Log In Sign Up

Describing someone's physical appearance


Forum: Heated Debates

Notices

Welcome to the JustMommies Message Boards.

We pride ourselves on having the friendliest and most welcoming forums for moms and moms to be! Please take a moment and register for free so you can be a part of our growing community of mothers. If you have any problems registering please drop an email to boards@justmommies.com.

Our community is moderated by our moderation team so you won't see spam or offensive messages posted on our forums. Each of our message boards is hosted by JustMommies hosts, whose names are listed at the top each board. We hope you find our message boards friendly, helpful, and fun to be on!

Reply Post New Topic
  Subscribe To Heated Debates LinkBack Topic Tools Search this Topic Display Modes
  #1  
April 11th, 2007, 09:06 AM
donomama
Guest
Posts: n/a
Why can it be such a touchy thing to describe someone's physical appearance. A few days ago, I was with some friends and we mentioned a girl that one of my friends didn't know. She said "I don't think know her, what does she look like?" My other friend proceeded to describe what she looked like - long strawberry blond hair, blue eyes and heavy." You should have seen the look on my other friend's face. She looked shocked. Later, she said to me "I can't believe that ----- would say that ----- is fat." I have also noticed that some people think is taboo to mention race. "What does so and so look like?" "Well, she's tall, has really short hair, and she's....... black." What's the big deal? Why can't you just describe what someone looks like? Why do certain things seem to be off limits?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
April 11th, 2007, 09:11 AM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 751
I have to admit I sometimes feel uncomfortable mentioning race when I describe someone...for fear that the person I'm describing to will think I'm racist..

Just the other day I was talking to one of my Asian friends and I was trying to get her to remember a girl we knew back in highschool (who was also Asian) and here is how the convo went:

Me: you know, that girl that used to hang out with my neighbor, she was tall, black hair, drove a corvette

Her: hmm, nope

Me: you know, she went to the rival highschool

Her: oh you mean that Asian girl Lauren?

Me: yep

Why did I feel so uncomfortable that I didn't want to mention her race while describing her? Someone enlighten me?

ETA: I never think anything of it if someone uses another persons race, size, etc. to describe them to me, and I certainly would never thing they are racist hmmm.............
Reply With Quote
  #3  
April 11th, 2007, 09:20 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Hudson, FL
Posts: 1,696
See, the thing is, politcal correctness has become so ridiculous in this country that it has effected how we even describe appearance.

What used to be phrased as:
"This totally cute guy was hitting on me"
"What did he look like?"
"He was about 6'2, heavyset, black and GORGEOUS"

Is now phrased:
"He was of average male height, with an above-average weight distribution, with a mocha skin tone seemingly apparent in those who are historically from African or Middle Eastern descent."


See how confusing that is? The problem lies where words that should be used as descriptive are sometimes used by those with.. lesser intelligence.. as derogatory.

But, have you noticed, it's not at all 'odd' to describe someone as white or thin?
__________________
<div align="center"></div>
<div align="center"></div>
<div align="center"></div>
Reply With Quote
  #4  
April 11th, 2007, 09:22 AM
frgsonmysox's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Offutt AFB, NE
Posts: 19,799
Send a message via AIM to frgsonmysox Send a message via MSN to frgsonmysox Send a message via Yahoo to frgsonmysox
Sometimes I feel uncomfortable mentioning race, but it's because I notice that I don't go, "oh you now Tom, the guy with black hair, blue eyes, and he's white"


I mention other races, but I assume white is implied, and when I realized that I got a bit uncomfortable.
__________________
~Beth~ Wife to my Airman Chris, and mommy to: Anthony Nathaniel (8/31/04), Anastasia Fae (8/01/06), Baby C (lost on 10/12/07), David Cillian (7/31/08), Charles George (4/29/10), and Alan Christopher (2/22/12)





My BLOG - A Day In The Life of a Freg (it's a little bit of everything!)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
April 11th, 2007, 09:30 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Hudson, FL
Posts: 1,696
I always describe people if they're white. Like "Oh yea, Ando.. white guy, mid-twenties, covered in tattoos, heavyset.."

But maybe it's because I don't see the words themselves (Fat, Heavy, Black, Middle Eastern, etc) as inherently bad.. rather the intent. Whereas I wouldn't be offended by someone saying "Jen, she's that redhead over there", I would be offended if someone said "Jen, she's that --sneer, with a snide tone-- redhead over there"... you know? Insert descriptive word of your choice there.
__________________
<div align="center"></div>
<div align="center"></div>
<div align="center"></div>
Reply With Quote
  #6  
April 11th, 2007, 09:31 AM
chlodoll
Guest
Posts: n/a
I think its fine to mention race when describing someone. I think its more inappropriate to bring up race without reason like "So this asian guy on the bus......blah blah blah" If it didnt pertain to him being asian why bring it up? Neither really bother me but I have seen bother other people. But if you are describing someones physical appearance then I will mention their skin colour or where they are from.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
April 11th, 2007, 09:35 AM
donomama
Guest
Posts: n/a
Quote:
I always describe people if they're white. Like "Oh yea, Ando.. white guy, mid-twenties, covered in tattoos, heavyset.."

But maybe it's because I don't see the words themselves (Fat, Heavy, Black, Middle Eastern, etc) as inherently bad.. rather the intent. Whereas I wouldn't be offended by someone saying "Jen, she's that redhead over there", I would be offended if someone said "Jen, she's that --sneer, with a snide tone-- redhead over there"... you know? Insert descriptive word of your choice there.[/b]

Exactly! I always use white too. Maybe that's because of where I live, and being white is the minority? I agree that it is the intent - like Chloe said, if it has nothing to do with the story, then why are you saying it, but if you are describing a physical appearance, why leave it out?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
April 11th, 2007, 09:35 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Hudson, FL
Posts: 1,696
Quote:
I think its fine to mention race when describing someone. I think its more inappropriate to bring up race without reason like "So this asian guy on the bus......blah blah blah" If it didnt pertain to him being asian why bring it up? Neither really bother me but I have seen bother other people. But if you are describing someones physical appearance then I will mention their skin colour or where they are from.[/b]

Very good point. I think it's definitely inapproprite to bring up appearance of any sort if it doesn't pertain to the story. White, Black, Thin, Fat, whatever. If it has nothing to do with the story, it shouldn't be in there.
__________________
<div align="center"></div>
<div align="center"></div>
<div align="center"></div>
Reply With Quote
  #10  
April 11th, 2007, 10:43 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,925
I always do it.

I always describe someone how they look if the other person doesn't know them. If they are extra thin I will say so,if they are heavy I will say so. It is normal and OK as long as you are not putting them down.

A heavy/thin person IS heavy or thin,there is nothing wrong with saying it but there is everything wrong with being mean about it.

I call people black too PC is good but we can take it too far. If someone thinks I am racist because I describe a person as black or someone thinks I am mean because I am describing a person as heavy then they are reading far to much into it.

Am I blondist if I say someone is blonde?

Are people shortist when they describe me to someone who doesn't know me as short?

Quote:
Sometimes I feel uncomfortable mentioning race, but it's because I notice that I don't go, "oh you now Tom, the guy with black hair, blue eyes, and he's white"


I mention other races, but I assume white is implied, and when I realized that I got a bit uncomfortable.[/b]
If you lived in a place where the majority of people were black I am sure you would mention it if someone is white.

Where I live the majority of people are white,I assume everyone is white unless I know different because the fact is most people are. I don't think there is anything wrong with that either.
__________________
Mum to Ross, Elliot, Jack, Jasmine and Evie
Reply With Quote
  #11  
April 11th, 2007, 11:35 AM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 39,051
I live in a very racially mixed area. If I am trying to describe a particular person to someone I will mention race if I need to to complete my description.
__________________





Reply With Quote
Reply

Topic Tools Search this Topic
Search this Topic:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:03 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0