never be tan no matter if I tried. I can't call hers olive skinned because I can see the yellow tint in it that olive doesn't have. Plus her tushie is lighter than the tan skin I see when she is dressed so she gets darker in the sunshine. She isn't quite cinamon a bit lighter than that. I don't think she is dark though she is darker than a couple of her travel buddies.