What Fresh Hell Is This?

Asian Faces cover

From the New York Times, we have a gift guide just for women of color. It includes nail polish (a portion of the profits go to the vaguely described “people of Haiti”), a book about makeup specifically for Asian faces (one can only assume it includes Asian faces that range in color and shape from Lucy Liu to Lakshmi Menon to Tanisha Harper), and a black relationship guide book by never-married actor Hill Harper.

Sara Libby at Ill Communication writes:

Mostly I find the list confusing – and since I’m a very white white-girl (albeit one who has written extensively on race and ethnicity), maybe that’s OK. I certainly would consider purchasing some of the things on the list – bath products inspired by Tiana, Disney’s first black princess, and some gorgeous African-inspired dresses by Maya Lake.*

But I’d definitely scoff if someone suggested I would be thrilled to receive a box of Swiss Miss or a copy of “Stuff White People Like” just because I’m pale. I can only assume that some women might be similarly insulted by the assumption that Indian girls must covet henna kits and Indian scarves, and black women of course want to buy their kids some “Baby Jamz” hip-hop toys.

I don’t know what Sara’s talking about — I just ordered copies of “Stuff White People Like” for all of the special white people in my life.

On the off chance that this NYT list doesn’t do the trick for you, stay tuned for a Very Special PostBourgie Post: our very own holiday gift guide!

*(On the real, though? Maya Lake’s clothes are fire. Feel free to cop something for me from her site.)

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7 comments to What Fresh Hell Is This?

  • Wow – when post-racial marketing goes really, really wrong!

  • laura

    [listed under the product-Hair Rules]
    “We live in a multitextural world, especially when it comes to hair. Anthony Dickey is to women with “problem hair” what Batman is to Gotham City. With his out-of-the box approach, innovative products (including his new travel kits for kinky, wavy and curly hair), Mr. Dickey has been a hair hero to Michelle Obama, Kelis, Alicia Keys and others.”

    i love that kinky, wavy, and curly hair is considered “problem” hair. wow, just…WOW.

    • shani-o

      And the Batman analogy is clumsy.

      • i thought it made perfect sense. this anthony dickey guy clearly saw his parents murdered by rogue afroed hair stylists as a child. deeply effected and a bit warped, he vowed to red the world of that which robbed him of his parents–unruly, kinky problem hair–and did so by becoming that which he hated and feared the most: a hair stylist.

        what? that never happened to him?

        yeah, that doesn’t make good sense then. statement retracted.

  • yeah, this was my jaw drop moment of the day. similarly, a week ago i read an article suggesting supposedly great gifts for women (you know, women in general!), and of course nothing appealed to me. i think it’s really annoying that these suggestions are based solely on gender (or in this case, gender and race). it sort of limits the variety of women’s interests.

    • Ladyfresh

      my SWPL is in the mail as i type! It’s going to be a very special christmas for my white friends =)

      and agreed! Maya’s clothes are gorgeous

  • It’s not a gift guide for women of color unless it includes something with Frida Kahlo on it.

    Also, if someone gives me a Wise Latina t-shirt, I’ll burn it. I hate those t-shirts.

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