Racism 1, Craft Books 0

Dear Author,

Please note that flesh tone is not one color. Pink is merely one flesh tone in a range of flesh tones. This is the twenty-first century. It’s an inexcusable mistake. And what makes it worse, author, is it’s not just you, this is the third craft book this year that I’ve had to correct the author on her use of the words “flesh tones.”

I read a paper recently that talked about how Americans strive for an exotic brown tan. “Do you mean white Americans?” I asked. “Yes,” the student said. “I’ll just say white Americans.” But that distinction blew her whole argument out of the water and she should have examined the idea of tanning in regards to race and ethnicity in the United States. It didn’t even occur to her.

I know racism is not strictly your fault, author, but I’m really sick of it. You probably can’t do much to combat institutional racism and the bigger problems of inequality that we see all around us. But there is no fucking reason  for you to continue perpetuating the idea that all readers of books are white. Change your words. Get a clue. We should know better.

Disappointed and disgusted,

Independent Clause


7 responses to “Racism 1, Craft Books 0

  1. Can you please copy and paste this letter to all shoe designers? Just replace “flesh tone” with “nude,” as in pumps, or patent leather heels. Gumble, grumble.

  2. You know, I would get a kick out of it if someone started labeling colors like this:

    Old (flesh): New (Irish/Scott descendant, non-Latino Caucasian skin color)
    Old (nude): New (non-Latino Caucasian skin color, southern European/Northern Eurpoean mix descendant)

    Since “nude” is a slightly darker color than “flesh” in my color palette awareness.

    And really? I mean, the Crayon folks changed “flesh” to “peach” back in 1962.

    • That would be awesome. And think how far you could go:

      Mottled: Irish/Scot descent, over 70, spent too much time in the sun as a teenager

      Sunburn: Irish complexion after 3 hours on the beach without sunscreen

      Flesh: Woman in her twenties, 1 part Anglo, 3 parts African, 1 part Native American

  3. Pingback: A Plea to Craft Authors | Fangs and Clause

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