Saturday, September 22, 2007

The TV Paper Bag Test


As some of you readers may have noticed, I've been having a lively discussion with irwin in the comment section of my post "Jigaboos & Wannabees" about colorism (and Steve Harvey's alleged baldness?) in nonwhite communities. This has inspired me to issue a challenge to you all, which I like to call The TV Paper Bag Test. It's the weekend, so I'll be watching many shows on the small screen; I hope you'll be doing the same. While you're lounging on your couch stuffing your face with Cheetos, note how many light-skinned women and how many dark-skinned women you see on the TV. Dark-skinned meaning the color of a brown paper bag or darker. I'm not asking you to identify what race the women are, but what color. For instance, on weekday mornings, I watch Noticias and Despierta America on Univision, a network which features and targets the Spanish-speaking Latinos. In the many years that I've been watching, I have only seen one dark-skinned correspondent on either show, and he was a guy.

Report back to me on Monday with your findings. So far I've spotted Frangela on Best Week Ever, and Tyra, Whoopi and Sherri Shepherd who were featured in clips on The Soup. That's it. Bonus points if you see dark-skinned women who are not black.

6 comments:

Stephanie said...

You know I just read a really good article in Marie Claire called "Erasing Ethnicity". There's a section about The Japanese Secret for Winning Miss Universe (hint: look less Japanese). Anywho~ Thought you might enjoy reading it.

Swishy said...

Lt. La Guerta on Dexter ... but that's a DVD of a TV show. Does that count?

Bianca Reagan said...

Thank you, stephanie. I'm reading it right now!

swishy, of course it counts. :)

ginviren said...

Pam Oliver on Fox NFL Sunday.

That's all I've got since I've been watching football all day. :-)

Bianca Reagan said...

Thanks, ginviren! What an interesting name your little brother gave to you.

cubicalgirl said...

At the time you posted this, I was ODing on the first season of Heroes on DVD. They've got Mohinder (Indian), DL (black), Simone's dad (black; Simone herself is a light-skinned black woman and probably doesn't pass your paper bag test); The Haitian (black; I have no idea if the actor is really a Haitian). The new season also has a character from South America (the actress is from the Dominican Republic and is kinda dark-skinned) But to up the multi-culti cred they also have several Japanese characters (one of the actors is actually Korean, though) and a Latino character. And lets take it even farther: the show also depicts an interracial marriage and their half white/half black child.