I’ve already spent an unhealthy amount of time on the plane staring at this picture and trying to steer the internal monologue away from just how fucked-up it is, whether or not you had to take it from a postcolonial or ethnic studies perspective.
This actress is just a kid, so this is not an attack on the talents scouted for this, uh, project. But judging from what this show could be about (Ugh, it’s so hard to figure out what this show is about, you guys), even those behind the concept and production of this waste of nationally broadcast primetime fare could be just as juvenile, not to mention contemptuous, in their underestimation of what local audiences are capable of comprehending.
BUT, why are we even still having this conversation? Sure, you could argue that there are so many ways for Filipinos to look and that the archipelago itself is one miniature global village (hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha yeah right) thus dropping any allegations of insensitivity to racial issues.
This is not about race, though. This is about beauty, specifically the attribution of beauty to skin color, and the many layers we read into beauty. When it comes to skin color, what is further represented in our discussions of good, true, and beautiful when we stubbornly cling to these dichotomies of smiling white girl and frowning blackfaced (yet obviously still white) girl? And if we had to dig deeper into this image, we also have to consider that FILIPINOS READ FROM LEFT TO RIGHT. No this is not overanalysis, but we do frame images a certain way, which is why this can be read as a standard cause-and-effect composition, which only makes it more offensive.
Most of all: I do not look like this. And even if I sperminate with a white dude, I will not even have kids who look like this. This is not the only thing that makes it impossible to drop any allegations of racism in broadcast media, but I don’t even look like the black girl.
In fact, both kids are TOTAL aberrations, in that it makes you wonder just what goes through the heads of whatever “creative” team comes up with this caliber of tripe when they begin the development of “interesting characters” around whom plots can be allowed to thicken and twist. Do they even have a way of building a narrative around a relationship founded on more than looks or skin color? I seriously cannot look at this without imagining the board room discussions that led to it. What was it:
“Hey, I have an idea: white girl…black girl…I’m sure stuff will happen!”
And why is this even worth discussing? Because we are repeat offenders on so many levels. Chances are we will never learn, unless we exhaust every word that needs to be repeated on the subject. I mean, let’s just look at the image again:
And then there’s also the remote possibility that we are being trolled by GMA.