when people say black people have:
- broad noses
- full lips
- coarse hair
- dark skin
- thicker bodies
I wonder, in comparison to whom? And why is the other half of this comparison never spoken outright in this comparison?
Because my nose is only considered broad, my lips are only thought of as full, my hair is only seen as coarse, my skin is only viewed as dark when compared to (what is understood to be) white features, but note how white features aren’t spoken about as a comparison, so much so that if you try to describe the physical attributes of a white person, watch many of them get mad. They aren’t used to that. They get to see themselves as individuals when it comes to race.
I can’t imagine thinking of myself without this double consciousness, not seeing myself through the eyes of how someone else sees me. I didn’t grow up that way, seeing myself normalized, with my hair as “just hair” my skin as not a particular shade but as “normal” skin, even though my skin is “normal.” What is normal? Normal is a wide spectrum.
It’s weird… I’m not saying I don’t want to be dark, broad nosed, thick, with full lips, I’m just thinking about how this is all built into our language.
(And when you exist outside of this categorization, you are invisible in different ways because people think it’s weird that you even exist.)
So when someone says that whiteness isn’t normalized and/or they are “race-blind”… I avoid them like hell. My entire life has told me that whiteness is normal.