My cousin Anna and I were having a good giggle yesterday about the recent cyberstorm caused by a comment Lucy Liu made on Letterman about being careful not to get too dark because she starts to look a little Filipino.
I honestly worry that we’re turning into the most sensitive, easily offended country on the planet. Here’s what Lucy actually said:
When the TV host asked Liu, who is shooting her new TV series, “Elementary,” if she enjoyed running indoors or outdoors, she replied: “I run on a machine—it’s easier for me. Also, if I get really dark, I’ll start to look a little Filipino. It wouldn’t match if I start getting darker, you know what I mean? I can get really dark if I’m in the sun too much.” - Philippine Daily Inquirer
Here’s what I think she meant:
And here’s how some people took it:
Like I said… EXAGG.
The media’s partly to blame, of course. They like to pick up comments like these (or questions like Charice’s manager’s) and spin them to stir us up. But do we really have to rise up in arms in response EVERY SINGLE TIME?
Here’s a thought. What say we save the Pinoy Pride and outrage for bigger things?
Yes, we are brown. Some people may not like it. It’s not the end of the world. And really, if you think about it, it’s a little confusing that we’re all “Brown Pride!” and yet whitening products in our country are flying off the shelves.
I’ve never had a problem with being brown and “looking Filipino.” In fact 80% of the wrinkles I have now are due to weekends at the beach trying to get even browner when I was younger.
So I’m always a little confused by people who do things to make themselves look more Caucasian. Whitening… hair bleaching… those colored contact lenses that are usually unnaturally large and therefore rather terrifying… What’s up with that? Why do people want to be white?
My husband’s white, and I tease him all the time…
I constantly tease my other super-white mestiza and foreign friends too…
And fyi, they don’t get all mad at me and rant on Twitter about it. Just sayin. Also, they ALL want to be darker.
So yeah, I don’t really get this obsession with whiteness.
I read a story when I was a kid about how Filipinos were created. I don’t remember the details but basically it involved God and a big creation oven, and how every other race was actually a baking mistake…
And finally Filipinos and other brownies…
OMG it was so RACIST! Horrors! Who wrote that book??? I don’t remember anymore, but WTH, right??
Obviously I don’t subscribe to this ridiculous theory that we were BAKED into existence, and I certainly don’t believe that other races were “mistakes”… but I do tend to think of being brown as enjoying a lovely blend of the different skin colors found in the world we live in.
So yeah, I’m pretty happy to be brown. But you know what? If I’d been born white, or black, or whatever else lies between, I’d be happy too. Because happiness and beauty really don’t depend on the color of your skin.
The best things about us aren’t found on the outside. So just be happy in the skin you’re in, and make sure that what lies underneath is something you can be proud of.
If you can do that, you’ll find that a little prejudice and few flippant comments are easier to brush off.
Happy weekend, everyone!