"Nude" and "Flesh" Are Not Colors

A photo posted by Chyrstyn Mariah Fentroy (@chyrstynmariah) on

In the "institutional/pervasive racism" category for today, note the photo above, courtesy of Chyrstyn Mariah Fentroy, who, based on the evidence of the photo above: (1) is a ballet dancer, and (2) has a richly-hued complexion. The story told by the photo is that apparently it is impossible to buy ballet slippers in any color other than off-white. If your natural skin shade is something other than off-white, then you are doomed to hand-paint every new pair of ballet slippers that you buy. (Apparently ballet slippers that contrast with your skin are taboo.)

I sympathize with all ballet dancers who have to deal with this. It is something of a burden to have to do this all the time. More important the situation sends a message that you're the wrong color to be doing this. Sure, you can shrug it off, but at some point everyone experiences shrug fatigue.

I learned of this particular issue thanks to a Huffington Post article by Katherine Brooks.  Ms. Brooks is a serious contender for the Lack of Self-Awareness Awards. Note how the article becomes incomprehensible halfway through thanks to the profligate use of the term "flesh tone." What does this mean? Is it the pale peach one finds in a box of crayons? I literally could not follow the sense of the article once the term "flesh tone" is bandied about with reference to a diverse cast of characters.

Why are people still talking about "flesh tone"? I learned back in 1975 that this was uncool:

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