Yesterday, we got told on Twitter that the nude shoe gallery we did was “un-PC.” So we considered renaming it the “shoes to match the skin tone of rich white ladies who rarely go out in the sun.” But, you know, we figured that might be worse.
I don’t think “nude” is really the best possible term for that shade. We could probably call it putty. Or beige. Or “rich white lady shade” which I think has a catchy ring to it. Because, obviously it is not nude for anyone who is not a pale skinned Caucasian.
But this is never something I’ve felt a need to jump on the PC bandwagon over, because I think there are far better things to jump on the PC bandwagon over. Well behaved white girls making absurd, hilarious assumptions about Asians on Youtube? Okay. But colors? Really?
Quite honestly, when I think of a nude, I think of a nude woman by Manet. So, ‘Le dejeuner sur l’herbe.’ In which the women are Caucasian. I think of classic nudes in western historical paintings, the majority of which are also – in my limited knowledge of art history – Caucasian. That is what my mind jumps to when I hear the word nude. I don’t really think about modern day, alive people at all.
In the same way, when I think of the color navy, I think of the color navy. I do not think of all the people that have died defending this country.
I do worry that spending too much time thinking about how we label colors draws attention away from things that are actually issues. There are still hate crimes. There’s still a shocking amount of racial prejudice in many parts of the country. If we want to alleviate that, I’m not sure the thing to start with are seemingly frivolous issues like “how we label shoe colors.” Admittedly, I don’t know precisely what it is, but I feel like this is a little bit too trivial an issue to latch onto.
Also, I’m insanely insensitive and make all my statements from a place of privilege (chateau in Bordeaux). How much do you object to the use of “nude” as a color? Should we make it a policy to find different descriptive terms?