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The Skinny

August 24, 2009

So skin color has rarely been a topic of discussion in my little family. Basically speaking, kids accept the appearance of their parents without question. In the past, Lily, being the oldest child, has identified for me that she is brown and so are her brothers and my skin is kind of pink and Baba is black. Pretty accurate from a color spectrum perspective.

Recently, though, Peter (now aged 2.5) has begun telling me (rather frequently) that he is chocolate and I am vanilla. This doesn’t particularly bother me, and it is kind of funny (although I really wonder if this is something he came up with himself or something someone fed him), but he has started using it for other people, too. Last week at the pool there was another boy Peter kept on pointing out to me and telling me the boy was chocolate and he had chocolate hair, too. Again, this was pretty accurate if we were thinking of goofy crayon names for colors. But I wondered if it would cause discomfort for that boy or his family if Peter was overheard. Like, would someone feel objectified to be described as food?

Kenyans have their own color spectrum names it took me a while to learn. It goes like this:

light–a bit brown–brown–chocolate–a bit black–black–very black

Of course, in the US this whole spectrum is called “black.”

Picture 1

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 25, 2009 5:47 am

    “One drop.” 😦

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