We live in a society where growing up, we are essentially brainwashed into believing white people’s traits are more desirable and more beautiful than the traits of POCs. Especially with movies, cartoons, music videos, beauty pageants, etc. having such a big influence, this concept that white traits are more attractive than POC traits has become more and more inherent.
An example of this is in the Disney Movie Aladdin, a movie majority of the population probably has watched.
|Picture from Disney Wiki|
Comparing the protagonists Jasmine and Aladdin with the antagonist Jafar, anyone can see Jasmine and Aladdin clearly look more white than Arabic from nose structure to eye structure to facial structure in general. In fact, Jafar is illustrated with stereotypical Arab structures, with a beard and ashier skin. What kind of message would this send to the toddlers growing up surrounded by content like this? Obviously, they grow up believing the princes and princesses they look up and adore are white while the villains look like people of color, creating that assumption white>POC.
So what happens when these toddlers grow up into adolescents? I carried out an experiment to aid in answering this question. For 9 days, I went on my Tumblr feed 5 minutes per day. I recorded the number of posts and the number of notes a post had depending on the race of the person/people in the post. I did not use GIFs or “comedy” posts while recording the data. Also, keep in mind the data cannot be 100% accurate since there are many variables in this experiment such as follower count, picture quality, and picture content. Also, the person/people in a photo could not have actually been the race I thought they were, although I tried not to include posts where it was hard to decipher what race the person/people were.
Below are some charts from the experiment.
|Sum of notes from posts|
|Average number of notes per post|
|Number of posts|
Overall, there were more posts on my Tumblr newsfeed with white people and more notes on these posts, evidently telling us what kind of ethical physical features are valued in our society.
It’s time to tell the kids you can be a prince or princess of color without exceptions.