Reading on the Rails

As per usual, Racialicious is breaking it down, this time about how race and gender impact a person’s success with online dating. In a post by J Chang and using research from OK Cupid, entitled “Your Race Affects Whether People Write You Back,” there is a discussion with data analyzing trends in on-line dating. J Chang’s great post “Of Ok Cupid And Denials of Racism”  is a must read – and for me connects to the pieces I didn’t discuss in my post yesterday ‘Dr Benzer’s Stupid Prejudice Against Smart People.” In that post I focused on gender and intelligence, and didn’t go in-depth around race. Chang’s post does and I think it is so important.

Check his quote to responses on Ok Cupid to their findings about race and success with internet dating:

“The whole matter of preferences is not necessarily racism, but can be, if you are judging what a person is like by their race and not by their actual character/appearance. However, no matter how innocent any individual preference is, if you look at the way that preference twists and turns over a large group, as we see in this study, racism clearly exists at the systemic level. Regardless of whether or not any person’s preference is racist, on an individual level, the fact of the matter remains that men (as a group) find black women less attractive than other women and that women (as a group) find white men more attractive than other men. While each individual preference might just be aesthetic, it points to a system wide conditioning of the sample group to have racial bias. Your preference might not be racist in itself, but the standards of beauty/attractiveness in the society that influences and shapes your own personal aesthetic preferences are most certainly racist.”

I heart Racialicious.

Chanel Iman and Jourdun Dunn in Teen Vogue

Over on Threadbared, they did a piece about Teen Vogue’s latest issue featuring Chanel Iman and Jourdun Dunn and the discussion of race and fashion. And they reference a post over at Jezebel that looks closely at the Teen Vogue issue.

I’ve seen the pictures from the magazine and am struck, not only about the conversation about race in fashion, but also by the actual images. There is something here – particularly about the placement of the bodies. Nevertheless these are two stunning (if frighteningly thin) womyn.

Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dun in Teen Vogue

The images are not particularly groundbreaking. While it is a pleasure to see brown-skinned womyn womyn “>reprented, it is important to note that both womyn in some way “fit”the standard of beauty: they are exceptionally thin, their hair has been processed/altered so that it is long and bone straight.

It is also of note that neither womyn is shown in the androgynous trends (plaid, menswear – with the exception of Dunn’s jaunty hat) that are so ubiquitous this season. I am also interested in the positioning and placement of the two womyn’s bodies, which to me signals both homoeroticism (which I’m not mad at, because I think it is unintentionally subversive even if it is a problematic trope in this particular situation) and a level of competition. This is bolstered by quotes from Dunn and Iman, who explain,

“Until recently, we barely even spoke. We went from being superclose in the beginning,” she says, “to dead silence if we saw each other backstage at a show.” Not even a hello? “If we did say hi, it was hi, and that’s it.”

“It’s competition,” Jourdan says. “There aren’t a lot of us, but instead of sticking together, we’re pitted against each other. People will say things in Chanel’s ear like, ‘Jourdan is taking your spot,’ and then they’ll say to me, ‘Don’t trust Chanel.'”

Over at Have Mastered The Art Of Christina Anderson is posting some interesting stuff and getting ready for the debut of her play Drip at the CrowdedFire Theatre in San Francisco. Her miniblog has great/intriguing visual snippets that are worth a visit.  Drip is an extraordinary play by one of American’s most promising young playwrights. And the language is amazing. If you’re in the Bay Area this is a must see.

I heart the internet.

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